Politics

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

Violet Gibson, a 50-year-old Irish woman, attempted to assassinate Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1926.

The Little-Known Story of Violet Gibson, the Irish Woman Who Shot Mussolini

A free radio documentary tells the tale of the long-overlooked individual who nearly killed the Italian dictator in 1926

The Royalists used the cookbook to paint Oliver and Elizabeth Cromwell as commoners unfit to rule the kingdom.

This 17th-Century Cookbook Contained a Vicious Attack on Oliver Cromwell's Wife

The Cromwell Museum has republished a text first issued by the English Lord Protector's enemies as propaganda

On March 13, 1996, a gunman murdered 16 students and their teacher at Dunblane Primary School in Scotland. Pictured: the class of 5- to 6-year-olds and their teacher, Gwen Mayor

History of Now

How the 1996 Dunblane Massacre Pushed the U.K. to Enact Stricter Gun Laws

A devastating attack at a Scottish primary school sparked national outcry—and a successful campaign for gun reform

Chosen for the 2021 inauguration, this 1859 painting by the African American artist Robert Duncanson depicts the promise of America.

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on Healing a Divided Nation

We must use the lessons of the past to help our country grow and move forward

In the background, a photograph taken by an American U-2 spy plane over Cuba on October 14, 1962, shows a secret deployment of Soviet nuclear-armed ballistic missiles. Right, Juanita Moody, head of the National Security Agency’s Cuba desk.

Women Who Shaped History

The Once-Classified Tale of Juanita Moody: The Woman Who Helped Avert a Nuclear War

America’s bold response to the Soviet Union depended on an unknown spy agency operative whose story can at last be told

A framed display of locks of George and Martha Washington's hair is estimated to sell for upward of $75,000.

Trove of Presidential Memorabilia, From Washington's Hair to JFK's Sweater, Is Up for Sale

RR Auction is offering a collection of nearly 300 artifacts, including a signed photo of Abraham Lincoln and a pen used by FDR

A copy of Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was gifted to the National Museum of American History and exhibited in a 2015 exhibition "The Early Sixties: American Culture."

The Powerful, Complicated Legacy of Betty Friedan's 'The Feminine Mystique'

The acclaimed reformer stoked the white, middle-class feminist movement and brought critical understanding to a “problem that had no name”

In another executive order, President Biden canceled permits for construction on the Keystone XL pipeline. Alberta construction of the pipeline is pictured here, taken in October 2020.

The United States Will Rejoin Paris Climate Accord

The move is one of several climate-related actions taken by President Joe Biden on his first day in office

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