Television

The single-engine, single-seat Turner RT-14 Meteor is the "epitome of what a 1930s air racer in the United States would be: big engine, big propeller, small profile,” says the museum's Jeremy Kinney.

The Record-Shattering Airplane Behind a Dashing Pilot’s Meteoric Rise to Fame

Roscoe Turner's air racer takes center stage this fall when newly renovated galleries open at the National Air and Space Museum

In 1951, mobster Frank Costello (seated, center) testified in front of the Kefauver Committee during a televised congressional hearing on organized crime that captivated the country.

History of Now

A Brief History of Televised Congressional Hearings

From a 1951 investigation into organized crime to the Watergate scandal, the ongoing January 6 hearings are part of a lengthy political tradition

In 1547, Elizabeth's brother, 9-year-old Edward VI, ascended the throne. Then 13 years old, the princess found herself second in line to the crown.

Based on a True Story

The Royal Scandal That Rocked Elizabeth I's Teenage Years

A new Starz series, "Becoming Elizabeth," dramatizes the future queen's controversial relationship with her much-older stepfather, Thomas Seymour

This year, sixteen bakers delivered on the challenge.

Good News

This Museum Is Asking People to Remake Famous Artworks With Cake

Through its annual bake-off, the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas, provides a fun way for the public to engage with its collections

Kalush Orchestra smashed records in the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest. 

Good News

A Ukrainian Band Just Won the World's Most Popular Song Competition

Kalush Orchestra’s “Stefania” is a tribute to the frontman’s mother—and the group’s embattled motherland

Still from Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018). 

The Surprisingly Long History of 'Choose-Your-Own-Adventure' Stories

From the 'I Ching' to an upcoming Netflix rom-com, interactive fiction dares us to decide what happens next

A Long Island family sits in a "Kidde Kokoon" underground bomb shelter in 1955.

Digging Up the History of the Nuclear Fallout Shelter

For 75 years, images of bunker life have reflected the shifting optimism, anxieties and cynicism of the Atomic Age

At the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, the story of the Watergate whistleblower Martha Mitchell (detail, oil on canvas, Jan De Ruth, 1970) from Pine Bluff, Arkansas—who pundits dubbed the "Mouth of the South"—is revisited in a new exhibition, "Watergate: Portraiture and Intrigue."

Martha Mitchell Was the Brash 'Mouth of the South' That Roared

A portrait reveals the dignity behind the maligned woman who stepped up to tell the truth

Burger or baked good?

'Is It Cake?' Builds on a Lengthy Tradition of Visual Deception

The ‘fool the eye’ desserts hearken back to paintings from a period in American history when there was anxiety over fakes, fraudsters and misinformation

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 western-style performance outfit worn by Patsy Cline and sewed by her mother. The suit features record-shaped patches stitched with the titles of some of Cline's records.


 

Women Who Shaped History

When Patsy Cline Broke Through as a Country Music Phenom

The recording star sported a homemade suit as spectacular as her voice

Lucille Ball in 1938

Women Who Shaped History

Who Was the Real Lucille Ball?

"I Love Lucy" is having a moment—but we're still not ready to see its star and creator clearly

The new Netflix series imagines what would have happened if Harald Hardrada (played by Leo Suter) were best buddies with Norse explorer Leif Erikson (Sam Corlett) and the lover of Leif’s sister, Freydís Eiríksdóttir (Frida Gustavsson).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind Netflix's 'Vikings: Valhalla'

A spin-off of the long-running series "Vikings," the show follows a fictionalized version of Norwegian king Harald Hardrada

In the show, the promises and tensions of emerging modern life can be seen most vividly through the eyes of two invented characters: Marian Brook (Louisa Jacobson), Agnes’ poor niece who has come to stay with the van Rhijns, and Peggy (Denée Benton), Agnes’ Black secretary.

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind HBO's 'The Gilded Age'

Julian Fellowes' new series dramatizes the late 19th-century clash between New York City's old and new monied elite

Map from front endpapers to The Odyssey of Homer (translated by T. E. Shaw (Col. T. E. Lawrence)), 1935. 

Art Meets Science

See Fantastical Maps From 'Game of Thrones,' 'Lord of the Rings' and More

In honor of the centennial of James Joyce's 'Ulysses,' a San Marino, California exhibition takes museumgoers on a literary journey

Actress and comedian Betty White, pictured here in 2015, died last week at the age of 99.

Women Who Shaped History

How Betty White Broke Barriers for Women in Television

A Smithsonian curator reflects on the legacy of the beloved “Golden Girls” actress

A 1930s couple rings in the new year with party blowers and streamers. New Year's Eve celebrations only began incorporating countdowns decades later, with the first crowd countdown in Times Square taking place in 1979.

Why Do We Count Down to the New Year?

A historian traces the tradition's links to space travel, the Doomsday Clock and Alfred Hitchcock

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

During the Middle Ages, dragons more often figured in accounts about the lives of saints and religious figures than stories of heists and adventures.

Why Dragons Dominated the Landscape of Medieval Monsters

The mythical beasts were often cast as agents of the devil or demons in disguise

Actor James Madio played Easy Company T-4 Frank Perconte.

Based on a True Story

'Band of Brothers' Stars Reflect on the Epic Miniseries' Evolving Legacy

HBO's beloved World War II drama premiered 20 years ago this month

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