Race and Ethnicity

The eugenics movement formed the basis for policies in Nazi Germany and discrimination against Black people based on sickle cell disease in the United States.

Genetics Society Issues Apology for Ties to Eugenics and Racism

In a new report, the American Society of Human Genetics details its failures to address false and unjust uses of the field

The Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland in California

Disney’s Controversial Splash Mountain Ride Has Officially Closed

Come 2024, the attraction—inspired by the racist 1946 movie "Song of the South"—will be reimagined as Tiana's Bayou Adventure

Workers removing the statue of Ambrose P. Hill from its pedestal in Richmond, Virginia, on December 12

Richmond Removes Its Last City-Owned Confederate Monument

The statue of Ambrose P. Hill had stood at a busy intersection since 1892

This year's titles include I Was Better Last Night, Accidental Ecosystem and Winslow Homer: American Passage.

The Best Books of 2022

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2022

This wide-ranging list offers context for our rapidly changing world

Protesters attend a rally in support of affirmative action in college admissions on October 31, 2022.

History of Now

The Origins of the Term 'Affirmative Action'

The phrase was first used in early 20th-century employment laws

Florence Pugh (left) stars in Don't Worry Darling as Alice, a 1950s housewife who resides in an idyllic California community with her husband, Jack (Harry Styles, right).

The Feminist Inspiration Behind 'Don't Worry Darling'

Director Olivia Wilde dubbed the new film "'The Feminine Mystique' on acid"

Many of the children who survived Hurricane Katrina are still healing from the trauma of their experiences.

The Black Children of Hurricane Katrina Finally Tell Their Stories

A new documentary, 'Katrina Babies,' spotlights the disaster's youngest survivors

Adam W. McKinney dances in front of a former KKK headquarters in Fort Worth. 

Past Imperfect

Texas Artists Are Taking Over—and Transforming—a Former KKK Building

Those once terrorized by the Klan will decide on the center's events and programming

Black soldiers during World War II

History of Now

Nine Army Bases Honoring Confederate Leaders Could Soon Have New Names

Proposed by a government panel, the suggested title changes honor several women and people of color

Early efforts to sow hibiscus on the mainland had mixed success. Today it grows in many states; in the South, hibiscus used in punch is known as “Florida Cranberry.”

Race in America

A Brief History of Red Drink

The obscure roots of a centuries-old beverage that’s now a Juneteenth fixture

After his shooting, a hospitalized Wallace holds up a newspaper touting his victories in the Maryland and Michigan Democratic presidential primaries.

How a Failed Assassination Attempt Pushed George Wallace to Reconsider His Segregationist Views

Fifty years ago, a fame-seeker shot the polarizing politician five times, paralyzing him from the waist down

The only available photograph of America Newton, a formerly enslaved woman who ran a laundry business out of her cabin in Julian, California, dates to around 1910.

The Trailblazing Black Entrepreneurs Who Shaped a 19th-Century California Boomtown

Though founded by Confederates, Julian became a place of opportunity for people of color—and a model for what the U.S. could look like after the Civil War

Denver's apology for an 1880 anti-Chinese riot comes during a surge of racially motivated violence and discrimination toward Asian Americans. 

Denver Apologizes for Anti-Chinese Riot of 1880

A white mob terrorized residents and murdered a man, but the city never punished the perpetrators

A 19th-century illustration of two yellow fever victims in New Orleans

Race in America

How Yellow Fever Intensified Racial Inequality in 19th-Century New Orleans

A new book explores how immunity to the disease created opportunities for white, but not Black, people

Researchers at the University of Montana find that wealthier, white campers are more likely to make online reservations for campsites at United States national parks. 

Does the National Park Service’s Reservation System Shut Out Non-White, Low-Income Campers?

The federal website excludes some would-be adventurers, a University of Montana study suggests

The Commemorative at St. Mary's College of Maryland honors the enslaved people who once lived and worked there.

Good News

National Park Service Adds 16 New Underground Railroad Sites to Commemorative Network

The recognitions honor the resistance and bravery of freedom seekers and their allies who risked their lives to resist slavery

To many people, Henrietta Lacks, painted by Kadir Nelson in 2017, symbolizes inequity in medicine. Lacks died from cervical cancer in 1951, but her tumor cells— used in research without her permission—would enable medical advances, including the polio vaccine.

Race in America

The Historical Roots of Racial Disparities in American Health Care

A new documentary from the Smithsonian Channel, 'The Color of Care,' produced by Oprah Winfrey, shines a light on medicine’s biases

The Queen's Ball, a ticketed experience from Netflix tied to the second season of "Bridgerton," is just one example of modern audiences' enthusiasm for the Regency era.

Based on a True Story

Why Are Regency-Era Shows Like 'Bridgerton' So Popular?

An Austen expert and a period drama TV critic reflect on the enduring appeal of romance series set in turn-of-the-19th-century England

A wooden trestle bridge near Terrace, Utah. The state has more intact miles of original railroad grade than any other in the West.

Untold Stories of American History

What Archaeologists Are Learning About the Lives of the Chinese Immigrants Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad

In the sparse Utah desert, the vital contributions of these 19th-century laborers are finally coming to light

The former Aunt Fanny's Cabin in Smyrna, Georgia, will be demolished if no one comes forward with money to move it.

The Complex Legacy of an Anti-Black Restaurant Slated for Demolition

Locals in Smyrna, Georgia, are rallying to preserve Aunt Fanny’s Cabin as a tribute to eponymous Black cook Fanny Williams

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