Ben Kuroki was born on May 16, 1917, in Gothenburg, Nebraska, to Japanese immigrant parents. With the onset of World War II, Kuroki and...
The year was 1944. A playoff series between two all-star baseball teams generated ample excitement. Gila River fought Heart Mountain...
During the opening months of World War II, almost 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of them citizens of the United States, were forced...

Blog

(Detail image) Black and white photo of an African American man in military uniform. His arms are gently crossed, a watch o his wrist. His head is slightly tilted to the right, with a serious but gentle look on his face. The uniform has pockets, buttons, and a fairly high collar.
Offered in celebration of Black History Month and in recognition of the 100th anniversary of America's participation in World War I, the...
During the "Innovative Lives" event, curator Peter Liebhold (left) interviewed scientists Mary-Dell Chilton (center) and Robert Fraley (right).
The fall of 2016 was an important milestone in the history of agriculture—the 20-year anniversary of the first large-scale harvest of a...
A wooden box filled with various tools that include blades and scissors
A 19th-century medical student brought to school a number of things, including scientific texts and a hope to one day relieve the suffering...
Black and white posed photo of women, each with their hair piled on top of their head and high-collared blouses.
On February 13, women everywhere (we hope!) will be gathering together to celebrate Galentine's Day. First introduced in 2010 by character...
black metal device that looks like a typewriter. All the keys, however, have numbers on them and they are yellow, green, and red.
Over the past few months, I’ve read Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures and seen the movie with the same title. These...
Photo of a large space with high ceilings. Tables in the center include space for inventing. Cabinets on both sides contain cases with museum objects, including what looks like a guitar. Above, in lights, is a sign that says "Spark Lab."
Around age eight I decided I wanted to play the violin. Fortunately, my parents had the access and money to buy a new instrument for me....
A black patch with a white helmet sewn on the front
As a kid, Leonard W. Miller secretly tinkered with his parents' car for almost a year before they noticed he'd been replacing parts under...
A color portrait of a woman in a coral shirt and dark blazer. She sits outside.
Last summer, the National Museum of American History announced that we were hiring a brewing historian to join the team working...
A journal with yellowed pages and dark cursive script laying open. There is a small sandbag next to it.
Thanks to the help of online volunteers, the Smithsonian Transcription Center has completed a project to transcribe the second volume of...
A coin with two bearded men on it along with text and a small cross
I have never seen my father's chin. The man has worn a beard since well before I was born, and my brother quickly followed in his tradition...
Card from from the show "The West Wing." Presidential Seal and blue border.
As the fanfare leading up to the 2017 inauguration swirls around the Smithsonian and Washington, D.C., at large, I cannot help but think...
Three gold coins on a black surface. The are bright and shiny. Two are heads up showing a woman wearing a crown with stars ringing the border of the coin and "1959." One is the same with "1960" as the year listed. The third coin is tails-up and says "Nation of Celestial Space 1 Gold Celestron" with some laurel leaves
Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered, "Who owns all of that?" Well, that's exactly what James Thomas Mangan did. He even...
I'm a native New Englander. Sometimes I feel like I've been to Boston more times than Samuel Adams. When one grows up in New England, it is...
A red program for an inauguration with the statue of liberty and a golden star in the center
On January 20, when he delivers the 58th inaugural address, Donald Trump will join a long line of orators inspired by George Washington....
Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald sit in front of a microphone
Within the Ella Fitzgerald Papers collection, a hidden gem reveals a surprising connection between Fitzgerald and President John F. Kennedy...
Old photograph of a group of people. Several women are dressed up and one is very, very tall
Irene Siewert was born in a small town in Alberta, Canada, in 1925. Siewert looked just like any other little girl until she hit 13, when...
Black and white illustration on beige paper, showing portrait of man wearing suit and black tie with mustache and a stern/serious face. He is partially bald.
The 2016 presidential election brought renewed discussion about the way Americans vote for presidential electors, those who will then cast...
