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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The date: June 11, 2010. The time: 8:30 a.m. (a shocking hour for a college undergraduate to be anywhere, let alone well-groomed,...
Mr. Isadore Warshaw began collecting business ephemera in 1928 that would later come to the National Museum of American History under the...
Today’s guest post was written by Dr. James Beeghley, who writes the blog Teaching the Civil War with Technology and presents workshops on...
I still remember the day when my seventh grade teacher wrote the word history on the blackboard as two words: “HIS STORY.” Wow, I thought....
The National Museum of American history boasts what may be the world’s largest and finest collection of historic water meters—108 in all...
Close-up photo of fabric texture
Editor’s Note: This is the third and final post in the series on “Brother Washington’s apron – a Masonic mystery.” See Part 1 and Part 2...
Editor’s Note: Today’s guest blog is written by Kenneth Coultas, a Tennesseean who recently visited the museum with his family and had...
As a part of a project for an exhibition about the Civil War titled “So Much Need of Service”: The Diary of a Civil War Nurse, I had the...
The great James Moody passed away on December 9, 2010. Today, Saturday, March 26, would have been his 86th birthday. In the jazz...
We are now at the end of science fair season (the final national prizes were handed out on March 15) and this year’s competitions took...
Storage at a museum is not a new problem. You collect stuff, and you have to find a place for it. Everyone knows how that works in their...
Portrait of Mary Lou Williams, CBS studio, New York, N.Y., ca. April 1947. Courtesy of William P. Gottlieb/Ira and Leonore S. Gershwin...
Coin collecting is the most popular hobby in the United States, and the Museum’s National Numismatic Collection (NNC) is one of the most...
Do you like neon signs? I sure did when I was a kid. My family owned a restaurant, and one of my first chores when I was old enough was...
Color photo of apron with symbols on it, including hour glass and columns
Late last year, I was speaking with a curator for a museum of Masonic history and our conversation turned to America’s most famous...
Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of posts about critical conservation work being conducted on the Jefferson Bible, a treasured...
Today’s turbulent financial times have created renewed interest in “Made in America” campaigns. Yesterday, Director Brent D. Glass met...
Most history museums face the challenge of bringing objects to life. Most of our artifacts weren’t made just to be on exhibit. People of...
Squishy gunk in tubes. This space food package in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum contains pureed beef...
Editor’s Note: This post is part of a series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.Occasionally the routine of museum work...
On February 15, President Obama honored 15 individuals with the Medal of Freedom. The award is the nation’s highest civilian...
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William Steinway, 1882. Photograph by Carl Borntraeger, Wiesbaden, Germany. Courtesy of Henry Z. Steinway Archive.Editor’s note: In...
Today, the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Jazz celebrate trumpeter Joe Wilder’s 89th birthday. Born in 1922 in Colwyn...
Photo of fabric apron with textured fabric around edges and scene in center with elaborate architectural design
Many of us have the Antiques Roadshow fantasy. You know the one. Some object or work of art, inherited or bought on the cheap (then...
Last month we asked you to vote on which historic car you’d most like to see on temporary display, and after 24,000 votes, the 1929 Miller...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is the first in a new series that will profile some of the museum’s generous donors.Each Veterans Day, the...
1,971. Is that the number of stitches in the stripes of the Star Spangled Banner? The minutes it takes to drive from the museum to...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by guest blogger Kurt R. Bell. In life, we often connect memorable dates with events that had some...
The 1915 San Francisco Panama Pacific International Exposition was an international fair held to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal...
Curator’s note: The following post is the latest from our Sweet & Sour series. Be on the lookout for the opening of our Sweet &...
Developing a new exhibition is very exciting. For some time, curators at the museum have been discussing a major new exhibition initiative...
Recently in the online community run by our partner, Verizon Thinkfinity, an educator asked how members of our history teachers...
Editor’s note: To commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, the National Museum of American History is partnering with American...
Gold frame containing black and white photo of man in hat showing off some type of instrument in box
If “matter can neither be created nor destroyed,” as the ancient Greek philosophers postulated, can the same principle be applied to...
The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center is dedicated to the study of invention and innovation in the history of the United States....
Legend has it that that Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “If you build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.” The...
Lincoln bust sold by Smithsonian store Recently U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders from Vermont wrote to the museum and gently chastised us for...
“Time Trial of Benedict Arnold,” the museum’s new theater program, opened on December 27 to rave reviews! The program explores the...
Editor’s note: This essay by guest blogger and maker Allison Thurman is adapted with permission from the Center for the Future of...
We asked you to vote for your favorite of 8 automotive jewels in the Smithsonian car collection, covering 120 years of history . . . and...
Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1939. "Goldfish Gulping," p. I3. It started out with one. One live goldfish, swallowed up by a...
Dr. William Taylor, Jr., known as Billy, was an educator, composer, actor, jazz pianist, and elder statesman. He was a cultural advocate...
In my last blog post, I took you on a brief tour of the Eco-City scene in China, in the northern area around Beijing. I wish, though...
Richard Avedon photographed president-elect John F. Kennedy and his family fifty years ago on January 3, 1961. The Museum has just opened...
As the countdown to 2011 draws near, I’m pleased to share with you the top 10 most popular original “O Say Can You See?” blog posts in 2010...
Phew! That’s all I can say about compiling the highlights from another remarkable year at the museum. We kicked off the year in style, with...
Public voting for our Race to the Museum contest opened December 21, 2010 and will run through January 11, 2011.   Can't wait...
In the National Museum of American History, there is a cabinet full of keys—keys that fit the 73 cars in the museum’s automobile...

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