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....

Blog

James Cameron’s Avatar was the box office smash to beat over the holiday season. The director of the Alien and Terminator franchises...
My first experience with Food Stamps was as a kid, growing up in Peekskill, NY. In the grocery store, my mother would give my sister and me...
Editor’s note: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the student sit-ins at the Greensboro, N.C. lunch counter. To commemorate this event...
When it comes to objects—and sometimes humans—people are always curious to know what’s the first, biggest, oldest, or best.  The...
Many people have seen black and white photographs of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. But the earthquake photographs shown below are...
When I applied to become an intern at the National Museum of American History, I honestly was not sure what to expect, so I decided to...
2009 has been a remarkable year for the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Thanks to supporters like you, we were able...
I suppose the first question should be: what’s an old New York State license plate doing in the museum’s computer collection? The second...
One of the perks of working in a museum is being able to commune with objects in the quiet hours of the morning before the doors open to...
To come up with the top ten “O Say Can You See?” blog posts of 2009 I relied on you, dear readers, to tell me what should make the cut. It...
Bread-making technology spawned many inventions and patents, like the bread-slicer. While the earliest bread-cutting devices using parallel...
Trained in graphics, I started as a publications designer of print materials for public events: lectures, concerts, performances of film,...
“Like the sun in all its glory suddenly breaking through the shades of gloom.” So wrote Julia Child after finally succeeding in making real...
What will these highly skilled museum professionals do? Several of them mentioned that their first task is to turn off the alarm clock. No...
Perhaps the most important lesson I learned from working on Stories on Money was the incredible amount of collaboration—internal and...
Where to Find the Master Recipes  Eggplant and zucchini gratin  Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, pp. 200-03  An online...
The Smithsonian hired architects Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB) to create a plan which would meet our needs. Since the Mall is such a sensitive...
Where to Find the Master Recipe Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. Two, pp. 495-97 An online version from the Shazam in the...
In reality, the English dissidents on board the Mayflower called themselves “saints,” not “pilgrims,” and landed on a beach in Provincetown...
So I was very intrigued when a colleague distributed a report from the U.S. Department of Education about online learning studies. A main...
Julia Child's copper bowl
With turkey day fast approaching, cooks around the country are whipping up grocery lists and getting ready for what is the equivalent of a...
There is no shortage of snake oil in America. Whether sold by politicians as endless campaign promises, or by spammers tempting us with...
As soon as more than sixty Iraqi public officials sat down in our auditorium, I knew I was facing a tough audience. These men and one woman...
Today’s post is the thirteenth in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week, curator Helena Wright gets a start on holiday baking...
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Science at the Smithsonian blog. Learn more about the museum's Stradivari...
My ears perked up at the announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize in physics. Not only was it awarded to an invention that revolutionized...
We’ve always heard that “money talks.” I remembered the phrase while talking with Richard Doty, curator of our numismatics collection...
Today’s post is the twelfth in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week, public affairs associate Laura Duff embraces her...
When curator David Shayt passed away around the time the museum reopened in fall 2008, I inherited one of his many collections. Which...
Today’s post is the eleventh in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week’s contributor is Joe Criste, an exhibits specialist who...
Many of the staff who work here at the National Museum of American History are “museum advocates” (AKA fans). Not only do we love visiting...
On the bottom edge of this pigment print (a type of digitally printed photograph) by Robert Weingarten, is the text “29 Oct 69 22:30 Talked...
I was interning at the National Museum of American History when I first encountered the photographic images of Leonard Nadel, who spent...
About the Blog "O Say Can You See?" is a blog produced by the National Museum of American History (NMAH). The blog takes readers...
Matthew MacArthur (Editor-in-Chief) Title: Director of New Media What do you do at the Museum? I oversee the development and maintenance...
Today’s post is the tenth in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week, Jan Lilja, Associate Director for Management and Museum...
As floor managers, we sometimes spend hours interacting with visitors—some of whom are more cheerful than others after a long visit to the...
America is a big place. Kind of a silly thing to say, but think about it: we cover 3,000-odd miles coast to coast, span several time zones...
Today’s post is the ninth in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. Kudos to this week’s contributors, project manager Ann Burrola and...
I’m a bad steampunk. I like pretty things with brass and wood, but I end up injuring myself when I try to build/sew/knit/glue things, with...
As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close on October 15, I am reminded of a recent conversation I had with my old friend Dr. José (Joe) V...
Citizenship Day Naturalization Ceremony, September 17—it’s just another public program at the museum. I spend the morning working with...
Today’s post is the eighth in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week, business program manager Kathy Sklar overcomes her...
Advertising figure made by the National Papier Mache Works of Clinton, Iowa, ca 1900. In the 1958 film Rally ‘Round the Flag, Boys...
I work at the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. But I spent last year teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in...
Today’s post is the seventh in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week, new media project manager Dana Allen-Greil shares...
If you’ve got an interest in education, you’ve probably heard of high school administrator Karl Fisch’s Shift Happens presentation or the...
Today’s post is the sixth in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week, project management assistant Laura McClure shimmies...

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