White button features a drawing of two students sitting next to each, one turns to the other and says "May 17th!." Around the button's border the text reads: "Keep the Buses Rolling...March on Boston."
On September 9, 1974, over 4,000 white demonstrators rallied at Boston Common to protest the start of court-ordered school desegregation in...
This October 9, 1944, advertisement for Whitman's chocolate boxes shows a woman embracing a soldier in uniform kissing her cheek. On the bottom right is a box of Whitman’s Chocolate Sampler. The bold font reads, “A WOMAN NEVER FORGETS THE MAN WHO REMEMBERS,” and, “BUY MORE WAR BONDS.” In fine print below the box of chocolates reads, “If you can’t always get your favorite Sampler, remember it’s because millions of pounds of Whitman’s Chocolates are going to all our fighting fronts.”
Our blog covered a cornucopia of food history topics in 2016, but a few dishes rose to the top. Here are ten of our most-read blog posts of...
Detail: Postcard with photo of two young children wearing ballet shoes. Little boy holds top hat in his raised hand and an over-sized coat. The little girl strikes a pose with a fancy fan and wears a full-skirted tea length dress and a hat with many bows.
2016 was a stupendous year for the museum's blog! Many thanks to the staff, volunteers, interns, and guest writers who shared their...
Detail of image: Black and white snapshot. A woman sits in a chair, her legs crossed and her hands on knee. She smiles, eyes closed and mouth open to show her teeth. She wears a smart suit with white collar. The man balances on one of the arms of the chair, gesturing toward her, also with a smile. He wears a suit and black/white shoes.
What does a world-famous musician put under the tree for the woman he loves . . . when he happens to be married to someone else?In the case...
A silver coin with a woman's likeness on the front. Reads "Liberty" at the top and "1979"
Recently there has been a significant debate about how and where to feature a woman on United States currency. In April 2016, Secretary of...
Detail of card showing two stick figures. They sit at a table with serious-yet-not-unhappy expressions. Each rests his head on his hand.
A cheerful holiday greeting sent during the Great Depression? Isn't that somewhat contradictory? 1933 was a difficult year. Unemployment...
Detail of: "One Hundred Trillion Dollars" bank note from "Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe." It is blue, turquoise, and tan in color. The central image appears to be a mountain or rock outcropping made of three large stones. Palm trees and other vegetation appears tiny at its base. Geometric patterns are included in the bill, mostly triangles.
When my friend Trish got her first paycheck from her part-time job in high school, it was for $50,000. "It was enough to buy a pair of...
A portrait of a man sitting behind a curtain drawn partially back to show a church spire. His hair and moustache are unkempt and he looks directly at the viewer, his head seeming to hang low.
I was exploring storage one day with Larry Bird, emeritus curator in the museum's Division of Political History, when a very curious self-...
An award on a short wooden base of a young tiger with its paw on what appears to be a golf ball painted light blue with the world on it.
The Division of Culture and the Arts at the museum collects a wide variety of awards and trophies. We have iconic awards such as Oscars,...
Detail of: Bill with dark gray and blue and portrait of man set in oval
When we joined the museum's National Numismatic Collection team this summer to rehouse a collection of international banknotes, we expected...
A pin, presumably for a woman. There is a gold eagle perched on top with its wings outstretched. It stands on top of a red banner saying "Remember" which is over a blue banner that says "Harbor" Between the banners is a pearl.
December 7, 2016, marks the 75th anniversary of the bombing of the Pearl Harbor naval base by the Japanese Imperial Navy. In commemoration...
A photo from the museum of the installed portion of the counter from the Greensboro diner. It includes the countertop, four chairs, and part of the back wall with a mirror on it.
We often remember the civil rights movement as a few iconic events that took place at famous landmarks—the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the...
A graphic, black and white illustration of a stylized man in a top hat and cane pointing to the word "REM" in the sky. It appears to be storming, as trees are blown sideways. It says "Cough?" in the upper lefthand corner
What does it take for an advertisement to capture the attention of a potential consumer?It takes aesthetically pleasing simplicity, vibrant...
