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...
With the academic year in full swing, schools across the country are beginning their first rounds of fire drills. Remember those? As alarms...
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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Some of the most frequently asked questions we receive at the museum have to do with objects that were once on display but are no longer on...
“Physics is phun!” my high-school physics teacher loved to write, and certainly these Nobel Prize winners would agree. Dr. Andre Geim...
Loyal readers of our blog are surely familiar with the museum's theater programs, especially Join the Student Sit-Ins. This...
Last week on the museum’s Facebook page, we featured a photograph of the National Mall taken from the Washington Monument in 1965. We...
Editor’s note: This post is the second in a series of monthly posts exploring the work of Smithsonian Gardens and...
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Smithsonian Collections Blog as part of a 31-day Blogathon in October for...
“Then in that hour of deliverance and joyful triumph, my heart spoke…” —Francis Scott Key Many visitors have noticed that in our ...
As chronicled in several of our past posts, the National Museum of American History regularly holds naturalization ceremonies in...
Editor’s Note: We encourage teachers to integrate the museum’s online resources into their classroom teaching. Today’s post is written by...
Much of what we do at the museum is for the visitors: exhibits, programs, lectures, and performances. We want our guests to enjoy...
Editor’s note: This post, written by Ryan Holladay, member of the D.C. music collective Bluebrain, is second in a series about...
From time to time, we ask our blog readers about your preferences and interests so that we can serve you better. If you haven't already...
Back home in Britain, we have a lot of history. I’ve visited the Tower of London, Edinburgh Castle, and Westminster Abbey, and I’ve grown...
In my previous posts I’ve mentioned how growing up in a Chinese restaurant was a fantastic experience. Let me tell you about one...
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the National Museum of American History will hold a symposium and cultural festival, ...
In the French Creole language, the song “Alayon bon peyi se Ayiti,” by Haitian composer Moise Abraham, can be translated “So whatever will...
Curators use objects to tell a story about an event, a period of history, a person, a group of people, or a movement. Because we have a...
At lunch a few days ago, I was sitting next to a retired engineer from the U.S. Department of Energy. When I told him about our work at the...
I’ve now made half a dozen visits to Haiti over the past months, putting into place a Smithsonian effort to help Haitians save their...
Photo of World Trade Center towers against a clear morning sky on September 11, 2001. Gift of John Labriola. What I remember about the...
Time magazine cover with text: "AIDS The Growing Threat / What's Being Done"
AIDS - The Growing Threat, What’s Being Done. Time Magazine, Aug. 12, 1985.Editor’s note: The museum is planning a special display of...
Something wonderful is sprouting at the National Museum of American History. This past week I was introduced to the Victory Garden that is...
With today’s classrooms full of digital natives, teachers are considering how to incorporate technology into their classrooms....
Editor’s note: This is the second in a two-part post. See yesterday's post for the background on this story. The hard science of...
One of the key jobs of the curator is rounding up and analyzing material culture, the objects that we shape and that shape us. Brochures,...
Ever subject to revision and review, history often has a way of catapulting one figure into fame at the expense of another’s descent into...
Every time I consider quitting Facebook, a surprising connection keeps me hanging on. That’s how “Music for The World of Tomorrow” became...
Group of Henson puppets
Just how did an old coat and a ping pong ball contribute to what would become a global phenomenon? Add a whole heap of imagination, more...
Singer/composer Abbey Lincoln drew strength from emancipation–her own and the liberation of others fighting for social justice. When she...
Ah, the joy to be savored in a relaxed, idle summer evening—ice-cold lemonade in hand, the condensation dripping off your glass, fireflies...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by Harrow Strickland, a middle school teacher and summer teaching associate at the National Museum...
For a good part of the twentieth century, Harlem’s Apollo Theater was one of the most prestigious, important, and well-known venues for...
Can you believe that chop suey was once the most famous Chinese dish in America? The dish’s popularity helped fuel the growth of Chinese...
Editor's Update: See the February 2011 issue of Prototype to learn more about this topic. One of the best parts about being a...
The Boy Scouts of America is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year and the museum is joining the celebration by recognizing staff...
I recently attended my first conference of the American Library Association (ALA). The conference was held in Washington, D.C., and we’re...
Is American history dead? Are we on a slippery slope of national amnesia? If you look at data from a recent Marist Poll, you might answer...
An extravagantly appliqued mid-19th century cotton quilt has been placed on exhibit in an artifact wall case on the first floor of the...
They say the devil is in the details and as a student in the Humanities I know all too well how difficult it can be to get those...
The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation wants you to know more about our staff! You may have seen them in action in...
Black and white portrait of small girl with large white bow in her hair, holding rolled paper in hand, sitting in wheel chair
By Curator Katherine Ott There are a lot of people in town this week for the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by guest blogger Lynn Kessler, a writer and producer at Smithsonian Networks. "Seizing Justice: The...
Roger White is no Indiana Jones, but as an associate curator specializing in automobiles, he has hunted down his fair share of treasures....
Boy Scout scarf in blue and yellow
 The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 8th, 1910. In celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary, Boy Scouts...
The Smithsonian is big. The National Museum of American History is big. Many of our artifacts, like the John Bull locomotive and the Star–...
Earlier this year we invited Jennifer 8 Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, to meet with our staff and share her insights into...
Why does Silicon Valley continue to flourish and reinvent itself, despite periodic pronouncements of imminent decline or technological...
I am currently working on a book project—The Changing Face of Portrait Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital , due out in March 2011—...

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