World War II

Shoichi Yokoi fled to the jungles of Guam to avoid capture in the summer of 1944. He remained in hiding until January 1972.

The Japanese WWII Soldier Who Refused to Surrender for 27 Years

Unable to bear the shame of being captured as a prisoner of war, Shoichi Yokoi hid in the jungles of Guam until January 1972

The multidisciplinary team suggests that Arnold van den Bergh, a notary and member of Amsterdam's Jewish Council, gave the Secret Annex's address to the Nazis to avoid deportation.

New Research

Did a Jewish Notary Betray Anne Frank to the Nazis?

A six-year investigation posits that Arnold van den Bergh disclosed the diarist's hiding place to protect his family from deportation

Lawrence Brooks, 110, pictured at a previous birthday celebration at the National World War II Museum

Lawrence Brooks, the United States' Oldest Living WWII Veteran, Dies at 112

Brooks was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1940, when he was in his early 30s

The 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life stars James Stewart as down-on-his-luck George Bailey and Donna Reed as his wife, Mary.

What 'It's a Wonderful Life' Teaches Us About American History

The Christmas classic, released 75 years ago, conveys many messages beyond having faith in one another

Of a total crew of 864 men, 429 were killed on the USS Oklahoma, sunk at Pearl Harbor 80 years ago. New DNA testing has allowed scientists to identify 90 percent of the remains in the last few years.

Eighty Years After Pearl Harbor, New DNA Tech Helps Identify Victims of the Attack

Researchers say they have now identified over 90 percent of the remains of those killed aboard the USS Oklahoma

The capsized hull of the U.S.S. Oklahoma (right) is visible next to the U.S.S. Maryland.

The Story Behind Pearl Harbor's Most Successful Rescue Mission

Eighty years ago, civilian Julio DeCastro and his colleagues at the Hawaii base's naval yard saved 32 sailors trapped inside the U.S.S. "Oklahoma"

New memorials provide a bare outline of the lives of two Black victims killed during the Holocaust.

New Memorials in Berlin Honor the Holocaust's Overlooked Black Victims

Two brass "stumbling stones" are among the first to memorialize the Afro-German people murdered by the Nazis

This year's list includes Four Lost Cities, About Time and The Man Who Hated Women.

The Best Books of 2021

The Ten Best History Books of 2021

Our favorite titles of the year resurrect forgotten histories and help explain how the U.S. got to where it is today

Dozens of Smithsonian Institution professionals share their favorite reads from this year.

The Best Books of 2021

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2021

The writings of many fine authors support the research and ambitious undertakings of an Institution rising to the challenges ahead

Kabance joined the Women's Army Corps in 1943.

Women Who Shaped History

Julia Kabance, Oldest Known Woman Veteran of World War II, Dies at 111

She was also the oldest living member of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation

The $11 million listing features a post office, a gas station, residences and more.

You Could Own a Former Military Town in New Mexico

In its heyday, Fort Wingate housed Buffalo Soldiers, Navajo code talkers and a future general

The museum acquired the collection in recognition of its historical significance—and to keep the objects from circulating elsewhere.

German Museum Acquires 15,000 Artifacts Documenting the History of Anti-Semitism

Holocaust survivor Wolfgang Haney collected the items over three decades

The cake may have been baked for a Palm Sunday celebration.

Cool Finds

WWII Bombing Raid Eerily Preserved This 79-Year-Old Charred Cake

Researchers discovered the blackened hazelnut-and-almond dessert in the ruins of a German house destroyed in March 1942

On October 24, 1944, the Battle of Leyte Gulf had just begun when two Hellcat pilots U.S. Navy Capt. David McCampbell and his wingman Ens. Roy Rushing spotted a squadron of 60 Japanese aircraft, including bombers escorted by Zeroes (above: a 1943 photograph of Grumman F6F Hellcats in flight).

In One Mission in October 1944, Two F6F Hellcats Shot Down a Record 15 Enemy Aircraft

U.S. Navy Pilots David McCampbell and Roy Rushing made history in a heroic air battle over the Leyte Gulf

Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes was serving as a consul general in France when the Nazis invaded the country.

The Untold Story of the Portuguese Diplomat Who Saved Thousands From the Nazis

As the German army marched across France, Aristides de Sousa Mendes faced a choice: obey his government or follow his conscience—and risk everything

"Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams" is on view at the Brooklyn Museum through February 20, 2022.

Tracing Christian Dior's Evolution, From the Postwar 'New Look' to Contemporary Feminism

An exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in New York chronicles the fashion house's 75-year history

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

Umeno Sumiyama (left) and Koume Kodama (right) with their official certificates

107-Year-Old Japanese Sisters Are the World's Oldest Identical Twins

Umeno Sumiyama and Koume Kodama were born on the island of Shodoshima on November 5, 1913

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

Three firefighters—George Johnson, Dan McWilliams and Bill Eisengrein—raising the American flag on September 11, 2001. This last of the series remains the most striking, yet least-known depiction of this scene.

September 11

A Lesser-Known Photo of an Iconic 9/11 Moment Brings Shades of Gray to the Day's Memory

On the 20th anniversary of the attacks, photographers who immortalized the famous scene reflect on what their images capture and what remains out of frame

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