History

For nearly 30 years, Alaskan Ahtna Athabascan elder Katie John awaited resolution to her peaceful battle over Native subsistence rights. The legal dispute—centering on her family’s right to fish in Batzulnetas, a historic village and fish camp in Wrangell-St. Elias National Park—made it all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court’s ruling
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Hundreds of cultural institutions around the world—including the Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums, galleries, gardens and National Zoo—have closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But thanks to a growing array of digital offerings, museum lovers have plenty of options for experiencing world-class institutions from home. (See Smithsonian magazine’s roundups of museums you can remotely visit, collections available
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The Other Madisons: The Lost History of a President’s Black Family For Ruby Laura Madison Wilson, her family’s ties to President James Madison had long been a point of pride. “Always remember—you’re a Madison,” she told her daughter, author Bettye Kearse. “You come from African slaves and a president.” Kearse, however, felt differently. She was
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In late 19th-century Leeds, the drinks were plentiful and strong—and, unfortunately, spiked with quite a bit of lead. Archaeological Services WYAS’ ongoing excavation of a series of Georgian and Victorian period cellars has revealed an unexpected cache of centuries-old beer bottles some 600 strong, reports Andrew Hutchinson for the Yorkshire Evening Post. Originally thought to
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As Europe worked to rebuild in the aftermath of World War II, cartoon character Asterix—a plucky Gallic warrior whose superhuman strength enables him to outwit outlandishly incompetent Roman legions—emerged as a symbol of perseverance, assuring war-weary readers that the continent would continue to endure against all odds. “It’s David against Goliath,” said “Asterix” co-creator Albert
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History and science are essential to processing new information as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Here, Smithsonian magazine provides information for those who want to learn from the past, understand the present and look to the future. Featuring in-depth explainers, basic virology lessons, virtual travel stories and historical analysis, this hub is home to our best
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SMITHSONIANMAG.COM | March 24, 2020, 7:20 a.m. Many of his new ideas simply became an accepted part of what we know about this planet; others were superseded by his colleagues and successors. However, between the 1820s and 1850s Alexander von Humboldt was one of the most widely admired public figures in the world. Humboldt, who
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Three miles off the northern coast of Canada’s Yukon territory, a 44-square-mile island once at the center of the Arctic whaling industry lies largely abandoned. Called Herschel Island-Qikiqtaruk Territorial Park, the site is the traditional home of the Inuvialuit Inuit tribe; it also houses Pauline Cove, a whaling town deserted after demand for whale products
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