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June 11, 2021

Smithsonian

The Immigrant History of the NYC Neighborhood Behind ‘In the Heights’

Smithsonian
The setting of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights is as central to the musical’s plot as its characters. Home to a vibrant Latino community, Washington Heights, known colloquially as “Little Dominican Republic,” comes alive on stage and on screen, imbuing every scene with an unmistakable, pulsating presence. Situated in the......

Where Did the Rainbow Flag Come From, Anyway?

Smithsonian
Smithsonian Voices National Museum of American History Where Did the Rainbow Flag Come From, Anyway? June 8th, 2021, 3:00PM / BY GVGK Tang Miscellaneous objects from the museum’s collection that feature rainbows, including “That’s So Gay!” trivia game, coasters, and flags promoting marriage equality and immigration equality (NMAH) This post......

The Enduring Myths of ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

Smithsonian
“That belongs in a museum!” Indiana Jones shouts at the man in the Panama hat, instantly creating the most memorable archaeological catch phrase of all time, though perhaps the competition isn’t all that fierce. Forty years after Raiders of the Lost Ark premiered to the public on June 12, 1981,......

Remembering the Supermarine Spitfire, Iconic Fighter Plane of World War II

Smithsonian
SMITHSONIANMAG.COM | June 4, 2021, 12:55 p.m. Flight Lieutenant Robert Stanford Tuck of the Royal Air Force was closing in on his quarry. He had just shot down one Messerschmitt Bf 110 and then narrowly avoided a collision with another of the twin-engine fighters over the coast of Dunkirk in......

The Enduring Nostalgia of American Girl Dolls

Smithsonian
SMITHSONIANMAG.COM | June 3, 2021, 8 a.m. Growing up, Sydney Rose Paulsen often viewed the world through a specific lens: namely, American Girl dolls and books. “I read [the stories] dozens of times,” the 23-year-old recalls. “They were my context for how people who didn’t have my background or grew......

Decades After the Tulsa Race Massacre, Urban ‘Renewal’ Sparked Black Wall Street’s Second Destruction

Smithsonian
The Tulsa Daily World’s June 2, 1921, morning edition headline read: “Dead Estimated at 100: City is Quiet. $2000 to Start Fund for Relief. Negros Gladly Accept Guards. 5,000 Negro Refugees Guarded in Camp at County Fairgrounds.” Fewer than 24 hours after Ku Klux Klan leaders—along with the Tulsa Police......

Sixty-Five Years Ago, Althea Gibson Broke the Color Line at the French Open

Smithsonian
SMITHSONIANMAG.COM | June 1, 2021, 12:40 p.m. The French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament is roiling as Naomi Osaka, one of the sport’s stars and a woman of color, has withdrawn in the face of threatened sanctions after she decided not to participate in post-match press briefings. Osaka took a......

The Fight to Legalize Gay Marriage, the Woman Who Couldn’t Be Silenced and Other New Books to Read

Smithsonian
When Hawaiian broadcast engineer Genora Dancel fell in love with Ninia Baehr, the daughter of a co-worker, in the summer of 1990, she had no qualms about proposing. But the pair soon faced an obstacle beyond their control: Hawaii, like every other American state at the time, prohibited same-sex couples......

Sacco and Vanzetti’s Trial of the Century Exposed Injustice in 1920s America

Smithsonian
For six years, starting in 1921, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti watched from death row as writers argued for their freedom, politicians debated their case, and radicals held protests and set off bombs in their names. They managed to rally support even from people who initially condemned them. But by......

Live from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and 26 Other Smithsonian Programs Streaming in June

Smithsonian
Smithsonian Voices Smithsonian Associates Live from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and 26 Other Smithsonian Programs Streaming in June May 20th, 2021, 12:48PM / BY Lauren Lyons On June 3 live from Panama, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute staff share their ground-breaking research on tropical forests and marine ecosystems. Smithsonian Associates......

Remembering Tulsa

Smithsonian
On May 31 and June 1, 1921, a white mob attacked Greenwood, Oklahoma, the most prosperous Black community in the nation. The rioters killed an estimated 300 Black residents and left an additional 10,000 unhoused. They also burned down at least 1,256 residences, churches, schools and businesses, destroying almost 40......

Reflections on the Artifacts Left Behind From the Tulsa Race Massacre

Smithsonian
SMITHSONIANMAG.COM | May 24, 2021, 6 a.m. In this series of four vignettes, Paul Gardullo, a curator with the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), tells the stories behind objects in the Smithsonian collections from the Tulsa Race Massacre on its 100th anniversary. When NMAAHC was chartered......

A Brief History of the Cheez-It

Smithsonian
Dayton’s historic Edgemont neighborhood is cocooned inside a crook in the Great Miami River, a winding waterway that snakes through the heart of southwest Ohio. Two miles from downtown, with its air of industry, the community hearkens to a time when Dayton was hailed “The City of A Thousand Factories.”......

Stephanie St. Clair, Harlem’s ‘Numbers Queen,’ Dominated the Gambling Underground and Made Millions

Smithsonian
On the eve of the Great Depression, with Prohibition in full swing, everyone in Harlem knew the name Stephanie St. Clair, the “queen of numbers.” A gangster, civil rights advocate, fashionista and businesswoman, she took on one of the biggest crime bosses of the era—and lived to tell about it.......

You Can Thank Black Horticulturist Booker T. Whatley for Your CSA

Smithsonian
Last spring, farms across the country saw a surge in demand for their CSA programs, with signups and waitlists that flourished at rates not seen before. As families sheltered in place at home and farmers’ markets either closed or ran under tight restrictions, more people turned directly to local farms......

Behind This Photo Is the Story of Two Asian American Folk Heroes

Smithsonian
One of the most iconic images of Yuri Kochiyama shows the young political activist cradling the head of her friend, Malcolm X, as he lay dying after being gunned down by assassins. This memorable scene reflects only a moment in the decades-long civic activism of this driven, passionate hero and......

The Olympic Star Who Just Wanted to Go Home

Smithsonian
One morning in November 1906, a Hopi teenager on the Second Mesa of the Arizona reservation awoke to pandemonium. A U.S. Army officer was calling the villagers together. He said the government had reached the limit of its patience. For two decades, the tribe had refused to send its children......

The Story Behind the Photography Studio That Captured America

Smithsonian
The aspiring photographer David Bachrach was still just a teenager in Baltimore when he landed an apprenticeship at Harper’s Weekly. His big break came in November of 1863 when the magazine sent him on assignment to Pennsylvania, where he took one of only three confirmed photographs of Abraham Lincoln at......

Why Did NASA Test a Helicopter on Mars?

Smithsonian
Q: We already send rovers to Mars. Why did NASA test a helicopter there? —Marjorie Mathews | Silver Spring, Maryland As the former director of the National Air and Space Museum, Ellen Stofan hates to say anything critical of rovers—but rovers can’t move as fast as people do. “Just think......

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