Smithsonian Magazine May 2021

Smithsonian Magazine takes you on a journey through history, science, world culture and technology with breathtaking images from around the world.

United States
Smithsonian Institute
kr 36,10
kr 180,86
11 Utgaver

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2 min

“This was calculated, systemic state-sponsored terrorism.” Remembering Tulsa Reading the article about the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre (“American Terror”), I felt an incredibly deep sadness, rage of epic proportions, and, quite honestly, bewilderment. In 100 years, much has changed, but so much has remained the same. Black people, my people, are still fighting to catch their breath, to live in peace without fear of being murdered at the hands of those who simply refuse to see their humanity. Thank you for such a thorough documentation of this often overlooked piece of American history. It is my hope that it sparks a conversation that culminates in empathy. America needs a heavy dose. — Melissa Alexander | Atlanta I was mesmerized, saddened and enraged by the historical realities described in “The Promise of Oklahoma.” Thank you…

2 min
the power of research

EARLIER THIS YEAR, when leading infectious disease doctor Anthony Fauci entrusted his personal coronavirus model to the Smithsonian, I was doubly thrilled. To me, this gift was more than an acknowledgment of our role as the keeper of national history. It was also a reminder of vital but often underappreciated aspects of our work: scientific research, application and education. Though it tends to draw less public attention than our museum exhibitions, research is the engine that propels the Smithsonian forward. It drives our exhibitions and guides our educational efforts. Whether we’re studying the long-term effects of climate change, measuring the impacts of Covid-19 or gazing up into the solar system, Smithsonian research changes the way we understand our place in the world. Again and again, the past year has impressed upon me…

4 min
corps values

IN MARCH 2020, AT THE START OF COVID-19 lockdowns, as flights were grounded and people around the world sheltered in place, 7,000-odd Peace Corps volunteers serving in 61 nations came home to an uncertain future. Many worried that the Peace Corps might even have to shut down permanently. That hasn’t happened, but the nation’s foremost global volunteer organization has no volunteers in the field for the first time since its founding 60 years ago. Practicing a uniquely American blend of idealism and realpolitik, the agency was conceived in October 1960, when Senator John F. Kennedy made a 2 a.m. campaign speech at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Kennedy, then running for president, challenged 10,000 students assembled outside the Student Union to use their skills to help people around the…

2 min
lending a hand at home

UNLIKE THE PEACE CORPS, with its Cold War focus on foreign lands, these leading charities were launched to solve problems at home, such as growing poverty and urban crowding, and were founded in the 19th century, amid the moral and spiritual revival sometimes known as the Third Great Awakening. They remain potent symbols of Americans’ generosity, collecting some $7.5 billion in donations in 2019. 1851 AMERICAN YMCA The sea captain Thomas Valentine Sullivan made waves for surviving a shipwreck in Antarctica and a pirate attack off the coast of Brazil. But his most lasting legacy came while doing missionary work among the seamen of Boston. Inspired by a London-based group called the Young Men’s Christian Association, founded in 1844, Sullivan launched the first U.S. YMCA in 1851. Today, there are 2,700 YMCAs nationwide. 1880 SALVATION…

1 min
lessons learned

ACROSS THE SOUTH, some 500 modest structures still stand as monuments to an extraordinary partnership formed more than a century ago between Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute, and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, the chief executive of Sears. Under Jim Crow, most schools available to African Americans were inadequate and underfunded. But between 1912 and 1937, the Rosenwald Schools program helped black communities build 4,978 new schoolhouses. “They fundamentally changed the educational experience of African Americans,” says photographer Andrew Feiler, whose new book, A Better Life for Their Children, documents 105 of the remaining buildings. Most closed soon after the Supreme Court ruled segregated schools unconstitutional, in 1954, but by that time they had already helped to educate the civil rights generation—among hundreds of thousands of alumni were Medgar…

9 min
roget gets the last word

IN JANUARY 1802, Peter Mark Roget was an ambivalent young medical school graduate with no clear path. He lacked the professional connections that were crucial to a fledgling English physician and was eager for a reprieve from a life largely orchestrated by his widowed mother, Catherine, and his uncle and surrogate father, Samuel Romilly, who together had steered him to study medicine. Roget had spent the previous four years since his graduation taking additional courses and working odd jobs, even volunteering in the spring of 1799 as a test subject at the Pneumatic Institution in Clifton, England, for a trial of the sedative nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. With no immediate professional path, he felt unsettled and despondent. Romilly suggested a change of scenery. Accordingly, he introduced his nephew…