US Preservationist Group Pinpoints 11 Endangered Sites

We hear a lot about endangered species. But each year for 24 years, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has been spotlighting 11 endangered places in the United States – from battlefields to state and national parks to the deteriorating homes of legendary Americans. Even eccentric old motels and gas stations have made the list.

Nature’s Best Captured in Award-Winning Photos

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History is home to a collection of more than 124 million objects, including ancient dinosaur bones and the celebrated Hope Diamond, which many regard as the world’s most famous jewel. But tucked away on the second floor of the iconic institution is another gem of an exhibit which has

Vatican Revives Role as Premier Art Patron

The Vatican – once the world’s premier art patron – is again reaching out to artists, organizing an exhibit of contemporary works. Sixty living artists, including two Americans, were invited to reflect on the theme of truth and charity. U.S. artist Max Cole, 75, was one of them. She found herself shaking hands with Pope

Decoys Aren’t Just for Hunters Anymore

Havre de Grace, Maryland is a popular destination for hunters because it’s located where the Susquehanna River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, a well-known habitat for waterfowl. However, more and more visitors to the small town are seeking a different kind of bird — wooden decoys, the town’s traditional craft. Self-proclaimed decoy capital of the

Italy Unveils Newly Discovered Statue of Emperor Caligula

Italy has unveiled a statue believed to be a rare depiction of the notorious Roman emperor Caligula sitting on a throne like the Greek god Zeus. Officials say the 2.5-meter statue, broken into several large pieces and a head, had been covered with earth for 2,000 years near Lake Nemi, just south of Rome, where

Artist Inspired by Final Space Shuttle Launch

Standing on the grounds of Kennedy Space Center, facing the launch pad as a space shuttle lifts off, is an experience that defies words.  Friday’s historic launch of Atlantis marks the beginning of the end for NASA’s space shuttle fleet. It is an almost impossible experience to describe.  Upon liftoff, there is a bright blaze

Smithsonian Folklife Festival Expected to Draw a Million Visitors

Colombian coffee growers mingle with Peace Corps volunteers and some of the nation’s finest rhythm and blues musicians at this year’s Smithonian Folklife Festival, held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This year’s event spotlights Colombia’s rich bio-cultural diversity, the 50th anniversary of  the Peace Corps and the powerful influence of rhythm and blues

India Halts Opening of Temple Treasure Vault

India’s Supreme Court, citing security concerns, has halted the opening of the last vault at a Hindu temple where billions of dollars worth of treasures have been uncovered. More than $20 billion in gold, jewels, and ancient artifacts were found buried last week in vaults underneath the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple in India’s southern state of

American Buddhism Keeps Asian Influence, Adapts to West

This week’s visit of the Dalai Lama to the United States is focusing attention on American Buddhism, which is growing because of the influx of Asian immigrants and conversion of Westerners to the faith. American Buddhism retains its Asian flavor, but is adapting to Western ways. Boys aged five to 14 have their heads shaved