Smithsonian Institution

Riders outside the Patee House Museum in St. Joseph, Missouri, the route's eastern terminus. Every year the National Pony Express Association conducts an annual re-ride of the famous delivery route.

Six Stops on the Pony Express That You Can Still Visit

Established 160 years ago, the short-lived route was once the quickest way to deliver mail across the United States

Can a machine be taught to understand the plant world?

Innovation for Good

Is This Weed-Spotting, Yield-Predicting Rover the Future of Farming?

The robot, developed by Alphabet Inc.'s X, will make its public debut at the Smithsonian

Simone Biles (pictured) and Naomi Osaka, both Black athletes at the top of their sports, have been vocal about their struggles with mental health.

Race in America

The Relationship Between Race and Wellness Has Never Been More Pressing

A new Smithsonian initiative kicks off this week with a virtual summit examining these urgent issues

SpongeBob on a stick is the closest we come today to the forgotten fad of molded ice cream.

The Lost Art of Molding Ice Cream Into Eagles, Tugboats and Pineapples

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, ice cream makers used metal casts to create fanciful desserts

Oceanix is gearing up to build a prototype of a 5-acre city for 300 residents in a yet-to-be determined location.

Innovation for Good

In the Face of Rising Seas, Are Floating Cities a Real Possibility?

A scale model of Oceanix City, a concept capable of supporting more than 10,000 residents, will be featured in the Smithsonian's upcoming 'Futures' exhibit

An interactive lunch counter at the African American History Museum lets visitors grapple with moral dilemmas of the civil rights movement.

Race in America

Secretary Lonnie Bunch on Why the Smithsonian Is Talking About Race

In a deeply divided moment, a new initiative aims to bring Americans together by reckoning with our racial past

The first page of the Hungerford Deed, 1787, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Acc. 19-150.

Smithsonian Voices

This Property Contract Sheds New Light on James Smithson's Gift to the Smithsonian

The 1787 Hungerford Deed, donated to the Smithsonian in 2019, offers a glimpse into the family dynamics that shaped the founder's decision

A mural in Munich's former Olympic Village features Otl Aicher's pictograms.

The Tokyo Olympics

This Graphic Artist's Olympic Pictograms Changed Urban Design Forever

Having lived through Germany's Nazi regime, Otl Aicher went on to pioneer democratic design

Robert McCurdy, Untitled, Jeffrey P. Bezos, 2019, oil on canvas

Jeff Bezos Gifts Historic $200 Million to the Smithsonian

The Amazon founder's gift—the largest since the Institution was created in 1846—will support the Air and Space Museum renovation and a new education center

After L. A. Huffman, “A Dead Bull” from William T. Hornaday, “The Extermination of the American Bison, with a Sketch of Its Discovery and Life History,”

Smithsonian Voices

How Yellowstone Was Saved by a Teddy Roosevelt Dinner Party and a Fake Photo in a Gun Magazine

Chilling photos of slain buffalo in Yellowstone Park helped pass an act outlining punishment for poaching on public lands. But the photos were fakes

James Smithson was the Smithsonian’s founding donor, bequeathing approximately one ton of gold British sovereigns.

Smithsonian 175

Why Did James Smithson Leave His Fortune to the U.S. and More Questions From Our Readers

You've got questions. We've got experts

Inventive and egalitarian, the Arts and Industries Building is due to open in November after being closed for nearly two decades.

Smithsonian 175

The Storied Past and Inspiring Future of the Smithsonian's Arts and Industries Building

It was once the Institution's most forward-looking museum. Soon it will be again

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Smithsonian 175

Institutional Memories: 175 Years of the Smithsonian

Get to know the history of the cherished museum and research complex

Two American bison grazed in a paddock behind the Castle. A few years later, in 1891, they joined the first animals at the new National Zoo.

Smithsonian 175

Secretary Lonnie Bunch Reflects on the Smithsonian's 175th Birthday

The Institution's leader looks back on a vibrant history—and ahead to the next two museums

This pre-Inca chest ornament dates to between roughly 800 B.C. and 1 A.D. In 1986, the City of Cusco selected the disc's design as its official symbol and coat of arms.

A Golden Symbol of National Identity Returns to Peru

The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian has sent an ancient, pre-Inca breastplate back home

Sourcing her fish skin from Iceland, Elisa Palomino-Perez designs, dyes and assembles her fashion accessories. Bag handmade by Jay Zaccheus.

Innovation for Good

Does Fish Skin Have a Future in Fashion?

To promote sustainability in the industry, designer Elisa Palomino-Perez is embracing the traditional Indigenous practice of crafting with fish leather

In 1891, Samuel P. Langley began experiments with large, tandem-winged models powered by small steam and gasoline engines that he called aerodromes. After several failures with designs that were too fragile and under-powered to sustain themselves, Langley had his first genuine success on May 6, 1896.

This Odd Early Flying Machine Made History but Didn't Have the Right Stuff

Aerodrome No. 5 had to be launched by catapult on the Potomac River on May 6, 1896, but it flew unpiloted 3,300 feet

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Smithsonian Voices

The Surprising Story of the Smithsonian Sunburst

Crimilda Pontes was the Institution’s first official graphic designer and the designer of the iconic sunburst symbol

In makeshift home laboratories, a team of scientists discovered that cotton flannel is the optimal fabric, and their latest study says that the moisture from our breath makes the mask more effective.

How to Build a Better Homemade Face Mask, According to Science

When Covid-19 hit, Smithsonian researchers set up makeshift home laboratories to conduct groundbreaking studies on mask fabric materials

Like the original show staged at what's now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, "Objects: USA 2020," hosted by R & Company, an art gallery in New York City, aims to bring American craft to a new generation.

Artisan America

The Groundbreaking 1969 Craft Exhibit 'Objects: USA' Gets a Reboot

More than 50 years later, the new show combines the works of 100 established and emerging artists

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