What does a world-famous musician put under the tree for the woman he loves . . . when he happens to be married to someone else?In the case...
In April 2006, President George W. Bush proclaimed May to be Jewish American Heritage Month. Jewish American objects in our collections...
Thanksgiving 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Proclamation that established the national observance of the holiday....

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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...
American Heroes: The Japanese American Nisei Congressional Gold Medal goes on display on February 19, 2014, beginning with a special...
Sean White clothing and snowboard
"Citius, Altius, Fortius"—translated as "faster, higher, stronger"—is the motto of the modern Olympic Games. This phrase could also sum up...
Pop-up illustration of a cupid with wings and rosy cheeks holding a garland of blue flowers.
Ah, Valentine's Day: when history curators' thoughts turn to love. This Valentine's Day, we asked members of our curatorial staff to share...
An 1898 catalog
Not satisfied with a bouquet of standard red roses, Smithsonian staffers share unique blooms from museum collections. Diane Wendt is a...
Trade card for a heart remedy featuring illustration of heart
Valentine's Day is traditionally for those whose hearts are all aglow with love, but the cardio-obsession also led the Center for Disease...
On Abraham Lincoln's 205th birthday, intern Kate Fuljenz shares the story behind an etching on Lincoln's gold pocket watch from the...
A brooch made of dimes
Don't forget to pick up a token of your affection for your valentine this year. Robyn Einhorn, a specialist in the museum's National...
A collection of sweetheart jewelry
Does your family own any jewelry from World War II? Curator Kathleen Golden shares a few sweet pieces from our collection.In honor of...
Wendy Williams
Ever wonder how the museum acquires all of its fantastic pop-culture memorabilia? Guest blogger Wendy Williams of The Wendy Williams...
Ice skates
Excited about the Winter Olympics? We indulge our Olympic fever with curator Jane Rogers, who shares a few favorite and less-expected...
Theologian and chemist Joseph Priestley immigrated to the United States in 1794 after a mob destroyed his house and laboratory in...
Grey Civil War coat with red detailing and gold buttons
It was December 21, 1864, a few days before Christmas. Colonel John S. Mosby had ridden from Richmond, Virginia, to Upper...
silver bowl with fancy handle
With the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks set to square off in the big game on Sunday, it's time to take a look at some more of our own...
Photo of a black purse with a short handle. It is rectangular and bulges in the middle as though it's full. A little worn around the edges. Metal buckle.
Intern Peter Olson interviewed Curators Nancy Davis and William Yeingst, whose exhibition Camilla's Purse reveals the previously...
Apple Macintosh (“classic” 128K version), 1984
Today marks the 30th anniversary of Apple's famous "1984" television ad that aired on January 22, 1984, during the third quarter of the...
The Museum of History and Technology (our previous name) was dedicated on today’s date 50 years ago, opening to the public on the following...
teapot
In honor of Benjamin Franklin's 307th birthday, curator Deborah Warner shares an experiment Franklin isn't known for—and, no, there's no...
Today is the 75th anniversary of the announcement that Vivien Leigh would play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. Guest...
Christopher Wilson, Director of Experience and Program Design, reflects on the legacy of Civil Rights activist and friend, Franklin McCain...

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