On the 105th anniversary of Julia Child's birth (August 15, 1912), the museum's food history team is thinking anew about Julia's life and...
To mark what would have been Julia Child’s 104th birthday on August 15, curator Paula Johnson shares new information on two works of art in...
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...

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Three scans of pages from children's books with black and white illustrations and text
Do you remember the books that helped you learn to read—maybe Dick and Jane, Dr. Seuss, or Clifford the Big Red Dog? No matter the...
A black and white photograph of a balding, bearded man wearing a suit jacket and tie, looking to his right away from the camera.
 [[{"fid":"23645","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"A black...
Scan of newspaper-style image. A little girl in uniform with big smile gives a salute and so does her spotted dog, who looks up at her.
Imagine being asked to contribute your best friend to the war effort, if your best friend has four legs, is furry, and goes by the name of...
Photograph of the eyepiece of a telescope-type device
[[{"fid":"23607","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Photograph of...
A portion of a piece of currency. It depicts a bird upside wen surrounded by stamp-like decorations in green, red and black. There are many scratch marks on the right side of the frame.
Honest Abe, Old Hickory, His Accidency, Old Rough and Ready, Cool Cal, and Handsome Frank are but a few fond (or not so fond) nicknames...
A portion of a piece of paper currency. A pair of tigers frolic in a stream. There is text above and below them within an ornate order. The paper is cream-colored with blue and orange stripes
Coins are a powerful tool used to communicate strong messages through varied symbolism. In addition to portraits of influential people and...
A sepia photograph of a woman with dark coiffed hair in a military-style shirt. She is smiling.
Museum Specialist Noriko Sanefuji and Curator Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum and Historic Site...
A black suitcase whose case is old and warped with stripes down the center under the handle.
Museum Specialist Noriko Sanefuji and Curator Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum and Historic Site...
An illustration of a head of a man. He has a floppy cap on with a green ribbon and a large mustache and appears to be smiling.
When the United States entered the Great War in 1917, the U.S. Army commissioned eight professional artists to record the activities of the...
Detail of one of the rewards shown in the blog post below. It includes an illustration of a blue bird on a branch with a red flower and says, "Reward of Merit."
When I was young, one of my favorite things about school was when I could bring something home to show my parents. I relished their...
An excerpt from an old, yellowed newspaper with black type
During the American Civil War, after the capture of New Orleans in the spring of 1862, Union troops were stationed at the former...
A wooden case with the cover pushed to the side. Inside there is a metal dish attached to a stick with purple strings.
Working with museum collections, I am often reminded that the names we attach to objects can reflect powerful social and political forces....
A gold coin. It is very bright and has a long, snakelike dragon coiled in the middle with cloud-like designs around it.
Spoiler alert: If you aren't caught up on your Game of Thrones viewing, there may be a few surprises inside.Even though it's...
In a black and white photograph a woman in a white collared shirt and hair sticking up in every direction is laughing
Phyllis Diller, the groundbreaking stand-up comic, would have been celebrating her 100th birthday on July 17, 2017. The Smithsonian honored...
An object that is a circle with alternating white and green bands. In the middle is a red circle with M&D and the universal medical sign in it. There is a bronze-colored part sticking out of the bottom with a hole in it.
While walking alongside a street or through a parking lot, do you ever notice the different signs adorning cars? Bumper stickers are the...
A double black and white image of a number of adults in a parlor surrounding an infant in a blanket. The central man is holding some sort of strap with a hook in his hands that is attached to the cloth the baby is lying in.
Parents today proudly announce the weight of each new child, along with the baby's height, name, and sex. When did the practice of weighing...
An illustration of a man in a chariot riding in a stadium under a yellow sky.
America has long been home to enthusiastic movie fans. Even back in the 1910s and 1920s, a period in American film history known as the "...
