History

    Ringed by aquamarine waters, Santa Rosa Island is a folded landscape of canyons, mountains, and hanging sea cliffs. But there’s more than meets the eye. Archaeological intrigue lingers on this arid isle, the second largest in California’s Channel Islands ...
    When the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C., on Memorial Day 1922, its symbolism resonated with onlookers. A far cry from the idealism advanced by previous memorials, such as Horatio Greenough’s bare-chested George Washington, this colossa...
    SMART NEWSPast ImperfectCan Greece and the U.K. Finally Broker a Deal to Return the Elgin Marbles to Athens?New talks raise old questions about the ancient Parthenon sculptures The Parthenon sculptures are also known as the Elgin Marbles.Photo by David Cl...
    HISTORYThe Civil War Drastically Reshaped How Americans Deal With Death. Will the Pandemic?Around 750,000 people died during the conflict—2.5 percent of the country’s population at the timeLast September, an installation of almost 700,000 white flag...
    SMART NEWSCool FindsVolunteers Uncover Rare, 4,800-Year-Old Stone Circle in EnglandGround scans at Castilly Henge revealed seven pits where ancient stones once stood The Neolithic-Era henge was completely obscured by overgrown vegetation.Heritage EnglandR...
    SMART NEWSMan Ray’s Iconic Portrait of Kiki de Montparnasse Is Now the Most Expensive Photo Ever Sold at AuctionThe Surrealist and Dada artist superimposed violin f-holes on his muse’s backMan Ray,Le Violon dIngres(1924).Courtesy of Christie'sN...
    SMART NEWSUnlocking the Secrets of the ‘Clotilda,’ the Last Known Slave ShipArchaeological divers spent 10 days evaluating the sunken ship in the Mobile River, and took samples for possible traces of DNAThe Clotilda has been at the bottom of t...
    SMART NEWSThe ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ Is Coming Back—Without Circus AnimalsAfter seemingly closing for good five years ago, Ringing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will launch a new, more modern show in 2023 Tiger tamer Alexander Lacey gets his tig...
    HISTORYWhat Makes the Library of Congress a Monument to DemocracyThe world’s largest book repository has expanded far beyond its original scope to include sound recordings and digitized collectionsThe Great Hall boasts works by nearly 50 American painters...
    SMART NEWSCambodia Asks U.K. Cultural Institutions to Return Looted StatuesBritish museums contain hundreds of allegedly stolen temple treasures This statue was looted from the Koh Ker temple complex in Cambodia in the 1970s.Omar Havana/Getty ImagesFor de...
    SMART NEWSAncient Molar Found in Laos Could Help Fill in a Gap in Human HistoryResearchers believe the tooth belongs to a Denisovan girl, making it the first fossil evidence of these hominins in Southeast AsiaThe tooth from Laos thought to belong to a Den...
    In 1953, Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide Tenzing Norgay became the first people to scale Mount Everest. The summit is still seeing historic firsts nearly 70 years later. The latest trailblazers belong to the Full Circle Everest expedition, the first a...
    An early Air Force definition for the term UFO from the 1950s characterizes it as “any airborne object which by performance, aerodynamic characteristics, or unusual features, does not conform to any presently known aircraft or missile type, or which canno...
    There’s reading for pleasure—but there’s also reading for treasure.If you want to do the latter, you can pick up one of several books that contain hidden clues that lead to a buried treasure or cash prize. The genre is sometimes called “armchair treasure ...
    In 1977, Joani Blank opened a small sex shop called Good Vibrations in San Francisco’s Mission District. The store allowed customers to purchase sex toys in a friendly, shame-free environment—which was far from common practice at the time—and plenty of ea...
    When German businessman Heinrich Schliemann discovered a cache of ancient artifacts in the place now known as Hisarlik, Turkey, in 1873, he was quick to identify the gold jewelry, silver vases and other precious objects as the treasure of Priam, the legen...
    SMART NEWSCool FindsThis Huge Underground City May Have Been a Refuge for 70,000 Early ChristiansThe complex may have been used as a shelter during Roman rule in Turkey Workers discovered the massive complex after coming across a hidden access point durin...