The museum will recognize the life and legacy of Prince Rogers Nelson (1958–2016) by displaying his "Yellow Cloud" electric guitar. The...
Rule by women was less common, but not unheard of in the Byzantine Empire—or in the ancient world for that matter! As such, ancient coins...
April 6, 2016, marks the 99th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War I. Although the country would not be drawn into combat until...

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(Detail) Illustrated comic book cover with three planes and Superman, Batman, Robin saluting and smiling.
May 8 is the anniversary of V-E Day, the day that Germany unconditionally surrendered in 1945 to end World War II in Europe. Young American...
(Detail) Colorful carousel horse with pink saddle and light pink mane
"Unless something is done [the carousel] will turn the minds of people here, and no one would be surprised if in a few days, whole families...
This post is part two in a series. Part one traced how the holiday of May Day was revived in the United States by wealthy reformers who...
May Day is a holiday that many Americans have celebrated, but relatively few can explain. Depending on your age, you might associate May 1...
Patent with black and white illustration
New posters around the museum remind us as we come to work each morning that our theme this year is "America Participates." This...
Museum case containing woman's gown, marble bust, nurse's cap, and small painting. Each item has a label.
America Participates is the museum's 2016 theme: But what does "participation" actually look like? We interviewed David Allison, director...
1870s Remington typewriter, black with detailed flowers and patriotic emblems painted on it
The sound of clicking typewriter keys filled the museum's Innovation Wing recently during Type-O-Rama. This event, presented by the ...
Black and white photo of Ellington at piano. Ellington turns slightly to face camera, his right hand on the keys.
Within the first week of starting my internship in the Archives Center of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, I was...
(Detail) Image of a nature scene with mountains in the background, rocks and a stream in foreground, and trees. Misty, cloud, but slightly sunny.
What would you have done if you saw your river burning? The Cuyahoga River that runs through the northeastern corner of Ohio was so...
(Detail) Black and white illustration of Lincoln's headstone. At his feet, a mythical beast lays half dead, near a scroll that says "Emancipation Act." A figure of Liberty(?) covers her eyes, leaning against it. A figure with dark skin holds his hand to his face. Owls and an American flag on top.
In recent weeks, historical sites and societies throughout the country have been marking the 151st anniversary of the end of the Civil War...
Young woman wearing blue gloves gets ready to remove a Girl Scout uniform from a display
On rainy weekends, my mom would say, "Let's go visit Boomer." With big, wise eyes and a grumpy mouth, Boomer the Queensland Grouper was a...
Scene on stage with costumes, bandstand, musicians
While watching a screening of Paris is Burning hosted by the Smithsonian Latino Center, I was entranced by the dazzling...
Photo of a stamp. There is a raised floral design, somewhat stylized. Parts that are not to be stamped are flush and not raised.
In the museum's textile collection are over 400 of these curious blocks. What were they used for and when did they come to us? During...
Woman in white suit and hat poses with man in baseball uniform and hat. Big smiles. In background, baseball stadium.
Red thread is woven in and out of leather, uniting two different pieces into a single object that represents America's favorite pastime and...
Cover of "Recipes for Today" cookbook, with an illustration of a woman wearing a read and white dress and carrying a large bowl of soup
The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project team had a variety of reactions, taste-wise, to the 1930s recipes that...
Black and white photo of men playing instruments on stage
Since 2001, Jazz Appreciation Month (popularly known as "JAM") has encouraged people around the world to spend April celebrating the music...
Color block print. High, purple cliffs with a little grass and spindly trees. Sky is green.
During Women's History Month we like to celebrate women represented in the museum's collections. The Gearhart sisters lived and worked in...
Black and white photograph of a woman posing, unsmiling, with a bicycle
"Meet the Wheelwoman" is an interactive theater program created in conjunction with a new learning space at the museum, the Patrick F...
Photo of woman with short curly hair, blue dress, and large equipment
Creating art with unusual materials isn't a new idea, nor is combining art with science. But how about using a particle accelerator to...
Earlier this month, we sat down with curator Peter Liebhold, chair of the museum's Division of Work and Industry, to take a look at a...
Close up image of part of a bill. Image of woman weaving.
"How often, when man abandons the helm in despair, woman seizes it, and carries the home-ship through the storm! Man often flies from home...
Photo two nuns walk with a line of students. The girls, at the front of the line, wear white dresses and have headbands on. The boys, in the back of the line, wear blue suits. They're on a sidewalk outside a building.
Over the past few months, I have been cataloging a Catholic school uniform and related Catholic school material for the museum's education...
 Printed portrait of Elizabeth Keckley included in her autobiography "Behind the Scenes"
This month, we've been exploring how American women made their place in the marketplace by participating in business and consumption....
Photo of red and white basketball with Nike swoosh symbol. Autographed. "NCAA MEN'S BASKETBALL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS."
We asked Eric Jentsch, deputy chair and curator in our Division of Culture and the Arts, for his NCAA bracket picks. Then he disappeared...
Color print with image of a group of many men posing in a room with older gentlemen in middle along with a few women in six or seven children. The room has high ceilings and four windows along with a portrait. They are all wearing sashes and aprons that match.