A lunchbox with a rectangular base and a curved top. It has a red handle and metal clasps. Its surface depicts a barren landscape with a starry night sky. A futuristic silver van on many wheels drives across the front. On the side, one can see two people with their arms raised. A giant green monster stands in front of them.
First, they crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, sometime in July 1947. Then they crashed into our lunch boxes and our lives.Our imaginations...
Postcard-sized illustration in color featuring three children. Two little boys light fireworks and play with toy soldiers while a little girl covers her ears and clutches a doll. Text reads "Wishing you a glorious 4th of July" in gold.
"The coming stupendous holocaust, caused by the sky-rocket, the giant fire cracker and the toy pistol, that leaves an annual trail of...
A horizontal glass bottle with metal machinery inside. There is wiring, a semicircular object, and a glass spout on one end with a tube attached below it filled with a black substance. Above, there is an object that is shaped like an golden, upside-down light bulb.
Vacuum technology is fascinating to me. Unfortunately for my house, I'm talking about a vacuum defined by the absence of matter, not the...
A picture of a large bell on wooden supports. There is a metal wheel next to it on its large frame
For several decades after the Revolution, Paul Revere was as famous for his church bells as for his midnight ride. His role as a horse-...
A loaf of bread on a wooden surface. It is light wheat colored and the surface is rough
I do not bake. My cookies burn, my pie crust is either too dry or too sticky, and my pies turn out watery. So how did I find myself lead...
A black hog stands in an enclosure of logs. It has straw all over it.
George Washington is seldom seen as a man of science. But, like others who lived during the Enlightenment, he used scientific ideas,...
A statue or object resembling the statue of Liberty. The robe and crown are a mint green color and The statue holds an apple up. There are more in a container she holds at her side. She has dark hair and olive brown skin.
On June 17, 1885, a French ship, the Isère, arrived in New York Harbor laden with very special cargo—more than 200 crates filled with...
A single-page, typed letter dated July 21, 2010 from David Rockefeller. It begins: "Philanthropists, at their best, try to address serious societal problems and occasionally come up with innovations that lead to enduring change. In the end, success requires much more than financial resources, although money is, of course, essential." It continues fora total of four paragraphs.
In March, David Rockefeller died at the extraordinary age of 101. He was one of the first signers of the Giving Pledge, a commitment by...
A woman wearing a yellow sweater and wearing purple gloves carefully manipulates the fabric of a beautiful white gown with delicate flower and sequin details. The gown is one-shoulder strap. It was worn by First Lady Michelle Obama. The dress is on a form.
Sunae Park Evans probably knows Martha Washington’s measurements better than anyone, including her own seamstress. As the senior costume...
A chunk of a solid, stone-lik substance that is riddled with small holes.
Though it authorized our nation's earliest imperialistic land grab outside our continent, the 1856 Guano Islands Act is little known today...
A lobby with glass cases of objects and a stairway. The ceiling is a lurid red. In the center is a lego statue resembling the statue of liberty, resting on a large rectangular display with short glass walls surrounding it that have signage on it.
As the museum's social media manager, I get to see many snapshots our visitors share on social media while they're here. Frequently...
A movie poster for an African American action character. He wears a vivid crimson shirt, a kerchief secured around his neck by a metal ring, a cowboy hat on, and he stands in from of a large white structure in the background that has flags, towers, and domes.
The National Museum of American History is renowned for its collection of American cinematic treasures such as Dorothy's Ruby Slippers from...
Against a blank white background, a white corduroy jacket with with an insignia on the left breast and stitching on the right
High school can be a challenging time for teens. Much as they do today, young men and women throughout the 20th century wrestled with...
Lunch box featuring a scene from Star Wars. Three characters are in a vehicle that has been stopped by storm troopers.
When the Virginia all-state student orchestra launched into the first thrilling notes of John Williams's Star Wars ...
A chestnut-colored drum with a pair of drumsticks
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for bravery and valor that can be bestowed upon a member of the United States military. Modern...
