San Francisco

This is the 93-year-old Xerces blue butterfly specimen that researchers collected tissue samples from for this study.

New Research

This Butterfly Is the First U.S. Insect to Be Wiped Out by Humans

Genetic tests using museum specimens suggest that the Xerces blue was a distinct species and that it disappeared in 1941

Queer artist Gilbert Baker preserved this 10- by 28-foot section of an original 1978 pride flag.

LGBTQ+ Pride

Long-Lost Fragment of First Rainbow Pride Flag Resurfaces After Four Decades

The brilliantly colored banner—now on view in San Francisco—flew on "Gay Freedom Day" in 1978

Chinese poetry carved on the wall of the Angel Island Immigration Station in the San Francisco Bay.

Smithsonian Voices

Read Poems Left by Chinese Immigrants Arriving at Angel Island, the 'Ellis Island of the West'

The primary mission of San Francisco's Angel Island Immigration Station was to better enforce the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and other anti-Asian laws

The Making of a Fresco Showing the Building of a City, a 1931 mural by Mexican artist Diego Rivera, resides in an exhibition space in the San Francisco Art Institute. In a precarious financial position, the school has reportedly considered selling the mural for an estimated $50 million.

Why a California School's Potential Sale of Diego Rivera Mural Is So Controversial

Local officials are seeking landmark designation for the 1931 artwork, likely blocking the San Francisco Art Institute's plan

The Ladder (Sun or Moon), Illuminate SF, 1066 Market St., by Ivan Navarro, 2020.

More Than 40 Light Installations Have San Francisco Aglow During the Holidays

Illuminate SF's Festival of Light spreads across 17 of the city's neighborhoods

Today, the AIDS Memorial Quilt numbers more than 50,000 panels that honor the lives of some 105,000 people who died of AIDS.

The AIDS Memorial Quilt Is Heading Home to San Francisco

The groundbreaking community arts project has long been under the stewardship of the Atlanta-based NAMES Project Foundation

Deadly perils awaited prospectors who flocked to the Yukon. In April 1898, on a single day, 65 men on the Chilkoot Trail died in an avalanche. Typhoid also took its toll.

Gold Fever! Deadly Cold! And the Amazing True Adventures of Jack London in the Wild

In 1897, the California native went to the frozen North looking for gold. What he found instead was the great American novel

Alcatraz Island, home to the nation’s most notorious pen, 
was the site of a crucial civil rights battle 50 years ago.

Alcatraz's Captivating Hold on History

Fifty years after Native American activists occupied the island, take a look back at the old prison in San Francisco Bay

FogCam's view at the time of writing.

The Longest Running Web Cam, Set to Go Offline, Has Been Saved

The camera has been recording San Francisco’s fog for 25 years

Tien Fuh Wu (standing in the back, on the left) and Donaldina Cameron (seated, center) with a group of women who may have been Mission Home staffers.

The Women Who Waged War Against Sex Trafficking in San Francisco

"The White Devil’s Daughters" examines the enslavement of Chinese women in the late-19th century and how it was defeated

Detail of photograph by Eadweard Muybridge

When California Went to War Over Eggs

As the Gold Rush brought more settlers to San Francisco, battles erupted over another substance of a similar hue: the egg yolks of a remote seabird colony

Trending Today

The Future Is Female for San Francisco’s Public Art Scene

A new ordinance means that at least 30 percent of new public art will depict notable women of history, beginning with Maya Angelou

How Alcatraz Has Changed Throughout History

Alcatraz has gone from a 'place of evil spirits' in native American lore, to a military prison, to a federal lockup

This Lighthouse Made Sailing Into San Francisco Bay Safer

With heavy fog and windy conditions, sailing into San Francisco Bay has long been a hazardous affair. Then, in 1870, things got a lot safer

Cool Finds

Rare 1906 San Francisco Earthquake Footage Found at Flea Market

The nine-minute Miles brothers film reel shows the devastation that the powerful quake wrought

"Early Days"

San Francisco Votes to Remove Statue with Racist Depiction of Native Americans

The monument shows a Mexican vaquero and Franciscan monk towering over a Native American man

30 Workers Fell While Building the Golden Gate Bridge

During the construction of the Golden Gate bridge, the construction companies had a grim rule of thumb: one worker fatality for every million dollars spent

A "comfort women" monument is seen at St. Mary Square in San Francisco, the United States, on Sept. 22, 2017.

‘Comfort Women’ Statue Prompts Osaka to Cut Ties with San Francisco

The monument pays tribute to women who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels

Some authorities believe that chop suey is related to a traditional Chinese dish, but nobody knows for sure.

Chop Suey: An American Classic

Nobody really knows exactly where this dish came from, but it's not China

Cheers!

Nobody Is Sure Why they Call It a ‘Martini’

Tastes just as good, though