Smithsonian

41 articles
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How Oregon's Second Largest City Vanished in a Day

A segregated housing development washed away in a flood can still explain why Portland, Oregon, is such a “white” city.

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Can the Siberian Tiger Make a Comeback?

In Russia’s Far East, an orphaned female tiger is the test case in an experimental effort to save one of the most endangered animals on earth.

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Native Intelligence

The true story of the first Thanksgiving.

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The Race to Stop Africa’s Elephant Poachers

Hunting people who hunt elephants.

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Rise of the Sea Urchin

From Norwegian waters to European plates.

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The Amazing (If True) Story of the Submarine Mechanic Who Blew Himself Up Then Surfaced as a Secret Agent for Queen Victoria

The life and times of James McClintock, the man behind the famed H.L. Hunley who also may or may not have faked his own death.

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The High Priestess of Fraudulent Finance

Cassie Chadwick pulled her first con in 1870, at the age of 13. Over the next 30 years, she would scam her way to $633,000, about $16.5 million in today’s dollars.

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What Really Happened to Michael Rockefeller

More than 50 years after Nelson Rockefeller's son went missing following a boat accident in New Guinea, the true story emerges. He made it to shore, but didn't make it much farther.

Excerpted from Savage Harvest.

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Everything Was Fake but Her Wealth

Ida Wood, who lived for decades as a recluse in a New York City hotel, would have taken her secrets to the grave—if her sister hadn’t gotten there first.

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Why Oliver Sacks is One of the Great Modern Adventurers

The neurologist explores the mystery of hallucinations.

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The Strange and Mysterious History of the Ouija Board

What the popular game says about our subconscious.

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CSI: Italian Renaissance

On paleopathologist Gino Fornaciari and his investigations into murders from centuries past.