Two men in dress uniform stride forward carrying flags, one for the army and one for the navy. The program says "Army-Navy" and "1941 Fifty Cents" on the cover
Growing up the child of a World War II Navy veteran who happened to love football, it was easy to know who to root for in the Army-Navy...
A cubed machine that is beige and brown in color. It has a switch near its base and a plug. Some features protrude from it, including a white piece on the top that has slats in it.
One of our favorite food history collecting trips over the last year started with a predicament we are all familiar with—the frustration of...
An old photograph in sepia tones showing a number of people sitting on stairs outside of a building. Some are women and some are men, many of whom are wearing uniforms.
Wolves, rattlesnakes, floods, fire, and stampedes—these are just some of the many dangers faced by women on the American frontier of the...
A black and white photograph of a man in a patterned jacket and wire-rimmed glasses hovering over a boy with an Afro. The man holds a pair of scissors and a wide-toothed comb over the boy's hair as he looks off.
This Thanksgiving, education specialist Ariel Gory reflects on an experience for which she is thankful: the opportunity to inspire future...
A pair of dark leather books that are higher than ankle-length. They lace up the front. They have seen wear, as some of the seams look worn and the soles look like they're coming apart. On the ground in front of the shoes is a notebook. It looks to be made of dark leather and has rings like a modern binder, with pages covered in dark cursive.
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
A pair of replica ruby slippers sit inside of a display case. They are positioned so that the toes are pointed slightly away from one another, and one of the shoes has its heel places on a small box covered in blue gingham wrapping paper.
 Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve...
In foreground, red poppies grow tall and straight in the sunlight. In background, the Washington Monument rises up behind some trees. Clear blue sky.
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
Botanical model of Papaver rhoeas, the common poppy, late 19th century, used at the University of Minnesota Pharmacy School.
"And now my beauties, something with poison in it I think, with poison in it, but attractive to the eye and soothing to the smell . . ....
A page from a television script. The paper is beige colored and the text looks like it is from a typewriter and is centered on the page
Watching the television show M*A*S*H is a family tradition in my house. My grandfather introduced the show to my mother and uncle...
A contraption that appears to be made of translucent plastic, silver metal, and some sort of white cloth. It looks a bit like a gyroscope or a toy "top".
In The Wizard of Oz, Tin Man longs for a heart. That's a problem Manuel "Manny" Villafaña has rarely had—he has collected pieces of many...
a 4-wheeled, covered wagon with messages of suffrage and equal rights painted on the side
As both a young woman casting my vote in my first presidential election and the founder of College Students for Bernie, I came to the...
A print showing a group of men by the ballot box. One man is holding some papers in his hands while the man across from him had his arm raised, appearing to be on the verge of hitting something. The men wear top hats and there is text at the bottom that explains a conflict between voters about who they would want to vote for.
As we near Election Day, political cartoons are inescapable. Satirical cartoons continue a tradition of political printmaking that has been...
Sara Sunshine’s Clio Award, 1987
Over the past two years, the museum's business history curator, Dr. Kathleen Franz, has been collecting a wide range of materials related...
Crop of image also used in full post. A little girl with her eyes closed gently touches the webbed foot of the lion. Her facial expression is happy--we see her in silhouette. The lion's poofy made is visible.
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
A sculpture made from one dollar bill(s). It is complex with interwoven triangles that give it a spiked sort of appearance.
Money is often defined as a medium of exchange, but to some artists money is simply a medium—or set of materials—that they can use to...
A white campaign button that has a portrait of a man looking to the viewer's left on it with "Bryan" underneath. Around the edges reads: "No crown of thorns. / No cross of gold."
Many writers have suggested that L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an allegory for late 19th-century American Populism. (For a...
Portrait of Marjorie Stewart Joyner
Born in 1896 in the tiny Appalachian hamlet of Monterey, Virginia, Marjorie Stewart grew up in extreme poverty. Of her 12 brothers and...
Wizard of Oz, 1900
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...

Pages