The smell of marigolds, the bright pink of fluffy tulle, and moments of quiet reflection. Curator Margaret Salazar-Porzio explores the Day...
As Halloween approaches, we asked museum staff to share objects from the collections that evoke the holiday's spooky spirit. The result?...
Caves, oil spills, and museums might not sound like the most likely sources of inspiration when it's your job to design costumes for a...

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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...
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...
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...
Celluloid button featuring the image of a three-link chain, symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
It's morning in New Zealand, meaning the global, Twitter-based Q&A called Ask a Curator Day has already started. We'll begin answering...
Suzy Homemaker children's toy from 1950s-1960s, turquoise, with fake food inside
It was like Christmas morning in 1968 when our Suzy Homemaker toy refrigerator arrived at the museum (new in box, with original staples!)....
Word cloud of words visitor wrote in comments about 9/11 memories, the words "think" and "happen" are biggest
Visitors to the museum's 2011 commemorative event September 11: Remembrance and Reflection were invited to share their stories...
Julia Child's home kitchen, with its hundreds of tools, appliances, and furnishings
From the 2012 opening of the exhibition FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950–2000 to its upcoming FOOD in the Garden...
Camo coat
On the third anniversary of the death of Army Specialist Christopher Horton, Curator Kathleen Golden shares the story of his camouflage...
Civil War General Sherman in coat with buttons, seated, grim expression
On the 150th anniversary of the fall of the city of Atlanta to the Union Army's Division of the Mississippi during the Civil War, we're...
This September, we join Smithsonian Gardens in hosting our annual FOOD in the Garden series. We'll explore four maritime regions impacted...
Compilation record of Moon's recordings. Photo by Danny Lyon. Ralph Rinzler Folklife Archives and Collection.
Fifty years after Freedom Summer, when students risked their lives to advance the cause of civil rights, intern Sydney Johnson explores...
Rock fragment labelled "Broken from the Mother Rock..."
Intrigued by a piece of charred wood in the museum's First Ladies exhibition, intern Auni Gelles explores the story behind this slice of...
White and blue tennis Dress, worn by Bille Jean King during the "Battle of the Sexes"
As objects representing Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning history enter the museum's collection today,...
A group of chefs in the kitchen
Fans and friends of Julia Child will pause today, as they do every year on August 15, to remember the beloved icon of American culinary...
Fogleman's vehicle registration
On August 15, 1914, the Panama Canal officially opened for business with the passage of the American steamship SS Ancon, which had...
Pottery Tile
One hundred and sixty years ago on August 9, 1854, Henry David Thoreau published Walden, a transcendental tribute to solitude,...
Fifty years ago, mathematicians John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire introduced BASIC, a new language for...
An advertisement for Kinney Bros
In honor of the running of the Hambletonian Stakes, a major event in American Harness Racing, on August 2, intern and equestrian Ariel...
Cover of sheet music
With Confederate troops looming just outside of Washington, D.C., July 1864 was an exciting and scary time to be a nurse in the city....
A family under the Smithsonian Castle doorway
This post continues the story of Civil War nurse Amanda Akin, which began in Part I. The chapel for Armory Square Hospital where...
A gold belt buck with "US" on it is seen in close-up through other costume elements
Watching this year's Academy Award-winning movie 12 Years a Slave compelled me to think about my internship research on objects...
Jimmy Carter's FFA jacket, front and back
What do a former U.S. president, a spotted hog raiser, two former teachers, and a librarian have in common? They're all FFA (formerly known...
In a black-and-white photo, a child prunes a cotton plant
We recently asked for your help in collecting an FFA (Future Farmers of America) jacket with a great personal story—and you came through!...
A vintage ad features monkeys in human clothing
Although many of the products that Americans consume today would have been unimaginable to our forebears, the means by which they are...
Educator Victoria Altman introduces a new book-based summer activity to share with youngsters, especially budding entrepreneurs.Most...
One woman looks at Abraham Lincoln's wedge tool while another holds it
Individual Giving Associate Lauren Collette spotlights museum member Shirley Loo. Loo grew up in Hawaii and didn't visit the Smithsonian...
A pair of black and dark green field glasses
Curator Deborah Warner's research on a valuable accessory may reveal a connection to President Abraham Lincoln's assassin. This...
Female staff member wearing blue gloves prepares to remove a brown Girl Scout uniform from an exhibition case
Why don't our exhibitions last forever? Where do they go when we take them down? Intern Elisabeth Warsinske reports on the afterlife of a...
As staff of the National Museum of American History, we're often told that we have "the coolest jobs." We know we're lucky! But what's it...
War of 1812 re-enactors in white and blue uniforms fire a canon in front of the museum
On Flag Day 2014, the museum kicked off bicentennial commemorations of a great American symbol—Francis Scott Key's song, "The Star-Spangled...
Museum staff and students look at a National History Day project on a large board
Manager of Youth and Teacher Programs Naomi Coquillon shares the inside scoop on National History Day at the museum.On one wonderful day...
"The Star-Spangled Banner" song turns 200 this year. As part of her work on the upcoming Smithsonian Channel film A Star-Spangled...
Handwritten manuscript by Francis Scott Key, on yellowed paper
You may not have heard of Baltimore's Indian Queen Hotel, but it plays an important role in the story of "The Star-Spangled Banner" song....
At the Super Bowl, Renee Fleming prepares to sing in a black and white dress
As part of our blog series about the Star-Spangled Banner leading up to Raise It Up! Anthem for America on Flag Day 2014, curator...
In this 1911 postcard created by the National American Woman Suffrage Association, the stars on the flag represent states that have voted for suffrage.
Hat on or off? Right or left hand? What if it gets dirty? These are some typical questions people have about customs and rules surrounding...
Here in the museum's Division of Medicine and Science, we're undertaking an inventory of the museum's dental collection, and we discovered...
Red, white, and blue food (puddings, candies, lollipops) displayed on a table
A friend of mine is getting married this year on June 14. When she told me, I got really excited. "You're getting married on Flag Day?!...
In this photo from the Smithsonian Archives, Smithsonian collections are crated and covered with a tarp to be transferred to a storage facility in Luray, Virgina, for safekeeping during World War II.
The Star-Spangled Banner is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States. Huge, vibrant, and rich in history, most Americans are...

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