A photograph that is awash in tones of gray. A woman sits in a moor-like environment with a white dress and black shawl or robe. Her face is lifted up and her eyes are closed. Her hands are clasped together as if in prayer
Confession: This month, we celebrate Mother's Day and I'm jealous of you if you still have your mom. I lost mine to breast cancer when I...
A piece of paper three hole punched at the top. There is a comic printed on it off-center of two computers sitting on a chair with a picture on a small table and dialogue bubbles. A signature and text is in the lower righthand corner and information is stamped above the cartoon on the page
On May 11, 1997, a chess-playing computer, Deep Blue, and world chess champion Garry Kasparov were on their sixth and final game. His...
Photograph of wooden box. The box has a wooden handle in the middle and a space for tools. Inside, there are two tools.
I am standing in the kitchen of Amelia Ceja, owner of Ceja Vineyards, and watching her stir a big bubbling pot of caldo, or chicken...
A photograph of a number of men standing in front of a greenhouse. Their clothes are not very fine and they all have hats on. There are overgrown plants and trees behind the greenhouse. The men hold different tools like a scythe or a rake
Piano manufacturer William Steinway described his vision of suburban America to Congress in 1883, but in his own life the future had...
An illustration of a crimson dog with floppy ears sitting in the rain, with a smiling child taking refuge under his chin. She holds a teddy bear. Around them a puddle has developed.
When Scholastic first published Clifford the Big Red Dog in 1963, the book's creator, Norman Bridwell (1928–2014), had no idea...
Illustrated advertisement for brewing companies. The design features illustrations of brown glass bottles, a cup, and lots of fancy scroll work as well as a red wax seal featuring a beer.
Getting to know just under two million objects, almost 17,000 cubic feet of archives, and around 140 curatorial and collections staff is a...
Two young girls look through the glass of a museum display to gaze at a blue bucket among other objects like a pair of boots or a bust of a man.
I don't like to dodge questions, but that's what I did when someone asked me which object is my favorite in the museum's new exhibition on...
A man in a military uniform and a woman in a dark coat stand smiling in front of a house.
Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. While the order avoided naming any particular ethnic...
In a black and white photo, a woman stands behind a microphone and sings in a dark room. A jazz band is behind her, and they are smiling.
"They're swingin' everything else—why not nursery rhymes?" stated Ella Fitzgerald while dancing around the room showcasing some new dance...
Wooden box with hole in it for birds and wire mesh around opening. There are lichens growing on the top of it. A nail or screw is visible on one side.
If you had asked me to guess the first object I would add to the museum's new philanthropy collection, I never would have said a Virginia...
Portrait of a woman with short brown/black hair, black glasses, a grey top, a delicate necklace, and a nice smile.
"Congratulations! Say, what does a curator do anyway?" "Philanthropy? So, you're in development?" Over the past few months I've heard those...
A small, cabinet-like square cart with 4 wheels, a blue front, and items on top sits in front of a giant vault door set against the wall with a sign for the value of money exhibit.
Want to partake in the "Hobby of Kings?" Then consider becoming a numismatist—a person who collects and studies coins or paper money.Coin...
One side of a bronze coin, showing a man with a helmet and a bounty of hair and an altar-like structure with text and votives on the reverse
We're celebrating National Coin Week with a series of posts by our National Numismatic Collection team. See our previous posts about...
A silver coin with a pegasus in flight on it
This is another post in our National Coin Week series. See previous posts about goddesses on currency and money and the military.For...
A goldenrod-colored paper with perforated edges that says it is 50 cents for a POW canteen
This week the National Numismatic Collection is celebrating National Coin Week with a series of blog posts and an Objects out of...
A coin made of grayish metal that is not polished. On it, a head in profile wears a classical war helmet. On it, there is a sprig of some sort of plant
Hillery York is the Collections Manager for the National Numismatic Collection. The objects discussed below are featured in the Women...

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