Due to weather conditions, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum and the National Museum of the American Indian in New York will be closed January 27. The National Zoo will open at 10 a.m.

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October 2012

Smithsonian October 2012


Opening Announcements, Cover and Contents, Departments



Our theme for this month is power, from T.rex jaws to JPK's previously unpublished views shared at a dinner party


How Music Works, Black Swifts, "Midafternoon Midsummer"

By Various Artists


Secrets of American History

The Great American History Puzzle

See if you can crack the code on our nations secret history and win a behind the scenes tour of the Smithsonian

By Ken Jennings

Tom Sawyer Was Real

The young hero in Mark Twain’s novel was named for a firefighter that the humorist befriended during his days in San Francisco

By Robet Graysmith

The Great Vampire Panic

Acting on “horrible superstition,” 19th century New Englanders took alarming measures to stop predations by the undead

By Abigail Tucker

Photos That Prevented World War III

While researching a book on the Cuban missile crisis, the writer uncovered spy images that could have changed history

By Michael Dobbs

The Code Thief

A CIA burglar who thrived on thrills took the biggest risk of his career when he complained about short-comings within his own agency

By David Wise


National Treasure, "Black Hands", Books, Smithsonian, Fast Forward

By various authors