World War I

Italian artist Girolamo di Tommaso da Treviso created the ceremonial shield around 1535.

Ornate Medieval Shield Looted by the Nazis Will Be Returned to the Czech Republic

Created in the 16th century, the intricately decorated piece of armor was once owned by Archduke Franz Ferdinand

Procession marking the opening of the Belfast-based Ulster parliament in June 1921

One Hundred Years Ago, Northern Ireland's 'Unholy War' Resulted in a Deadly Summer

In July 1921, an outburst of sectarian violence in Belfast claimed 16 lives on the eve of a truce between Great Britain and Ireland

Cher Ami, April 1918–June 1919

Smithsonian Voices

Solving a 100-Year-Old Mystery About the Brave Pigeon Cher Ami

Science determines the most famous pigeon in World War I history was not a female, but a cock bird

Visitors explore during a sneak preview of the newly renovated Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Museum in Independence, Missouri. The $29 million expansion took 2 years to complete.

At the Harry Truman Library and Museum, Visitors Get to Ask Themselves Where the Buck Stops

Interactive exhibitions pose questions about the decision to drop the nuclear bomb, the Red Scare, Truman's foreign policy and more

This July 9, 2020, photograph shows a 14th-century bell tower peeking out of Lake Resia in northern Italy. The building—and the historic town it once stood in—were submerged in an artificial lake in 1950 to generate power for a nearby hydroelectric plant.

Submerged Italian Village Briefly Resurfaces After 70 Years Underwater

Construction work revealed the foundations of Curon, a historic alpine town, for the first time since 1950

Cheez-It’s 11-month shelf life is impressive, but so is the company’s history.

A Brief History of the Cheez-It

America's iconic orange cracker turns 100 this year

Warming temperatures allowed archaeologists to begin examining the barracks, which had previously been sealed off by a glacier, in 2017.

Cool Finds

Melting Glacier in the Italian Alps Reveals Trove of World War I Artifacts

Excavations at the summit of Mount Scorluzzo offer rare glimpse into lives of soldiers fighting in the White War

Some facets of the 1918 influenza pandemic echo today's crisis: There were mask mandates, campaigns against spitting and pleas for people to cover their mouths, and more than half a million Americans died. The decade that followed the pandemic, however, was marked by social change and economic prosperity—for some.

What Caused the Roaring Twenties? Not the End of a Pandemic (Probably)

As the U.S. anticipates a vaccinated summer, historians say measuring the impact of the 1918 influenza on the uproarious decade that followed is tricky

Rendering of the National World War I Memorial's wall of remembrance, which is set to be installed in 2024

How D.C.'s Newly Unveiled WWI Memorial Commemorates the Global Conflict

The space's central feature, a 60-foot-long wall of remembrance, remains unfinished

Cpl. Lawrence McVey poses at attention in a photographic postcard. The word "Hero" is inscribed at the top.

The Unmatched Bravery of the Harlem Hellfighters

A salute to the all-Black World War I fighting unit

Aviation pioneer Henry “Hap” Arnold (above: with the Fly Fortress "Memphis Bell") lead the Army Air Force to victory in World War II and later establish the U.S. Air Force as the best in the world.

How Gen. Henry 'Hap' Arnold, the Architect of American Air Power, Overcame His Fear of Flying

Despite his phobia, the five-star general built the U.S. Air Force

Could humans be visiting Venus in the future?

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Sister André, born Lucile Randon in 1904, has made a full recovery from Covid-19. Today, she turned 117.

Covid-19

World's Second-Oldest Person Recovers From Covid-19 in Time for 117th Birthday

Sister André, a French nun born in 1904, self-isolated but didn't experience any symptoms of the virus

Trench fever came to prominence during World War I, but new research suggests that the disease afflicted people long before the 20th century.

Before WWI, Trench Fever Plagued the Ancient Romans and Napoleonic Soldiers

Long associated with the Great War, the disease actually dates back at least 2,000 years, a new study suggests

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 couple hiking in the Alsace region of northeastern France spotted the tiny aluminum message capsule in a grassy field in September. The note, written in German in cursive script by a Prussian military officer, was probably attached to a carrier pigeon but never reached its destination.

Cool Finds

A Carrier Pigeon's Military Message Was Delivered a Century Too Late

A couple in Alsace, France, stumbled onto a capsule containing a cryptic note dated to either 1910 or 1916

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

Woodrow Wilson, seen here at the start of the Paris Peace Conference in January 1919, never publicly acknowledged the pandemic's toll on his country.

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What Happened When Woodrow Wilson Came Down With the 1918 Flu?

The president contracted influenza while attending peace talks in Paris, but the nation was never told the full, true story

A high-resolution survey scan of U-Boat U-47 shows a remarkably well-preserved wreck.

Wreck of U-Boat Sunk Off English Coast During WWI Explored for the First Time

Researchers used deep-sea scanning to learn more about the German submarine's history

A European bison in the Netherlands, which has also sought to reintroduce the herbivores.

Wild Bison to Roam Britain for First Time in Thousands of Years

A small herd of four European bison will be released into a woodland in southeastern England in spring 2022