How black Philadelphians fought for soldiers during World War I

Worried wounded African American soldiers weren't receiving the same level of care as white soldiers, the Crispus Attucks Circle took matters into their own hands.

Matt Shepard objects in our collection remind us of the familiarity of an LGBTQ icon

In October 1998, a college student named Matt Shepard was brutally murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, by two young men. Matt was slight of build, 5'2", and gay. The two men who murdered him pretended to be gay in order to rob him. His killing made headlines around the world and resulted in an outpouring of grief and anger that people channeled into poetry, songs and musical compositions, movies, a charity foundation, a national Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and at least two plays, The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later.

EDM in the history museum: Steve Aoki gear travels the world and finds a home at the museum

Steve Aoki's pounding bass rhythms and bright LED displays made this electronic dance music (EDM) DJ a world famous entertainer—and part of American history.

Place on the plate: Smith Island, Chesapeake Bay

The women of Smith Island are known for creating multilayered cakes for church suppers, fundraisers, and other community events. After gaining attention over the years, in 2006, Smith Island cake was named the official dessert of Maryland.

Musician José Feliciano shook up a baseball tradition at age 23

José Feliciano will remain forever celebrated for his perennial Christmas classic "Feliz Navidad," one of his many hit recordings that have resulted in 45 Gold and Platinum records and eight Grammy awards. His launch to stardom began 50 years ago, with his hit 1968 recording of "Light My Fire," but it was not until his appearance at a baseball game later that fall that he truly became a household name.

4 music-inspiring objects through the eyes of our Making American Music interns

As interns in the Making American Music project, we use the inspiration of the museum collections and exhibitions to make music and engage museum visitors in a conversation about the relationship between music and history in the U.S.

Reflecting on the Queen of Soul's reign in American culture

Today we're reflecting on the life of singer, songwriter, diva, civil rights activist, and cultural icon Aretha Franklin. Over 100 of Franklin's records, mostly 45s and 33s, are in our collection, together chronicling the vast expanse and depth of her recording career.

An anti-slavery anthem reimagined for today

Inside the museum stands a two-story house. In that house is a small piano with sheet music. That song: an anthem of emancipation.

"What's on your neighbor's table..."

Like okra slime in a bowl of gumbo, questions about Southern food swirled around the minds of the Smithsonian Food History Team as we focused on this year's annual theme.

M*A*S*H ended, but is not gone or forgotten

For many Americans, the Korean War ended on February 28, 1983, when the long-running television series set during the war, M*A*S*H, aired its final episode.

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