Washington, D.C.

“I was the daughter of an enormously popular president and the first girl in the White House since Nellie Grant, and I looked upon the world as my oyster,” Alice recalled in her 1933 autobiography.

Women Who Shaped History

From a White House Wedding to a Pet Snake, Alice Roosevelt's Escapades Captivated America

Theodore Roosevelt's eldest daughter won the public's adoration with her rebellious antics

The museum's doors reopen Friday, October 14 (above: an early morning view from the exterior of the "America by Air" exhibition) following a seven-month closure due to massive renovations.

A New Look for the National Air and Space Museum

Buckle Up for the Reopening of One of America's Most Popular Museums

An HVAC overhaul led to a total building replacement. Today's must-see National Air and Space Museum adds new stories and new artifacts

Among the eight exhibitions opening October 14, 2022, is "The Wright Brothers & The Invention of the Aerial Age," featuring the museum's iconic 1903 Wright Flyer.

A New Look for the National Air and Space Museum

A New Look for the National Air and Space Museum

Follow the October reopening of America’s most-visited museum with exclusive coverage from Smithsonian magazine

The Capitol Stones piled in Rock Creek Park

Is This the End of D.C.'s Most-Beloved Hidden Landmark?

The fate of the stones that were once a part of the U.S. Capitol has locals despondent

In 1964, when a journalist asked Howard crew coach Stuart Law about the team’s last-place finishes, he just smiled and said, “We’re getting better all the time.”

Untold Stories of American History

The Barrier-Breaking Rowers of America's First All-Black Crew Team

At the height of the civil rights movement, Howard University's oarsmen held their own against rivals from established, largely white programs

Gilliam, 88, died June 25 in his studio, just miles from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, which recently opened a captivating new show, “Sam Gilliam: Full Circle.”

Abstractionist Sam Gilliam Dies at 88, Hirshhorn Hosts His Final Show

The beloved Washington, D.C. artist went full circle with a bold new series of round paintings

According to author Christopher A. Thomas, the dedication "was a microcosm of the strained race relations of its day, marked by the rhetoric of good intentions and the behavior of bigotry."

A Century Ago, the Lincoln Memorial's Dedication Underscored the Nation's Racial Divide

Seating was segregated, and the ceremony's only Black speaker was forced to drastically revise his speech to avoid spreading "propaganda"

The Great Hall boasts works by nearly 50 American painters and sculptors.

What Makes the Library of Congress a Monument to Democracy

The world’s largest book repository has expanded far beyond its original scope to include sound recordings and digitized collections

The zoo's flamingos live in a 9,750-square-foot outdoor yard with a heated pool and barn.

Wild Fox Kills 25 Flamingos and a Duck at the National Zoo

The incident is the first time a predator has broken into the exhibit in its 50 year history

The Lockkeeper's House is the oldest building on the National Mall. After years of neglect, it is now open to the public.

The National Mall's Oldest Building Is Now Open to the Public

The long-lived Lockkeeper's House represents centuries of D.C. history

The fox walks near Upper Senate Park.

Rabid Fox and Her Kits Euthanized After Nine People Were Bitten on Capitol Hill

Bite victims included a reporter and a U.S. congressman

A full-scale replica of Notre-Dame’s Truss 6 in Washington, D.C. last summer.

How to Rebuild Notre-Dame Using 12th-Century Tools

In Washington, D.C., an innovative team of designers demonstrated how medieval techniques could be used to repair the Parisian landmark

Kate Warne was the Pinkerton National Detective Agency's first woman operative. She died in 1868 at age 34 or 35.

Women Who Shaped History

How Kate Warne, America's First Woman Detective, Foiled a Plot to Assassinate Abraham Lincoln

In February 1861, the Pinkerton agent, posing as the disguised president-elect's sister and caregiver, safely escorted him to Baltimore

The tragedy marked Washington, D.C.’s deadliest single-day disaster. Pictured: an overhead view of the Knickerbocker Theatre following the roof’s collapse

When a Winter Storm Triggered One of the Deadliest Disasters in D.C. History

On January 28, 1922, the Knickerbocker Theatre's snow-covered roof collapsed, killing 98 people and injuring another 133

The U.S. Capitol building was fenced off on January 7.

History of Now

Archiving the January 6 Insurrection for History

On the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol, the National Museum of American History continues to collect related artifacts

Houdini exposed fake Spiritualist practices by having himself photographed with the "ghost" of Abraham Lincoln.

For Harry Houdini, Séances and Spiritualism Were Just an Illusion

The magician spent years campaigning against fraudulent psychics, even lobbying Congress to ban fortune-telling in D.C.

In this 2017 photo, employees set up scaffolding to remove stained-glass windows depicting Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson at Washington National Cathedral.

National Cathedral to Replace Confederate-Themed Stained Glass With Art Dedicated to Racial Justice

Artist Kerry James Marshall will create two new windows for the historic Washington, D.C. church

During the 2017 Grocery Walk, more than 500 protestors demanded greater investment in food access programs and healthy food retail options in a local Washington D.C. community.

In a City Flush With Power and Wealth, D.C.'s Ward 8 Faces Food Inequity

Eleven percent of U.S. households experience hunger; an expansive, new exhibition focuses how a local community manages this national problem

Flight attendant Lorraine Bay carefully recorded every flight she worked in this log book, found near the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

September 11

Thirty-One Smithsonian Artifacts That Tell the Story of 9/11

From a Pentagon rescuer's uniform to a Flight 93 crew log, these objects commemorate the 20th anniversary of a national tragedy

Lightning strikes the iconic Washington, D.C. landmark “twice per year on the high end and once every five years on the low end,” says meteorologist Chris Vagasky.

Watch a Bolt of Lightning Strike the Washington Monument

The iconic obelisk remains temporarily closed as workers repair an electronic access system damaged by the storm

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