Have you heard? We have a new dress on exhibition. It's true. There has been an addition to the First Ladies exhibition. First Lady Melania...
Antibodies are always looking out for us, and this week we're taking a closer look at them. Antibody-based tests, vaccines, and drugs have...
This rectangle of yellow cloth is small, only seven by nine inches, but it tells a much larger story. It begins in January 1917, when the...

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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?!...
Flag in dark room at angle
The Star-Spangled Banner is one of the most recognizable icons of the United States. Huge, vibrant, and rich in history, most Americans are...
Needles, scissors, pins, and chatelaine from the, early 1800s, of the type Pickersgill and her assistants would have used to make the flag.
Two hundred years ago, an African American girl made history—literally. She was an indentured servant named Grace Wisher in the household...
This watercolor by Akio Ujihara depicts snowy Manzanar War Relocation Center in California
As part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, Project Assistant Christy Wallover shares three meaningful objects from the museum's...
This summer, we're celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner with Raise It Up! Anthem for America. On Flag Day,...
A curly blond wig with short hair
You may love the Marx Brothers' Horsefeathers, Duck Soup, and Animal Crackers, but did you know the comedy group was once...
24 members of Future Farmers of America sit with their backs turned to the camera to show off their logo jackets
Note: the jacket search is complete. Thank you for sharing your love of youth agricultural education with us. See this post to learn about...
On the left, a 1966 Ford Mustang (yellow). On the right, a young man holding keys. Photo is from 1970s.
In the early 1960s, activists, professionals, and idealists changed America, making headlines and history. In 1964, the year of the New...
Man and woman in historic Abercrombie & Fitch camping and fishing outfits
Abercrombie & Fitch might be best known today for its teen casual clothing and risqué window displays. But the company was once the go-...
Memorabilia and awards from the FFA
If you were a member of FFA, 4-H, or other agricultural education program as a kid, you know just how powerful these experiences can be....
US postage stamp including two flags and the face of Francis Scott Key
Our National Anthem. It's a song that, in this writer's opinion, says much of what you need to know about the United States of America. It...
Brown shredded tree stump, black background
On the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Spotsylvania, Museum Fellow Jesse Gant shares the story of one dramatic Civil War relic.On May 12...
math device
The logarithm is 400 this year. Glen Van Brummelen, a fellow in the Dibner Library of History of Science and Technology, explains...
Packaging designer Walter Landor once said, "Products are made in the factory, but brands are created in the mind." One of the most iconic...
Can you imagine wearing one of these?Peineton, Collection Museo Historico Cornelio Saavedra, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaMy goodness! It would...
If you are visiting D.C. this summer, you have the chance to be part of some amazing events.The Fourth of July lights up the National Mall...
3 old cell phones
Cell phones have come a long way since the "gray brick" that many of us remember. Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation...
pin that says "Conservationists for Jimmy Carter"
As we celebrate Earth Day amidst increased public attention to the implications of human-induced climate change, Curator Jeffrey K. Stine...
We all know the colors of the American flag. But how did those colors physically come to fly on flagpoles and inspire national anthems?...
Today, on the anniversary of scientist Rosalind Franklin's death, we remember her with a story about how our audience pushed for her...
On today's date 149 years ago, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in ...
Confederate currency
One of the oldest printing presses in our collection (one publication said it was "probably in use when Uncle Sam was in swaddling clothes...
We know our Ramage printing press was used during the Civil War—but we aren't sure precisely what it printed. Curator Joan Boudreau...
Salesman's model of an IBM 360 computer.
Today, we're used to computers than can do almost everything we can imagine. Peggy Aldrich Kidwell, Curator of Mathematics, highlights a...
three children look at a large doll house
Without buttons to push, levers to pull, or paper airplanes to fly, some museum exhibitions just aren't very interactive. What's a...
If you're offended by that first pun, the rest of this post about our high sodium "Conference on Stuff" by Curator Katherine Ott may rub...
A flag that has survived actual "bombs bursting in air" can surely survive anything, right? You’d be surprised. Maintaining the Star-...
Votes for Women button
Intern Patri O'Gan shares a unique story of woman suffrage for Women's History Month in the final installment of the "Traveling for...
table top connected to a chair
As the National Museum of American History marks its 50th anniversary, we also celebrate the many women who have enriched and informed the...
Young man posing on a bike with low handle bars. He wears short shorts and t-shirt with stripes, perhaps racing clothes. He is African American.
Can you imagine not knowing Babe Ruth? What if Muhammad Ali and his accomplishments had been lost to history? What if you didn't know who...
Votes for Women button
Intern Patri O'Gan shares a unique story of woman suffrage for Women's History Month. Read previous posts in the "Traveling for Suffrage"...
author with cookie monster
Yes, those of us on the museum staff know our jobs are awesome. Laura McClure of our Office of Exhibition Services shares what it's like to...
It has been 50 years since the U.S. Surgeon General's first report detailing the health hazards of smoking. Jeffrey K. Stine, the...
a spirograph kit is open, revealing plastic wheels and instructions
Remember that fun, spiral-drawing toy from the 1960s called the Spirograph? Turns out, those cool curves you made as a kid actually...
A woman in a yellow sweater prepares a document for digitization
Have you ever seen a box full of money—well, not exactly, money, but certified plate proofs? What about stacks of boxes? Stacks on stacks?...
Votes for Women button
Intern Patri O'Gan shares a unique story of woman suffrage for Women's History Month. Read Part 1, the previous post in the Traveling for...
Swedish Chef Muppet with spoon, mustache, chef's hat
Intern Peter Olson interviewed Bonnie Erickson, the executive director of The Jim Henson Legacy, to discuss some of the...
"votes for women" pin with stars
Intern Patri O'Gan shares a unique story of woman suffrage for Women's History Month.Woman suffrage button in the museum's collectionBy the...
photo of men in uniform
If you've ever done research using primary source documents, you know that context is key. Who took this photo? Who's in the photo?...
ice skates
"Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" This was ABC sportscaster Al Michaels' quote "heard 'round the world" after the U.S. National Team beat...

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