For several decades after the Revolution, Paul Revere was as famous for his church bells as for his midnight ride. His role as a horse-...
On June 17, 1885, a French ship, the Isère, arrived in New York Harbor laden with very special cargo—more than 200 crates filled with...
As the museum's social media manager, I get to see many snapshots our visitors share on social media while they're here. Frequently...

Blog Posts in "You Asked, We Answer"

Today, museum staff members are answering questions sent in to us through social media, particularly Twitter. Here are a few of our...
Ask a Curator graphic
The global online Q&A session between museum staff members and the public known as Ask a Curator Day took place on Wednesday, September...
Ambrotype of the washerwoman for the Union Army, who has an American flag on her outfit
Today, many of our staff are participated in a global, Twitter-based Q&A called Ask a Curator Day. Here are a few of our favorite...
Celluloid button featuring the image of a three-link chain, symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
It's morning in New Zealand, meaning the global, Twitter-based Q&A called Ask a Curator Day has already started. We'll begin answering...
Handwritten manuscript by Francis Scott Key, on yellowed paper
You may not have heard of Baltimore's Indian Queen Hotel, but it plays an important role in the story of "The Star-Spangled Banner" song....
US postage stamp including two flags and the face of Francis Scott Key
Our National Anthem. It's a song that, in this writer's opinion, says much of what you need to know about the United States of America. It...
Today, on the anniversary of scientist Rosalind Franklin's death, we remember her with a story about how our audience pushed for her...
The global online Q&A session between museum curators and the public known as Ask a Curator Day takes place today, Wednesday, September...
The global online Q&A session between museum curators and the public known as Ask a Curator Day takes place Wednesday, September 18,...
Jefferson's small wooden desk
Museum staff Hannah Ostroff and Marko Zlatich have an answer, and it's not barbeques and fireworks.In the Revolutionary War era, news did...
Star-Spangled Banner
The short answer: because Francis Scott Key wrote it that way.But we can do better than that. Let's have a look:O! say does that star-...
George Washington's well-appointed personal camp chest, or "mess kit," enabled him to dine in a manner reflecting his position as commander of the Continental Army.
After answering a question about what may have been in the pockets of Revolutionary War soldiers, another Revolutionary War...
Powder horn from the colonial era etched with map of New York
Linda B. asked through our Facebook page: "I have a research question … What kinds of things would Revolutionary soldiers carry in their...
Babe Mit box
A recent tour group saw all kinds of interesting artifacts behind the scenes, from the first implanted heart to a baggy of chads...
Curious visitors, social media followers, and donors often ask which U.S. presidents have visited the museum. Inspired by the upcoming...
Most museum staff agree that working at the Smithsonian isn’t quite like Night at the Museum. In real museum work, it’s rare that anybody...
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on The Smithsonian Archives’ blog, The Bigger Picture. As many of you may know, a couple...
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...
“Then in that hour of deliverance and joyful triumph, my heart spoke…” —Francis Scott Key Many visitors have noticed that in our ...
Cameras are everywhere. I currently have three devices in my purse that I can take a picture with. We love it when our visitors take photos...
When it comes to objects—and sometimes humans—people are always curious to know what’s the first, biggest, oldest, or best.  The...