The Best Places to See Reindeer Around the World

Reindeer have been synonymous with Christmas since Clement C. Moore published his famous poem, “A Visit from Saint Nicholas,” in 1823, but despite Dasher’s and Dancer’s annual house calls, spotting these furry mammals can be a challenge. That’s because reindeer are usually found in the far northern regions of Europe, North America and Asia, areas […]

Looking Back at George H.W. Bush’s Lifelong Career of Public Service

Throughout his nearly 30-year career in government, former President George H.W. Bush, who died on Friday at the age of 94, served in a dizzying number of positions, from Texas state Republican Party chairman to the highest office of the land. In between, he served as a congressman, ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of […]

Watch NASA Land the InSight Spacecraft on Mars

Update, 3:02 p.m. EST: The InSight spacecraft has successfully landed on Mars. After entering the atmosphere of Mars at more than five times the speed of sound, the craft’s heat shield, parachute and retrorockets brought it down for a soft touchdown on the Red Planet. The spacecraft sent an image and a signal back to […]

The Woman Who Invented the Green Bean Casserole

Editor’s Note, November 19, 2018: With Thanksgiving approaching, we are resurfacing this October 2018 story about a holiday favorite. This Thanksgiving, some 20 million Americans will tuck into green bean casserole, a culinary classic consisting of just six ingredients: a can of Campbell’s cream of mushroom soup, milk, soy sauce, black pepper, green beans and […]

How Photographer Alfred Wertheimer Captured Elvis Presley’s Kiss

Editors Note, November 16, 2018: In honor of what would have been Alfred Wertheimer’s 89th birthday today. We are resurfacing this interview with the photographer, who died at age 84 in 2014. An exhibition of his photographs of Elvis Presley appeared at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in 2010 and we interviewed Wertheimer at the […]

The Surprising Origins of Kotex Pads

Editor’s Note, November 9, 2018: With Veterans Day approaching, we are resurfacing this 2017 story about how a World War I invention led to Kotex pads. What’s in a name? For Kotex, the first-ever brand of sanitary napkins to hit the U.S., everything. The disposable sanitary napkin was a high-tech invention (inspired, incidentally, by military […]

Top 10 Real-Life Grinches Who Did Their Best to Steal Christmas

With the release of yet-another adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, here’s a look at 10 instances of people who deserved a bit of coal in their Christmas stockings. 1. Brock Chisholm was a distinguished Canadian psychiatrist who, as the first director-general of the World Health Organization, came to be called the […]

35 Places to Commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the End of World War I

From 1914 to 1918, the wealthy and powerful Western nations and empires that had come to dominate the globe wrecked themselves in a paroxysm of destruction unmatched in any previous era. Empires toppled, millions died and the world changed forever. In the wake of the First World War, nations sought appropriate forms of public mourning and commemoration […]

Why Women Bring Their ‘I Voted’ Stickers to Susan B. Anthony’s Grave

SmartNews Keeping you current It’s a small tribute to a big leader in women’s suffrage American women wouldn’t be able to sport ‘I Voted’ stickers if not for Susan B. Anthony. (Greta Page-Mann) smithsonian.com April 20, 2016 | Updated: November 6, 2018 9:33PM Update, November, 6, 2018: As citizens across the country go to the polls to […]

Preserving the Home of Selma Heraldo, Neighbor and Friend of Louis Armstrong

SmartNews Keeping you current Heraldo bequeathed her home to the Louis Armstrong House Museum, which plans to renovate the property with the help of a sizable city grant People crowding in front of Selma’s House on the opening day of the Louis Armstrong House Museum in 2003. (Courtesy of the Louis Armstrong House Museum) smithsonian.com […]

Man-Eating Tigress Killed in India, Lured by Calvin Klein Cologne

In what Indian officials are calling the most intense tiger hunt in recent memory, a female tiger that is said to have killed 13 people in India over the last two years was shot and killed on November 2. Hunters initially tried to tranquilize the tiger, but she became aggressive and allegedly charged the group. […]

When Pulling a Lever Tallied the Vote

Editor’s Note, November 1, 2018: With Election Day approaching, we are resurfacing this 2004 story about an 1890s gear-and-lever voting machine in the Smithsonian collections. Like most Americans, I still remember my first vote in a presidential election. I think I won’t mention the candidates, though rest assured Warren G. Harding was not one of […]

Take a Trip Through Edgar Allan Poe’s America

(Wikimedia Commons) Edgar Allan Poe was born in Boston, and published some of his most famous works while living in the city. But Poe never felt at home in Boston—and the city, famous for authors like Emerson and Thoreau, never welcomed Poe as one of their own, either. The feud was partly sparked by comments […]

Where to See the World’s Biggest Spiders

Don’t freak out—our arachnid friends help more than hurt (Smithsonian National Zoo) smithsonian.com October 31, 2016 | Updated: 35 minutes ago Currently, more than 46,000 spider species stretch their eight legs in habitats across the world, in every country and continent except Antarctica. And those are only the ones scientists have been able to find […]