Events & Programs

  • Food in the Garden

    Reserve tickets now for our program series running through September 25. Themed around four maritime regions related to the War of 1812, the evening events will feature food, drinks, and conversation in a relaxed garden atmosphere.
  • Hands-on carts

    Get your hands on history at one of our interactive carts. Activities include operating a cotton gin, peeking through a stereoscope, experiencing what it felt like to wear a corset, using a press to print a card, and copying a letter the way Jefferson did. Daily at the Museum.
  • Harvest of Empire

    Join the Museum and the Smithsonian Latino Center for a free screening of the award-winning, 2012 feature-length documentary on October 8.

This Day In History

September 22, 1862
Today in 1862: President Lincoln issues his Emancipation Proclamation, which declared slaves in rebel territories free as of January 1, 1863.

Video: TR's Vole Specimens

Long before he was U.S. President, Theodore Roosevelt was a naturalist. In our newest Founding Fragments episode, host Tory Altman talks with Darrin Lunde of the National Museum of Natural History's Division of Mammals about one particular vole that is viewed by historians and scientists in two very different ways.

From our Blog

Guest blog post by Sir Peter Westmacott, the British ambassador to the United States Fort McHenry is hallowed ground in United...
Iconic cultural objects have the power to preserve beloved chapters of history long after they come to a close. As we approach the 20th...
By Education Specialist Erin Blasco Today, many of our staff are participated in a global, Twitter-based Q&A called Ask a...

View Collections

The Museum collects artifacts of all kinds—from gowns to locomotives—to preserve for the American people an enduring record of their past.

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2013-2018 Strategic Plan

Learn more about the Museum's mission and priorities for the next five years.