For me, it's almost hard to imagine a holiday season without Coca-Cola. The adorable polar bear commercials, the penguins romantically...
Smithsonian Jazz Intern Jake Huss shares the stories behind the selections heard at the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra's holiday...
This Thanksgiving marks the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Proclamation that established the national observance of the holiday....

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A museum employee wears glove and holds an Uncle Sam toy
Heather Paisley-Jones is an education specialist and a member of the exhibition team for the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object...
Detail image of cholera man
Every few years, we read the headlines about a new, or resurgent, disease that threatens global health. Fears of transfer erupt and...
Atari E.T. cartridge in landfill dirt
The video game history collection at the museum has some amazing objects in it that represent big moments in the development of the...
"Health corsets" and ready-to-wear clothing will be a part of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project, opening July...
Ad of Swift's ham and bacon
I used to eat a lot of expired bread back in 2011. I'd just moved from my home in Singapore to Florida for college and had been used to...
Ralph Baer passed away on December 6. The world will remember him as the inventor of the first video game. Here at the Smithsonian, we also...
As the Museum gears up to open new exhibitions in 2015, 2016, and 2017, our curators have combed the country, looking for the richest...
When I was in eighth grade, my government teacher gave us a homework assignment that I did not do. The next day, we were told to hand ...
Two documents reveal the high tech significance of merchant and entrepreneur Cyrus W. Field's anniversary party, 124 years ago today....
With the news that the Smithsonian has created the first-ever 3D presidential portrait, Intern Haley Rivero shares a close-up experience...
Santa Claus Soap / made only by / the N.K. Fairbank Company / New York, Chicago / gifts for Santa Claus wrappers. [Trade card.]
Business Program Manager Kathy Sklar doesn't want you to miss the museum's holiday festivities. Here's why.1. Free screenings of The...
This winter, Zócalo Public Square and the National Museum of American History are launching an unprecedented partnership and a new, three-...
An early ready-mixed paint can at Sherwin-Williams in Cleveland, OH.
Editor/Writer Leslie Poster took one for the Object Project team by adding a little detour to her family visit in Cleveland, Ohio...
Diverse figures are gathered around a Thanksgiving table in this illustration
Thanksgiving is often imagined as a time of gathering and inclusion. We frequently picture our quintessentially American holiday as when we...
Horse hoof cauterized and preserved with a coat of shiny black enamel
In the early morning hours of March 30, 1890, in Washington, D.C., the collision of two horse-drawn fire wagons racing to answer an alarm...
Alexander Calder's Gwenfritz on the day of its rededication On Halloween day, a gorgeous 40-foot-tall black specter...
Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers shares the story of Davy Crockett's coonskin cap, now on view in Starring North Carolina! at the...
Stubby the dog
Veterans Day is a time to commemorate the brave men and women who are serving or have served in the armed forces. However, the service of...
Spitz Junior Planetarium
On November 17 and 18, I'll be in my backyard hoping for clear skies as the Leonid meteor shower lights up the sky. Here in the museum's...
15th century painting depicts hand cannons in action
The 620-year-old solid piece of iron is as heavy as it looks. Examining this brutally simple hand cannon, it's hard to imagine that...
Man with camera in military uniform
Using a camera taken from a German officer who had died in battle, Paul Bland documented his experiences across Normandy, Northern France,...
"A Room of Her Own" by Sandra Cisneros at the National Museum of American History
If you've ever confused Día de los Muertos with Halloween, you might be surprised to learn how very different these fall holidays are from...
Peter Pan brand by the Northwest District Fruit Sales Company Inc. of Wenatchee, Washington
125 years ago this November (November 11, 1889, to be exact), President Benjamin Harrison signed a proclamation admitting Washington as the...
paper dolls
Paper dolls will be a part of Object Project and its exploration of ready-to-wear clothing. It opens July 2015.Celebrities sit in...
Trying deodorant on arm
Intern Caitlin Kearney follows a 111-year-old deodorant recipe. For history!Over the summer, I've been doing research for a new hands-on...
North Korea is sometimes called The Hermit Kingdom due to the secretive nature of its government and its closed society. I never expected...
When one thinks of symbols or images of the Cold War, one might say nuclear missiles, Sputnik, the Cuban Missile Crisis, Khrushchev's shoe...
Alexander Calder's "Gwenfritz"
If you’ve ever visited the museum, you've likely passed by an enormous abstract sculpture called Gwenfritz. After undergoing a massive...
After undergoing an extensive conservation process over the last year, the museum, along with colleagues at the Smithsonian American Art...
Small folder with red ribbon on black background
One of the most fascinating objects that came to my attention during my time as a Smithsonian postdoctoral research fellow is a rather...
"When witches go riding,and black cats are seen,the moon laughs and whispers,'tis near Halloween."- Author UnknownFrom the decorations in...
Object Project interns Caitlin Kearney and Kamilah Stinnett explore the origins of packaged candy, a modern convenience that signaled...
Recent news of state and local elected officials stepping up their campaigns for the 2014 November elections brings to mind the fascinating...
The presidential campaign of 1896 was an emotional one—and much of the political maneuvering may look familiar to voters today. A key...
Even in the dimly lit gallery, it shimmers and demands attention. At just over three feet long, it features a silver grip, a deep burgundy...
Getting to know the museum's donors and council members is one of my favorite parts of being the manager of the Smithsonian Council for...
Skipping work and heading to the game is a tradition older than stadium lights and even center field fences. And that’s what...
On the right, the motorcycle parked in a driveway with a license plate that reads "Guatemala 1979-1983."
In museums, it's common for a single artifact to tell many diverse stories, far beyond the scope of any one exhibition. Christine Miranda,...
Mexican-style dress
Looking to discover Latino history during your museum visit this Hispanic Heritage Month? Christine Miranda, who interned with our Program...
Viewing fire engine
As a mom, I know the National Museum of American History is a great place to visit with kids. There is so much to see and do... which...
A teddy bear snow globe was my favorite souvenir from a family visit to the National Museum of American History. I've kept the memento...
Fall at the museum, exterior view
Enjoying pumpkin spice season? Museum Educator Sarah Erdman recommends bringing little ones to museums' grounds and gardens this time of...
design interns
Museum internships may be more varied than you expect. Intern Emma deVries shares experiences from behind-the-scenes, just in time for you...
Mustang on display
Museum educator Sarah Erdman makes your next museum visit with the family just a little more fun with tips on how to boost interactivity...
Fireworks display
Fort McHenry is hallowed ground in United States history. It is of course best known as the scene of a siege during the War of 1812, a...
Selena's outfit in the collection
Iconic cultural objects have the power to preserve beloved chapters of history long after they come to a close. As we approach the 20th...
Official U.S. citizens with their certificates in hand, waving their flags
Vanessa Chicas, an intern in the museum's Program in Latino History and Culture, reflects on the unique experience she had as a Smithsonian...
Ambrotype of the washerwoman for the Union Army, who has an American flag on her outfit
Today, many of our staff are participated in a global, Twitter-based Q&A called Ask a Curator Day. Here are a few of our favorite...

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