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 "Film & Television"

A movie poster for an African American action character. He wears a vivid crimson shirt, a kerchief secured around his neck by a metal ring, a cowboy hat on, and he stands in from of a large white structure in the background that has flags, towers, and domes.
The National Museum of American History is renowned for its collection of American cinematic treasures such as Dorothy's Ruby Slippers from...
Lunch box featuring a scene from Star Wars. Three characters are in a vehicle that has been stopped by storm troopers.
When the Virginia all-state student orchestra launched into the first thrilling notes of John Williams's Star Wars ...
Brown fedora with brown ribbon band
"I'm sorry. The Ruby Slippers aren't on display right now."It's something that we here at the museum are preparing ourselves to have to say...
A view of a brown filing cabinet. One drawer is pulled out slightly with the label "Phyllis Diller" and a small metal handle with an ID card stuck inside. A small note card with typed script is pulled out slightly.
"You talk about making waves—did you ever get hiccups in a waterbed?"Phyllis Diller kept Americans in stitches throughout...
black metal device that looks like a typewriter. All the keys, however, have numbers on them and they are yellow, green, and red.
Over the past few months, I’ve read Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures and seen the movie with the same title. These...
Card from from the show "The West Wing." Presidential Seal and blue border.
As the fanfare leading up to the 2017 inauguration swirls around the Smithsonian and Washington, D.C., at large, I cannot help but think...
An award on a short wooden base of a young tiger with its paw on what appears to be a golf ball painted light blue with the world on it.
The Division of Culture and the Arts at the museum collects a wide variety of awards and trophies. We have iconic awards such as Oscars,...
A pair of dark leather books that are higher than ankle-length. They lace up the front. They have seen wear, as some of the seams look worn and the soles look like they're coming apart. On the ground in front of the shoes is a notebook. It looks to be made of dark leather and has rings like a modern binder, with pages covered in dark cursive.
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
A pair of replica ruby slippers sit inside of a display case. They are positioned so that the toes are pointed slightly away from one another, and one of the shoes has its heel places on a small box covered in blue gingham wrapping paper.
 Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve...
A page from a television script. The paper is beige colored and the text looks like it is from a typewriter and is centered on the page
Watching the television show M*A*S*H is a family tradition in my house. My grandfather introduced the show to my mother and uncle...
Crop of image also used in full post. A little girl with her eyes closed gently touches the webbed foot of the lion. Her facial expression is happy--we see her in silhouette. The lion's poofy made is visible.
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
Wizard of Oz, 1900
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
Early television in wooden piece of furniture
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
Photo of the Ruby Slippers on a yellow background
 Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and...
Costume on a faceless manikin includes pointed black hat tied with brown ribbon, white collar, burlap outfit, and hay pieces dangling.
Update: Your support has helped to make this project a reality! Our campaign to raise support to conserve Dorothy's Ruby Slippers and our...
Movie camera in large apparatus with four small wheels.
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
A little girl admires the Ruby Slippers in a display case
At a little past 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, 2016, you took us somewhere over the rainbow. With over 5,300 backers, our "Keep Them...
Pair of red shoes with sequins with yellow brick background
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
Close-up photo of red sequins, cropped to a circle
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
One of the Ruby Slippers, with a small heel and a beaded bow, covered in sequins, sits under a microscope.
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
Graphic in black text: "The Birth of a Nation" at 100
Our History Film Forum got us thinking about issues in depicting historic events in film. Watch our discussion on The Birth of a...
Film poster with three faces
Entering a museum with three floors, three million artifacts, and three dozen displays and exhibitions can be intimidating. That's why we...
Visitors playing "The Price is Right" at the museum
The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project is a new learning space in the museum's innovation wing that explores "everyday...
Bright red silk top hat, decorated with a silver band and blue stars
When people think of costumes, they tend to think of elaborate, old-fashioned gowns, like the ones in Victorian novel adaptations....
Photo of a record album with Chewbacca in the snow
Please note that the droids you are looking for are not currently on display at the museum as of December 2016. Since its debut in...
Black-and-white photo of buildings on a street, including Republic theater with marquee. American flag over an office building. Two people walk down sidewalk.
What if you watched only the lines in E.T. or the entire Harry Potter series that were spoken by people of color? You...
Photo from a scene in the television show "EMERGENCY!" with five actors
The pre-reality television show EMERGENCY! premiered in January 1972. Health- and medical-themed programs such as the radio and...
When I was in eighth grade, my government teacher gave us a homework assignment that I did not do. The next day, we were told to hand ...
Raccoon hat
Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers shares the story of Davy Crockett's coonskin cap. It had previously been on view in Starring North...
A gold belt buck with "US" on it is seen in close-up through other costume elements
Watching this year's Academy Award-winning movie 12 Years a Slave compelled me to think about my internship research on objects...
Apple Macintosh (“classic” 128K version), 1984
Today marks the 30th anniversary of Apple's famous "1984" television ad that aired on January 22, 1984, during the third quarter of the...
Today is the 75th anniversary of the announcement that Vivien Leigh would play Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind. Guest...
Titanic survivors in black and white photo
Are you one of Downton Abbey's many American fans? With the new fourth season airing here in the U.S. on PBS ...
Little girl paper puppet and wolf paper puppet
On December 13, 2013, the new Puppetry in America display case opens at the museum, highlighting a collection that curator Dwight...
Radio
Fifty years ago tomorrow, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Curator Hal Wallace looks at how Americans would...
While we're renovating the west side of the museum, a few of visitors' favorite objects have been moved off display, including Jerry...
A woman checks actors' makeup on a movie set
When filmmaker María Agui Carter first came across the 1876 memoir of a Latina woman who fought in the Civil War, she recognized "a voice...
Police badge
Two curators share interesting law enforcement-related artifacts in their collections, inspired by National Police Week.Curator Eric...
Behind the scenes of our “The 39 Clues” virtual field trip with History Explorer educator Sarah CoffeeThere’s an aura of mystery to the...
The first episode of The French Chef aired on WGBH on February 11, 1963, starring Julia Child. To celebrate the show’s...
Copper bowl
The first episode of The French Chef aired on WGBH on February 11, 1963, starring Julia Child. To celebrate the show's 50th anniversary,...
Editor’s note: As part of our free Classic Film Festival featuring four Civil War movies, you can see Gettysburg (1993) at...
Editor's note: As part of our Classic Film Festival featuring Civil War movies, you can see Gettysburg (1993) at the...
A woman in a short blond curly wig with a white top with a large feather neckling. She holds a cigarette holder in her hand.
Editor’s Note: Yesterday we learned that trailblazing comedian Phyllis Diller passed away at age 95. Diller was known for breaking the...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by the producer/director of the Smithsonian Channel’s documentary, 9/11: Stories in Fragments. The...