The Modern Craft Cocktail Movement Got Its Start During Prohibition

With America in the middle of a flourishing craft beer and craft spirits movement, it’s easy to forget that Prohibition was once the law of the land. One hundred years ago, on January 17, 1920, NProhibition went into effect, one year after Nebraska became the 36th of the country’s 48 states to ratify the 18th […]

One-Ton Boulder Returned to Arizona National Forest Following Brazen Theft

SmartNews Keeping you current The thief (or thieves) likely used heavy machinery to commit the crime “It’s unfortunate when we lose a treasure such as the Wizard Rock,” says district ranger Sarah Clawson. “These boulders belong to the public, and should be enjoyed by locals and visitors for years to come” (Courtesy of Prescott National […]

The Battle Over the Memory of the Spanish Civil War

Editor’s Note, October 24, 2019: Earlier today, Spanish authorities exhumed the remains of dictator Francisco Franco from the Valley of the Fallen, the Catholic basilica and tomb he built for himself during his 40-year rule. The site is also home to tens of thousands Civil War dead from both sides of the conflict, making it […]

Holly Cow! Fattest Bear of Them All Claims Coveted Title

Update, October 9, 2019: After seven days of fierce competition, the voters have determined which of the chubby cubbies of Alaska’s Katmai National Park and Preserve reigned supreme. And your 2019 winner is… 435  Holly. We say congratulations to all the bear-y good participants. Read all about #FatBearWeek2019 below:   Today marks the official start of Fat Bear Week, basically October Madness […]

How an Astonishing Holocaust Diary Resurfaced in America

Editor’s Note, September 24, 2019:The full English-language version of Renia Spiegel’s diary was published today. We wrote about her family’s rediscovery of the journal in our November 2018 issue. You can read our exclusive excerpt of Renia’s diary here. On January 31, 1939, a 15-year-old Jewish girl sat down with a school notebook in a […]

14 Fun Facts About Giant Pandas

Editor’s Note, September 11, 2019: The Smithsonian’s National Zoo announced today that the 21-year-old female giant panda Mei Xiang is not pregnant. “She has been experiencing a pseudopregnancy over the past several months,” the Zoo reported. “Giant pandas’ behavior and hormones mimic a pregnancy even if they are experiencing a pseudopregnancy. Reproductive scientists had been tracking Mei Xiang’s […]

What Makes Francisco Toledo ‘El Maestro’

Editor’s Note, September 6, 2019: Francisco Toledo, the titanic expressionist artist, mourned by Mexico and the world, has died at age 79 in his native Oaxaca. Earlier this year, writer Paul Theroux gained unprecedented access to Toledo for Smithsonian’s exclusive, in-depth profile of the artist-activist. When Francisco Toledo heard that a McDonald’s was to open […]

The Longest Running Web Cam, Set to Go Offline, Has Been Saved

SmartNews Keeping you current The camera has been recording San Francisco’s fog for 25 years FogCam’s view at the time of writing. (FogCam) August 21, 2019 | Updated: September 3, 2019 6:50PM Editor’s Note, September 3, 2019: Thanks to an outpouring of support after news that FogCam would be shuttered, officials at San Francisco State […]

What David Levinthal’s Photos of Toys Reveal About American Myth and Memory

SMITHSONIAN.COM | July 3, 2019, 6 a.m. Editor’s Note, August 27, 2019: In the latest Sidedoor podcast, host Lizzie Peabody visits with the New York-based artist David Levinthal in his studio and toured his exhibition, which remains on view at the Smithsonian American Art Museum through October 14. At first glance, David Levinthal’s Iwo Jima […]

The Washington Monument Will Reopen in September

SmartNews Keeping you current The discovery of contaminated soil pushed the timeline back for repairs Artist’s conception of the new screening center. (National Park Service) July 29, 2019 | Updated: August 16, 2019 4:18PM On September 19, the Washington Monument on the National Mall will reopen to the public, who will be able to […]

Why the Conservation of Orchids Is No Simple Matter

Editor’s Note, August, 7, 2019: The Smithsonian’s podcast Sidedoor released a new episode on orchids. We’re resurfacing this 2018 about the conservation work being done to better understand these extremely vulnerable plants. Orchids are the ultimate divas of the plant world, and not just the flamboyant ornamental ones favored by florists and horticulturalists. There are […]