Vietnam War

Kim Phuc Phan Thi, the girl depicted in the 1972 photograph The Terror of War, and photographer Nick Ut in 2022

Fifty Years Later, Kim Phuc Phan Thi Is More Than 'Napalm Girl'

While the image freezes in time a moment of wartime horror, its subject has been moving forward

Tom Cruise revives his Top Gun role as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the new film arriving in theaters May 27.

'Top Gun' Is Back. But Is the Elite Navy Fighter Pilot School Really Like the Movies?

The Smithsonian’s Chris Browne flew the much-feared F-14, and as a former TOPGUN student, knows well the power of a Navy-trained fighter pilot

Lai Tek's espionage had geopolitical implications across Southeast Asia.

The Vietnamese Secret Agent Who Spied for Three Different Countries

Known by the alias Lai Tek, the enigmatic communist swore allegiance first to France, then Britain and finally Japan

Detail of Ronald N. Sherr's General Colin Powell, 2012, oil on canvas

History of Now

Colin Powell, First Black Secretary of State, Dies of Covid-19 at 84

The decorated general broke racial barriers in the U.S. military but attracted criticism for his part in paving the way for the Iraq War

In October 1971, Disney World "cast members" pose with celebrity Mickey Mouse at one of the theme park's grand opening ceremonies. 

In the Magic Kingdom, History Was a Lesson Filled With Reassurance

Fifty years ago, Disney World's celebrated opening promised joy and inspiration to all; today the theme park is reckoning with its white middle-class past

"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 National Museum of the United States Army opened on Veteran's Day, November 11, 2020.

A New Museum Delves Into the Complex History of the U.S. Army

The Fort Belvoir institution is the first museum dedicated to interpreting the story of the nation's oldest military branch

A march in support of the Vote 18 movement in Seattle in 1969 and buttons advocating for youth enfranchisement in the Smithsonian's collections.

100 Years of Women at the Ballot Box

How Young Activists Got 18-Year-Olds the Right to Vote in Record Time

In 1971, more than 10 million 18– to 20-year-olds got the right to vote thanks to an amendment with bipartisan support

On his last day of service in Vietnam in 1963, Harvey Pratt (Cheyenne and Arapaho) poses in Da Nang carrying his rappelling rope that he used to descend from helicopters to clear landing fields. Pratt is the designer of the National Native Americans Veterans Memorial.

The Remarkable and Complex Legacy of Native American Military Service

Why do they serve? The answer is grounded in honor and love for their homeland

Smithsonian curator Emil Her Many Horses, an artist trained both in traditional beadwork and in doll-making, created a commemorative tableau featuring miniature figures of Vietnam-era veterans and the tribal women who welcomed them home with ceremonies.

This Artwork Recognizes the Sacrifices Made by Native American Soldiers in Vietnam

Taking 'Best in Show' at the Northern Plains Tribal Art Show, the 2002 beadwork tableau is held in the collections of the American Indian Museum

New York workers, angered by the Mayor's apparent anti-Vietnam-War sympathies, wave American flags as they march in a demonstration near City Hall in New York City on May 15, 1970.

The 'Hard Hat Riot' of 1970 Pitted Construction Workers Against Anti-War Protesters

The Kent State shootings further widened the chasm among a citizenry divided over the Vietnam War

Anti-war demonstrators at Kent State University run as National Guardsmen fire tear gas and bullets into the crowd.

History of Now

How 13 Seconds Changed Kent State University Forever

The institution took decades to come to grips with the trauma of the killing of four students 50 years ago

A WWII Airman's Son Tracks Down His Father's Last Mission—to Destroy a Nazi Weapon Factory

The impact of one heroic flight would take decades to reconcile

U.S. Army Pvt. John McGrath survived the bullet that scarred this letter he penned during the liberation of Italy.

The Unprecedented Effort to Preserve a Million Letters Written by U.S. Soldiers During Wartime

A tragedy at home led one intrepid historian to find and catalog precious correspondence for future generations to study

A man smokes a cigarette as he talks to an armored guard at a protest in People’s Park circa May, 1969, in Berkeley, California.

Scenes From 50 Years Ago This Spring, When Americans Turned Out to Protest the Vietnam War

In Los Angeles, Boston and New York, students and veterans alike challenged the government’s ongoing support for the lengthy war

Mi Vida by Jesse Treviño, 1971-73

How American Artists Engaged with Morality and Conflict During the Vietnam War

The Smithsonian American Art Museum’s new show documents the turbulent decade and the provocative dialog happening in a diverse art community

"Tiffany Chung's exhibition opens our eyes to a history hidden in plain sight, illuminating the war and its aftermath from the perspective of those who lived through it," says curator Sarah Newman.

For Tiffany Chung, Finding Vietnam’s Forgotten Stories Began as a Personal Quest

To map the post-war exodus, the artist turned to interviews and deep research, starting with her own father’s past

Northern Mountains, 2005

A Veteran Returns to Vietnam, Photographs the Country and Comes to Peace With His Wartime Experience

Trading in his rifle for a camera, photographer Chuck Forsman captures the country's resiliency in a new book

Operation Ranch Hand has led to a multi-generational health crisis and an environmental catastrophe.

Trending Today

Court Rules 'Blue Water' Vietnam Veterans Are Eligible for Agent Orange Benefits

Sailors had long been excluded from health benefits related to the dioxin-tainted herbicide the military spread during the war

Mary Beth and John Tinker display their black armbands in 1968, over two years after they wore anti-war armbands to school and sparked a legal battle that would make it all the way to the Supreme Court.

The Young Anti-War Activists Who Fought for Free Speech at School

Fifty years later, Mary Beth Tinker looks back at her small act of courage and the Supreme Court case that followed

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