History

Editor’s Note, March 12, 2020: Starting Friday, March 13, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will temporarily close “to support New York City’s effort to contain the spread of COVID-19,” reports the New York Times. A diverse display of 100 teapots is among the most thought-provoking elements in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s reimagined British Galleries,
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SMITHSONIANMAG.COM | March 12, 2020, 6 a.m. The first woman to rule England in her own right didn’t simply inherit the throne. She seized it with unprecedented ambition from those who sought to thwart her. Historian Sarah Gristwood describes the ascension of Mary I as a “staggeringly bold” course of action undertaken with little chance
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The 14th-century Persian poet Hafez, known for a collection of philosophical and mystical verse titled the Divan, is one of Iran’s most celebrated literary figures. Born in Shiraz in approximately 1325, the poet is revered for his mastery of the ghazal, a form of Arabic verse centered on love and loss. Today, his tomb is
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If the Nazis had invaded Great Britain during World War II, they would have faced an uprising of scallywags—specifically, the Auxiliary Units also known as Winston Churchill’s “secret army.” These elite fighters, chosen for their knowledge of the surrounding landscape, were among the United Kingdom’s last line of defense. Tasked with sabotaging enemy invaders, the
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On June 4, 1919, the U.S. Senate followed the U.S. House of Representatives in passing what would become the 19th Amendment, which removed “sex” as a legal basis for denying citizens the right to vote. One triumphant woman—then known as Helen Hamilton Gardener—rushed to attend the signing ceremony. After all, she’d planned it—down to purchasing
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Can you name five women artists? For plenty of people, the answer is no—a fact the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is actively trying to change. Every March since 2016, the Washington, D.C.-based institution has celebrated Women’s History Month by rolling out its #5WomenArtists campaign, which strives to combat gender inequity in
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At first glance, Bob Damron’s Address Book reads like any other travel guide. Bars, restaurants, hotels and businesses are grouped by city and state, their names and addresses listed in alphabetical order. An introductory note reassures readers that the information contained within the volume is up-to-date, while classifications written in abbreviated parentheticals offer travelers additional
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In 1854, Florence Nightingale arrived at a military hospital in Scutari, near Constantinople, to tend British soldiers wounded during the Crimean War. Appalled by the conditions—rodents and vermin running rampant, patients lying in their own filth, a woeful lack of basic medical supplies—she quickly set about implementing reforms. Nightingale was a tireless nurse; at night,
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Easter Island’s iconic collection of moai—massive stone monoliths built by the outcrop’s first inhabitants many centuries ago—now stands one fewer. On Sunday, a runaway truck careened down a hillside before crashing into and toppling the statue, causing “incalculable” damage, reports Juanita García for El Mercurio de Valparaíso. In the days since, officials have arrested an
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