Politics

The U.S. Capitol building was fenced off on January 7.

History of Now

Archiving the January 6 Insurrection for History

On the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol, the National Museum of American History continues to collect related artifacts

Brunhild and Fredegund were two lesser-known but long-reigning and influential Frankish queens.

The Medieval Queens Whose Daring, Murderous Reigns Were Quickly Forgotten

Over the centuries, Brunhild and Fredegund were dismissed and even parodied. But a new book shows how they outwitted their enemies like few in history

Richmond took down its statue of Robert E. Lee in September 2021.

Richmond's Robert E. Lee Statue Is Headed to a Black History Museum

Officials have tentatively agreed to transfer ownership of removed Confederate monuments to a pair of museums in the Virginia city

Being the Ricardos features Nicole Kidman (left) as Lucille Ball and Javier Bardem (right) as Desi Arnaz.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'Being the Ricardos'

Aaron Sorkin's new film dramatizes three pivotal moments in the lives of comedy legends Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz

Dozens of Smithsonian Institution professionals share their favorite reads from this year.

The Best Books of 2021

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2021

The writings of many fine authors support the research and ambitious undertakings of an Institution rising to the challenges ahead

Jeffrey Peter, of Old Crow, Yukon, cleans a caribou hide during an autumn hunt. When camping, the hide is used as a mattress; at home, it’s clothing.

For the Gwich'in People, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Isn't a Political Issue, It's Home

Journey to the far north of Alaska, where the Indigenous communities hunt caribou, the backbone of the region's ecosystem

Artists paint a mural near the Scottish Events Centre, which will be hosting the Climate Summit starting October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland. 

Five Important Questions About COP26 Answered

Representatives from nearly 200 nations are expected to meet and report on climate change promises made in the Paris Agreement

Detail of Ronald N. Sherr's General Colin Powell, 2012, oil on canvas

History of Now

Colin Powell, First Black Secretary of State, Dies of Covid-19 at 84

The decorated general broke racial barriers in the U.S. military but attracted criticism for his part in paving the way for the Iraq War

Over the span of two years, Washington visited all 13 original states (14 if you count Maine, which was then part of Massachusetts), traveling on horseback and by carriage along rutted dirt roads and over rising rivers.

When George Washington Took a Road Trip to Unify the U.S.

Nathaniel Philbrick’s new book follows the first president on his 1789 journey across America

Radiocarbon dating suggests the workshop began minting operations between 640 and 550 B.C.E.

Cool Finds

World's Oldest Known Coin Mint Found in China

The 2,600-year-old site produced highly standardized "spade money," possibly on government orders

Officers Paul Douglas (left) and Theodore Santos (right) stand with their newest Covid-19 K9 unit: a female black lab named Huntah (left) and a male golden lab-retriever mix, Duke (right).

Covid-19

Massachusetts Becomes First U.S. State to Enlist Covid-Sniffing Canines

Duke and Huntah are first dogs used by law enforcement to detect coronavirus cases

A proposed government plan will move the A303 highway, pictured here in the distance behind Stonehenge's iconic structures, underground. But Unesco warned in a report Monday that the efforts might endanger the site's OVU, or outstanding universal value.

Unesco Weighs Changes to Stonehenge's Cultural Heritage Status

A new report also cited Venice and the Great Barrier Reef as sites that might be placed on the World Heritage in Danger list

Bronzino, Eleonora di Toledo and Francesco de’ Medici, c. 1550

Florence's Medici Family Used Portraits as Propaganda

A new exhibition at the Met reveals how the Italian banking dynasty drew on art to cement its power and legacy

The free silver movement—which fought to allow for unfettered silver coinage alongside the gold standard—reflected the divides of 1890s America.

The U.S. Government's Failed Attempt to Forge Unity Through Currency

In the late 1890s, the Bureau of Printing and Engraving tried to bridge the divide between silver and gold with a series of educational paper certificates

A defaced statue of 17th-century slave trader Edward Colston is now on view at M Shed in Bristol, England. The museum is asking visitors to reflect on the sculpture's toppling and offer suggestions on what to do next.

Toppled Statue of British Slave Trader Goes on View at Bristol Museum

The display seeks to continue a citywide conversation about the defaced Edward Colston sculpture's future

"What’s Going On" was a turning point for Marvin Gaye.

Marvin Gaye's 'What's Going On' Is as Relevant Today as It Was in 1971

Fifty years ago, the artist released Motown's best-selling album ever and changed the course of his musical career

The oil crisis affected everything from home heating to business costs. But the impact was most obvious on the roads.

History of Now

Gas Shortages in 1970s America Sparked Mayhem and Forever Changed the Nation

Half a century ago, a series of oil crises caused widespread panic and led to profound shifts in U.S. culture

America’s public, partisan and passionate campaigns fired up uniformed young men who participated in torchlit marches, a style pioneered by the Republican Wide Awakes stumping for Abraham Lincoln in 1860 (above: a procession stomped through Lower Manhattan’s Printing House Square).

The Little-Known Story of 19th-Century America's Partisan Warfare

In a new book, Smithsonian curator Jon Grinspan examines the history of America's furious and fractious politics

Geraldine Ferraro and Walter Mondale by Diane Walker, 1984

Walter Mondale Never Won the Presidency, but He Changed American Politics Forever

A trove of Smithsonian artifacts document the man who was first to put a woman on the presidential ticket and reshaped the vice presidency

This dress, with a matching necklace and ruby red high heels, was worn by Cornell to her prom in 2018.

Smithsonian Voices

How Isabella Aiukli Cornell Made Prom Political

As citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a prom dress became the perfect vehicle to signal the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women

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