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A sampling of Native representation in the films (clockwise from top left) Killers of the Flower Moon (2023), War Party (1988), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), The Revenant (2015), Soldier Blue (1970), Little Big Man (1970) and Dances With Wolves (1990)

From Wild West Shows to 'Killers of the Flower Moon,' Revisit the History of Native Americans on the Silver Screen

How American Indians in Hollywood have gone from stereotypes to starring roles

A European depiction of Hasan Sabbah, an 11th-century leader of the Nizari Ismailis, and his followers in a garden paradise

The Medieval Sect That Inspired the Video Game 'Assassin's Creed'

The Order of Assassins is loosely based on the Nizari Ismailis, who formed a Shiite Muslim state that relied on political assassination to achieve its goal

A Grass Dance is a common sight during a powwow, part of many Native American traditions, usually performed by one of the Warrior dancers in the troupe.

Celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day With 15 Beautiful Photos That Capture the Richness of Native Culture

The diversity of the Native American experience is honored by the newly christened federal holiday

The New English Canaan by Thomas Morton criticized the Puritan government in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

A Brief History of Banned Books in America

Attempts to restrict what kids in school can read are on the rise. But American book-banning started with the Puritans, 140 years before the United States

Joan Baez at the Alabama State Capitol in 1965, from Joan Baez I Am a Noise, a Magnolia Pictures release.

Folk Icon Joan Baez Sings a Song of Herself

After decades in the limelight, the American musician who spent a career exposing the world’s problems explores her own past

Fountain With Butterflies in Periwinkle and Milk, 2022

Amber Cowan's Dioramas of Vintage Glass Will Transport You to Whimsical Worlds

The artist’s novel take on contemporary glasswork earned her the Smithsonian Women’s Committee 2023 Delphi Award

Historian Peter Mancall says New English Canaan is “not very long” and “not very well written,” but holds immense value in what it says about the nation’s founding.

How America's First Banned Book Survived and Became an Anti-Authoritarian Icon

The Puritans outlawed Thomas Morton's "New English Canaan" because it was critical of the society they were building in colonial New England

Nam June Paik’s 1995 Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii—a pulsing map of the 50 states lined with 575 feet of multicolored neon tubing, with each state defined by flickering video from 336 televisions and 50 DVD players—is one of the museum’s most popular pieces.

With Renovated Galleries, the Smithsonian Expands Its Approach to Contemporary American Art

The historic hall in the American Art Museum where President Abraham Lincoln held his second inaugural ball welcomes more diverse voices and visions

Performers at the 1963 Renaissance Pleasure Faire. Ron Patterson, a co-founder of the event, appears in orange at the far right.

The Surprisingly Radical Roots of the Renaissance Fair

The first of these festivals debuted in the early 1960s, serving as a prime example of the United States' burgeoning counterculture

Alma Thomas, Autumn Leaves Fluttering in the Breeze, 1973, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 50 in., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Bequest of the artist, 1980.36.9

Alma Thomas' Signature Style Is Full of Color and Tiled Brushstrokes

After a career as a schoolteacher, the Washington, D.C.-based painter flourished, creating vibrant patterns inspired by nature, the cosmos and music

Consumer products made from carbon capture can't undo the damage we’ve done to our planet—but each of them exists thanks to innovations that could. 

Little Luxuries Made With Captured Pollution Hint at Big Frontiers in Climate Science

Entrepreneurs are using jewelry, fragrances and clothing to demonstrate what’s possible with repurposed carbon—and environmentalists have questions

Outdoor pool at The Pines in So. Fallsburg, NY, 1979.

The Borscht Belt Was a Haven for Generations of Jewish Americans

A new exhibition examines the more than 1,000 resorts and hotels that dotted New York's Catskills Mountains and provided relaxation, dancing and laughs

Colorful beads, tassels and fabrics help a partygoer dress the part to celebrate New York City’s Hispanic Day Parade.

These 15 Photos Explore the Diversity and Rich Culture of Latino Americans

For Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs through October 15, enjoy these highlights from the Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest

Isabella Bird ascended the 14,259-foot-tall Longs Peak, now part of Rocky Mountain National Park.

Following British Explorer Isabella Bird's Footsteps Through the Rockies, 150 Years Later

The intrepid Victorian-era author proved that a lady’s life could be in the mountains, and I am forever grateful for that

Installation view of Jessica Diamond: Wheel Of Life at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 2023. Acrylic and latex paint on wall.

The Painted Poetry of Jessica Diamond

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum hosts the artist’s largest installation yet

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The Revolutionary Influence of the First English Children’s Novel

"The History of Little Goody Two-Shoes" told the tale of a bold heroine who forged her own path

A pod of ancient Nacional cacao offers hope for reforesting Ecuador’s Pacific coast, which by some estimates has lost 98 percent of its original forest cover over the past century.

The Quest to Save the World’s Most Coveted Chocolate

For these ambitious scientists in the rainforests of Ecuador, helping the environment has never tasted so sweet

Sholes and Glidden gussied up an early model with floral ornaments, in imitation of sewing machines.

Where Did the QWERTY Keyboard Come From?

From laptops to iPhones, the first successful typewriter’s keyboard layout lives on

One ancient graffiti artist carved this creature at the Philae temple complex—most likely a horse.

Archaeologists Are Using Modern Tools to Learn About Visitors to an Ancient Egyptian Temple

Pilgrims who left behind ancient graffiti are the subject of new research in the middle of the Nile

Rocks, an undated oil painting by Skinner, reflects the artist's penchant for juxtaposing the earthy tones of the Western desert with icy blue shadows and sky. 

Celebrating a Hidden Artistic Visionary of the American West

Charlotte Butler Skinner spent decades chronicling glorious mountains and deserts, in the company of Dorothea Lange and other influential friends