Top 10 must-read blog posts of 2013

"O Say Can You See?" turned five this year. Like many five-year-olds, we ask a lot of questions. In fact, half of our top ten posts of 2013 answered questions—one was even about a 200-year-old question mark. Here are the posts that captured your curiosity.

 

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Our most popular blog post this year wasn't our idea. Linda B. asked these intriguing questions through Facebook: "What kinds of things would Revolutionary soldiers carry in their pockets? Did they have pockets or did they use backpacks instead?" Our post answering her question was read 9,965 times, reminding us that our blog is best when we listen to what makes you, our readers, curious. So follow Linda's lead and tweet us a question or post it in the comments.

1. You asked, we answered: What did Revolutionary War soldiers have in their pockets? More than spare musket flints.

2. Did you know that Grover, one of Jim Henson's Muppets, used to be green, not blue? The proof is in our conservation lab.

 

Bonnie Erickson of The Jim Henson Legacy and museum costume conservator Sunae Park Evans work on the original Grover as J.P. Grosse looks on.
Bonnie Erickson of The Jim Henson Legacy and museum costume conservator Sunae Park Evans work on the original Grover as J.P. Grosse looks on.

3. You asked, we answered: What did soldiers eat during the Revolutionary War? Please pass the peas.

4. Some grandmas still call it "Decoration Day." Why do we celebrate Memorial Day, anyways?

 

Although we don't know many specifics about this object, we do know that the museum collected it as an example of material manufacturing; the cane handle is made from elk horn. There are threads at the bottom that would allow the handle to be screwed onto a cane. When removed, another hole appeared, and the handle could become a pipe.
Although we don't know many specifics about this object, we do know that the museum collected it as an example of material manufacturing; the cane handle is made from elk horn. There are threads at the bottom that would allow the handle to be screwed onto a cane. When removed, another hole appeared, and the handle could become a pipe.

5. A scary automaton friar, a wreath made of human hair, and a particularly menacing cane handle are just three of the 11 creepy objects we blogged about in our Halloween post.

6. The puffy shirt from Seinfeld is not on view as we renovate our West Wing. But that doesn't stop visitors from asking to see it. Why does the pirate-like shirt still resonate 20 years later?

7. Loreta Janeta Velazquez was a Cuban immigrant who grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana. When the Civil War broke out, she made a shocking move.

8. We don't mind the meltdowns. We think you should bring your toddler to museums and blog readers agreed; even tiny kiddos get something valuable out of a museum visit.

 

The first stanza of the national anthem is projected prominently on the wall above the Star-Spangled Banner at the museum. A special enclosure, with a 35-foot floor-to-ceiling glass wall, protects the fragile wool and cotton flag while providing maximum visibility to visitors.
The first stanza of the national anthem is projected prominently on the wall above the Star-Spangled Banner at the museum. A special enclosure, with a 35-foot floor-to-ceiling glass wall, protects the fragile wool and cotton flag while providing maximum visibility to visitors.

9. That's no typo. Francis Scott Key put a question mark in the national anthem for a very good reason.

10. How did soldiers commemorate the first Fourth of July? Extra rum allowance all around!

Everyone on the blog team is looking forward to bringing you more interesting blog posts, Pinterest boardsInstagram photos, and YouTube videos in 2014, a year in which we'll celebrate the museum's 50th anniversary, continue to spark dialogue about American food history, commemorate the 200th anniversary of the national anthem, and challenge high school students to think differently about the Civil Rights Movement.

Erin Blasco is an education specialist in the New Media department.

Posted at 9:04 am EST in From the Collections,On the Web