How do you come to truly know someone? How do you know if they are who they claim to be?These questions were at the heart of a major shift...
Black and white illustration of woman with her hair in an up-do with flowers. Dress is off-the-shoulder style, short sleeved. Her hands are place peacefully one and top of the other.
Long before Hollywood actresses such as Marilyn Monroe and Katharine Hepburn became iconic stars, popular female opera singers of the early...
Photograph of Wonderlier Tupperware set, 1954
For Women's History Month, we're taking a look at some of the ways that American women have made their place in the marketplace by...
Photo of gold coin on black background. Woman's face in profile, facing left. On her head, a crown. High collar around her neck. Prominent forehead.
In June 2015 Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew announced that the 10 dollar note will be redesigned to feature a historic woman, marking...
Photo of two rifles
Recently, CBS Sunday Morning went behind the scenes in our firearms collection to learn about the history of firearms in the...
Color photo of waterfalls cascading down rocky mountains with greenery around.
To commemorate the centennial of the National Park Service, the museum will join with the Environmental Film Festival to...
Black and white photo of two women looking at camera. Large hats. They wear sashes/signs that says "Picket ladies tailors strikes." Street scene.
Go to college, get a job, lose your style. Is that how this works? I am grateful for my college education and internship at the National...
Dozens of soldiers on horseback stand in a line, shoulder to shoulder. Mountains visible in background. Desert sand.
The small American town of Columbus, New Mexico, was the site of a major event 100 years ago today. On March 9, 1916, spurred by events in...
Black and white photo of a large bank of snow. In the center, a tunnel has been made. A man stands inside the tunnel. Behind him, five buildings over one story high. "Hardware Iron & Steel" says the sign on one.
Piano maker William Steinway woke up on March 12, 1888, and discovered "the most fearful snowstorm . . . I ever experienced" had buried New...
Photo of the actor playing Louise, standing next to her bicycle. Setting is outdoors with tree and bush in background.
The year is 1895. Louise Gibson and her bicycle, Sylvia, are at the forefront of the bicycle craze sweeping America in the late 19th...
Color illustration showing many tall, white tents, a stage with a speaker, an audience of men and women. In the left side of the image, a woman tends a kettle on a fire.
For many, "the Second Great Awakening" is one of those historical terms from a dusty textbook that sounds vaguely familiar, but the details...
Black and white photo of seven men. Each carries a lander with a circular handle and wears a matching hat and cape-like uniform in shiny fabric. They face the camera.
During the 19th century, politics were central to social life, to the point where affiliation with a political party included actual ...
Detail image of larger map. Black and white artwork depicting products of Alabama on a map of the state. Icons are included with the products. For example, "paints" is next to a paint can." Other products include writing ink, instant coffee, spiced vinegar, mock cocoanut, breakfast foods, and peanut tofu sauce.
When we blogged about the intriguing Psycho Beautigraph etching of Dr. George Washington Carver created by African American...
Metal pin picturing illustration of two children, a girl and a boy. The little girl has the boy by the elbow, helping him. She has a brace on her leg. The boy uses crutches. They are dressed in nice clothes. Text on red background says "Fight Infantile Paralysis." The girl is smiling. The boy has a partial smile.
Giving blood, getting a flu shot, raising money for a cure—plenty of Americans participate every day to help secure the health...
Poster with white background. "Free Clinic - Dec. 6, 1969" "Let your child be a rubella hero." Image of defeated dragon.
Eliminating or lowering rates of communicable disease often requires that we participate together in the battle against infectious disease...
Graphic in black text: "The Birth of a Nation" at 100
Our History Film Forum got us thinking about issues in depicting historic events in film. Watch our discussion on The Birth of a...
Gold coin with eye in center
In May 1848, a boisterous man named Sam Brannan charged down a San Francisco street, hollering, "Gold! Gold! Gold on the American River!"...
Detail of marine chart showing an island
To most people, bird poop is just something they scrape off the windshield of their cars, but it's more important than we may think. In...
Scan of citizenship document
After opening the new innovation floor of the west wing this summer, the museum is looking forward to the second floor, which will open in...
Woman faces camera and smiles. She is wearing a small microphone. Standing in a kitchen/stage. Avocado on counter top. Cabinets behind her.
From the 2012 opening of the exhibition FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950–2000 to the most recent inaugural Smithsonian...
Black and white photo of woman smiling in front of sign that says "What makes good lighting" and a model of a house
Imagine your daily life without electricity. Cooking and heating clothes irons on wood stoves, pumping water by hand, reading and working...
Light yellow and white dress, tea-length, short sleeves, scoop neck, delicate pattern
During my internship at the museum, I had the immense pleasure of working with a collection of objects donated by Minnijean Brown Trickey....
Film poster with three faces
Entering a museum with three floors, three million artifacts, and three dozen displays and exhibitions can be intimidating. That's why we...
President Johnson sits at a desk outdoors with a view of the New York coastline in the background. Many people gather around him watching. American flag on pole beside desk.
The 1960s are known as a tumultuous decade of activism, populated by larger-than-life figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby...

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