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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

Signs calling for the abolition of Columbus Day formed the backdrop for a protest in front of city hall in Flagstaff, Arizona.

The Evolution of Columbus Day Celebrations, From Italian Immigrant Pride to Indigenous Recognition

The holiday has been controversial practically since its inception

Taíno cacique Francisco Ramírez Rojas beats a palm frond to drive away bad spirits at a seaside ceremony of thanksgiving. A three-sided idol known as La Muñequina is thought to represent the Taíno belief that spirits of the dead are present among the living.

Who Were the Taíno, the Original Inhabitants of Columbus’ Island Colonies?

The Native people of Hispaniola were long believed to have died out. But a journalist's search for their descendants turned up surprising results

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

Jack Trice (second from left) and three of his teammates on the varsity football squad

This Black Football Player Was Fatally Injured During a Game. A Century Later, a College Stadium Bears His Name

Rival athletes trampled Jack Trice during his "first real college game." He died two days later at age 21

This statue of Christopher Columbus resides at Columbus Circle in front of Union Station in Washington, D.C. 

Breaking Down the United States' Historical Obsession With Christopher Columbus

Columbus became Columbus in the American Revolution—when the colonials sought out an origin story that didn’t involve the British

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

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

“Had it not been for the testament given [to] him by Mr. Foster, which received a second bullet, I doubt if you would have ever seen him again,” wrote journalist Benjamin Perley Poore in a letter to Merrill's father.

The Bible That Stopped a Bullet

In 1863, a New Testament tucked in the pocket of Union soldier Charles W. Merrill prevented a musket ball from mortally wounding him

Boatmen off North Sentinel Island in 1998

A Century Before the Residents of a Remote Island Killed a Christian Missionary, Their Predecessors Resisted the British Empire

When a white clergyman tried to punish captive Andamanese for their supposed misdeeds, they slapped him back

Patrons at the Eldorado, a popular LGBTQ cabaret in Berlin during the Weimar years

New Research Reveals How the Nazis Targeted Transgender People

Last year, a German court acknowledged the possibility that trans people were persecuted by the Nazis

The National Museum of the United States Air Force is on the grounds of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

How an Ohio Cow Pasture Gave Rise to a Monument to Aviation History

The National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio, celebrates 100 years

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

On September 18, 1873, an investment bank owned by Jay Cooke, who financed the construction of the Northern Pacific Railway, went bankrupt, sparking a multiyear financial crisis.

How One Robber Baron's Gamble on Railroads Brought Down His Bank and Plunged the U.S. Into the First Great Depression

In 1873, greed, speculation and overinvestment in railroads sparked a financial crisis that sank the U.S. into more than five years of misery

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

A German general ordered his troops to “destroy Viannos and promptly execute all males beyond the age of 16, as well as everyone who was arrested in the countryside, irrespective of age or gender.”

When the Nazis Massacred Greek Civilians to Send a Warning to Those Who Resisted

Eighty years ago, German soldiers killed an estimated 500 Cretans in Viannos and Ierapetra in retaliation for an attack by local partisans

An advertisement for California citrus, circa 1920

When California and Florida Attracted Settlers With Promises of a Perfect Climate

Today, they rank at the top of lists of U.S. states most at risk from climate change

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

When it comes to historical markers, the hidden truth is this: In any given state, as many as a dozen entities could be putting up signs at the same time.

Why Historical Markers Matter

Few realize that the approval process for these outdoor signs varies widely by state and organization, enabling unsanctioned displays to slip through