"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics, recited this oath at...
Hawkeye’s corduroy bathrobe looks purple in real life, but comes across as red on camera.The chronically jet-lagged actor Alan Alda got...
Christopher Wilson, Director of Experience and Program Design, shares the rare opportunity he had to reflect on the legacy of Nelson...

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“Black Friday”—the day after Thanksgiving when holiday shopping goes into high gear—promises to start even earlier this year on Thursday,...
In the years prior to World War II, most Americans had limited first-hand experience of their southern neighbor. Mexico primarily was known...
Editor's note: Listen to Matthew Hersch discuss the history behind the development of the space suit. From early high altitude suits, to...
You probably know someone with a heart condition, someone who had a heart attack or even heart surgery. I know I do. According to the...
Have you ever seen an American flag up close? I don’t mean the kind you can wave at parades. How about an American flag that’s 30 feet tall...
Every year over a million visitors tour Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, site of the Civil War ...
On November 18-19, Moving Beyond Earth: Innovations in Space, the Lemelson Center’s symposium, held this year in collaboration with...
It’s a little tough to find a Civil War sock . . . that a few hundred people can touch each year. The museum does a lot of hands-on...
This story starts with a fork. As a contractor with the Military History Collections Inventory Project, my job is to count things. In...
A large orange squash known as the "Cinderella pumpkin."
As a natively grown vegetable cultivated by the Wampanoag Indians, squash holds a special place in American history. Today, squash are most...
One of the treasures held by the Division of Culture and the Arts is a beautiful book in a splendid binding. We know a good deal about the...
Still looking for a creative costume for your upcoming Halloween celebration? We have some quick ideas pulled straight from our collections...
This post is part two of a series. Read part one. In addition to examples of nearly every kind of American and European instrument,...
An experimental telegraph, a unique device used to spread seeds, an object named the "Greffuhle,” a list of all the places where one...
As a member of the Military History Collections Project team, I research the official collection records of the museum for...
Editor's note: This blog is the fourth in a series of posts about the Jefferson bible conservation project.It is difficult to describe how...
Something chartreuse and wonderful caught my eye as I approached the museum’s Constitution Avenue entrance last week. I recognized it, but...
Why is there a tiger instead of a manatee on my cereal box? And why is cereal sold in a box at all? In what ways does packaging affect the...
Frank Kameny, who died yesterday, was one of those Americans whom few people have heard of but who spent his time on the planet making the...
Yesterday, Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, passed away at age 56 after a seven year battle with pancreatic cancer. This collection of...
During the 1970s the museum purchased a small collection of printing blocks purported to have been used to produce Civil War issues of...
We are just at the beginning of several years of marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War; and we’ve still got a long way to go...
As the curator for the museum’s collection of ceramics and glass, I’m responsible for tens of thousands of fragile artifacts...
Current and former Peace Corps volunteers gathered in Washington, D.C.during the weekend of September 24-25, 2011, to commemorate the...
Photo of man wearing a black hat and brown coat. He faces camera with an anxious expression, his right hand raised as if swearing an oath.
An  actor portrays abolitionist John BrownThis summer, the National Museum of American History’s History Alive! Theater program...
In the year since the beginning of the Military History Collections Inventory project, other  members of the team ...
“Two hundred years of American technology has unwittingly created a massive cement playground of unlimited potential, but it was the minds...
This wood laminate skateboard displays Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse logo graphic designed by Vernon Cortlandt Johnson and was used by Tony Hawk in competitions during the mid-1980s.
Innovation and inventiveness have been central to skateboarding since the earliest days of the sport. As Tony Hawk told ESPN...
September brings the start of another school year, and for most major American universities, that means another season of college football...
Editor's Note: Today's post is the second in a series about legendary sound engineer Rudy Van Gelder and his impact on jazz. See part...
The lush tones of Miles Davis are unmistakable to millions. It is common knowledge among jazz fans that Davis was heavily influenced by...
Editor’s note: This post was written by the museum’s Summer Teacher Associate. Each year, we bring one teacher to work with our ...
Today, the museum's special tenth anniversary display of September 11 artifacts will close. Hundreds of visitors have left comments...
Editor’s note: Today's post continues the recollections of Jeffrey Brodie, who was working for the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum in...
Editor’s note: This blog post is the first of two from Jeffrey Brodie about his experiences collecting for the Smithsonian’s National...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by the producer/director of the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary, 9/11: Stories in Fragments. The...
Khaki uniform, shoes, and hat
In the spring of 1998, I joined the National Museum of American History as a curator of Armed Forces History. Shortly after I arrived, my...
“Where were you?” We’ve all been hearing this question a lot in the days leading up to the tenth anniversary of September 11, 2001. From...
Editor’s note: This post is a follow-up to one published earlier this week featuring a video of a mysterious pair of Battlestar Galactica...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by guest blogger and Transportation Security Administration historian, Michael P. C. Smith. Kenneth...
I decided to intern at the National Museum of American History because I love history and sharing that interest with others. I always get...
Editor’s Note: Don’t miss this video of museum technician Drew Robarge examining a mysterious pair of eyeglasses for clues about their...
On September 10, 2001, I flew non-stop from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles, to attend a photography seminar at the Getty Museum. It never...
The Scurlock Studio was a photographic business operated by an African American family in Washington, D.C., from 1911 to 1994....
My colleague Diane Wendt’s excellent work on a Civil War nurse reminded me that the museum has a closely related object—a Civil...
Editor’s note: This post is by Joan Brodsky Schur, an education consultant and participant in the August 3 opening panel discussion...
Photograph of miners posing around dynamo, around 1884
As a collection manager at the National Museum of American History, I often have access to things no one else gets to see, including the...
Somewhat late in the summer of 1784, James Smithson embarked on his first scientific expedition. This “expedition” might have seemed a bit...

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