Women's History

Two unidentified Gullah Geechee women photographed by Lorenzo Dow Turner in the early 1930s

How the Memory of a Song Reunited Two Women Separated by the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade

In 1990, scholars found a Sierra Leonean woman who remembered a nearly identical version of a tune passed down by a Georgia woman’s enslaved ancestors

Some of the women diarists featured in the new anthology. Top row, left to right: Ada Blackjack, Anne Clifford, Florence Nightingale, Fanny Burney and Anna Dostoyevskaya. Bottom row, left to right: Elizabeth Fry, Cynthia Asquith, Beatrice Webb, Charlotte Forten Grimké and Virginia Woolf 

What Is the Dominant Emotion in 400 Years of Women's Diaries?

A new anthology identifies frustration as a recurring theme in journals written between 1599 and 2015

Members of the National Negro Opera Company pose backstage during a 1941 performance of Aida.

The Founder of This Trailblazing Opera Company Put Black Singers at Center Stage

Mary Cardwell Dawson created unprecedented opportunities for aspiring Black musicians

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How to Separate Fact From Myth in the Extraordinary Story of Sojourner Truth

Two historians tell us why the pioneering 19th-century feminist, suffragist and abolitionist’s legacy has so frequently been misrepresented

John Smith claimed Pocahontas saved him from execution when she was just 11 or 12 years old. Whether the story happened the way Smith tells it—or even at all—is up for debate, a 2017 Smithsonian Channel documentary explains.

The True Story of Pocahontas Is More Complicated Than You Might Think

Historian Camilla Townsend separates fact from fiction in the life of the Powhatan "princess"

A close-up of Sojourner Truth’s face in statue created by Woodrow Nash. An 1883 New York Times obituary described Truth’s “tall, masculine-looking figure” and “deep, guttural, powerful voice.”

The Remarkable Untold Story of Sojourner Truth

Feminist. Preacher. Abolitionist. Civil rights pioneer. Now the full story of the American icon's life and faith is finally coming to light

An A.I.-generated image of a kitten on display in "Cute," the new exhibition at London's Somerset House

Why We're So Obsessed With Cute

A London exhibition explores how cute became such a powerful—and sometimes dangerous—cultural force

Clockwise from top left: Molly Ringwald as Joanne Carson, Demi Moore as Ann Woodward, Naomi Watts as Babe Paley, Tom Hollander as Truman Capote and Diane Lane as Slim Keith in "Feud: Capote vs. the Swans"

The Real History Behind 'Feud: Capote vs. the Swans'

Ryan Murphy's new mini-series dramatizes the "In Cold Blood" author's betrayal of an insular group of Manhattan socialites

An expedition last fall captured a sonar image of a roughly plane-shaped object near Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean, which the team suggests could be Amelia Earhart's vehicle.

Have Researchers Found Amelia Earhart's Long-Lost Plane?

A new sonar image shows an airplane-shaped object resting on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, not far from where Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, went missing in 1937

A pair of illustrations from Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White, which launched the sensation novel trend of the 1860s

The Sensation Novelist Who Exposed the Plight of Victorian Women

Wilkie Collins drew on his legal training to dramatize the inequality caused by outdated laws regarding marital and property rights

Marie Curie was the first individual to win two Nobel Prizes.

Building Used by Marie Curie Saved From Demolition

Cultural heritage supporters are hoping to see the facility listed as a protected site

On the morning of September 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers in New York City came under attack Univision's senior national correspondent Blanca Rosa Vílchez was one of the first journalists on the scene.

Seven Trailblazing Latina Journalists Anchor a New Museum Exhibition

Covering war, hosting presidential debates and conducting uncomfortable interviews, these women speak truths to their community

Between Christmas Day in 1941 and April 1, 1946, North Platte Canteen volunteers met as many as 24 trains carrying 3,000 to 5,000 military personnel every day.

How the Women of the North Platte Canteen Fed Six Million Soldiers During World War II

Volunteers based out of a Nebraska train station offered American troops encouragement and free food, including birthday cakes and popcorn balls

As a museum artifact, Lillian Vernon's kitchen table, where she started her multimillion-dollar catalogue business, is "an evocative piece of material culture that speaks to female entrepreneurship and the 'second shift,' or running a business while simultaneously running a household,” says curator Kathleen Franz.

Lillian Vernon’s Catalog Empire Got Its Start at a Kitchen Table

A keen sense of what shoppers wanted made her eponymous company the first woman-owned business on the American Stock Exchange

Shawn Michael Warren's oil-on-linen portrait of Oprah Winfrey depicts the talk show host in a resplendent purple dress.

What the Color Purple Means to Oprah Winfrey

A new Shawn Michael Warren portrait of the legendary talk show host is now on view at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery

Photographs and other items connected to Florence Nightingale

These May Be the Last Photos Ever Taken of Florence Nightingale

The rare images are among a collection of artifacts connected to the "Lady with the Lamp" that recently sold at auction

A selection of outfits designed by women on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

New Met Exhibition Celebrates Women Fashion Designers

"Women Dressing Women" gives often-forgotten figures in fashion history their due

Jane Austen's signature is on the title page of the book.

Jane Austen's Annotated Copy of 'Curiosities of Literature' Is For Sale

The novelist used a pencil to underline roughly 15 passages from the text by Isaac D'Israeli

The traveling exhibition "Simone Leigh" is now on view at the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden through March 3, 2024, before traveling to Los Angeles next summer (above: the artist in 2021).

The World Is Running to Catch Up With Simone Leigh

The celebrated artist’s crusading works, now on view at the Hirshhorn Museum, upend the stereotypes too often foisted on Black women

Sandra Day O'Connor, Michael Arthur Worden Evans, circa 1982

How Sandra Day O’Connor Brought Compromise to the Supreme Court

The first woman justice to serve on the nation's highest court died on Friday at age 93

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