"They're swingin' everything else—why not nursery rhymes?" stated Ella Fitzgerald while dancing around the room showcasing some new dance...
In the Archives Center, jazz always seems to be a topic of discussion, whether it be a researcher looking for the Duke Ellington Collection...
Red thread is woven in and out of leather, uniting two different pieces into a single object that represents America's favorite pastime and...

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Metal pin picturing illustration of two children, a girl and a boy. The little girl has the boy by the elbow, helping him. She has a brace on her leg. The boy uses crutches. They are dressed in nice clothes. Text on red background says "Fight Infantile Paralysis." The girl is smiling. The boy has a partial smile.
Giving blood, getting a flu shot, raising money for a cure—plenty of Americans participate every day to help secure the health...
Poster with white background. "Free Clinic - Dec. 6, 1969" "Let your child be a rubella hero." Image of defeated dragon.
Eliminating or lowering rates of communicable disease often requires that we participate together in the battle against infectious disease...
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...
Gold coin with eye in center
In May 1848, a boisterous man named Sam Brannan charged down a San Francisco street, hollering, "Gold! Gold! Gold on the American River!"...
Detail of marine chart showing an island
To most people, bird poop is just something they scrape off the windshield of their cars, but it's more important than we may think. In...
Scan of citizenship document
After opening the new innovation floor of the west wing this summer, the museum is looking forward to the second floor, which will open in...
Woman faces camera and smiles. She is wearing a small microphone. Standing in a kitchen/stage. Avocado on counter top. Cabinets behind her.
From the 2012 opening of the exhibition FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950–2000 to the most recent inaugural Smithsonian...
Black and white photo of woman smiling in front of sign that says "What makes good lighting" and a model of a house
Imagine your daily life without electricity. Cooking and heating clothes irons on wood stoves, pumping water by hand, reading and working...
Light yellow and white dress, tea-length, short sleeves, scoop neck, delicate pattern
During my internship at the museum, I had the immense pleasure of working with a collection of objects donated by Minnijean Brown Trickey....
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...
President Johnson sits at a desk outdoors with a view of the New York coastline in the background. Many people gather around him watching. American flag on pole beside desk.
The 1960s are known as a tumultuous decade of activism, populated by larger-than-life figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby...
Blue jacket with yellow sleeves, buttons, zippers, and details. Patch on left says "EWBA Champions."
William "Ray" Werner joined the Marine Corps on December 8, 1941. Two years later Ray's mother received the official Marine Corps letter...
Small television with handle and turquoise frame around screen, which is slightly curved
For Super Bowl 50, we're sharing some 1960s objects from the museum's collections to add a little retro flare to any game watching party...
Display in which figures hold up contemporary campaign signs for presidential candidates while standing among historic objects related to voting, such as 1940s voting booths
As I walk into the museum each morning, I notice which figures in our Hooray for Politics display are holding their signs for presidential...
Man with beard facing camera and holding coloring book page with text "Cruz"
Two of the museum's curators, Lisa Kathleen Graddy and Jon Grinspan, are collecting objects at key moments in the 2016 election. We're...
Color photo of a room that has stairs leading up to it (approx. four) and a lift to the left. The room is sunlit and has white arches and green paint.
Accessibility is the first step to participating in American arts and culture. Public spaces such as Smithsonian museums need to welcome...
1700s copper chocolate pot
With an intense snow storm bearing down on the mid-Atlantic, we're looking to history and our collections to inspire us about how to eat,...
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...
Khaki uniform with skirt and collared jacket. Large brown buttons and two breast pockets. Brown lace-up boots with small heel. Brown hate with ribbon around it.
I came back from my eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C., with a Rosie the Riveter poster from the museum store here (not...
Group of small wooden carved figures, some with painted details.
The first job I had at the museum was working with a collection of more than 3,000 objects from Puerto Rico, all collected by Teodoro Vidal...
Black and white ad with photo of woman in dress with polka dots and umbrella with polka dots. Text: "Silks that express the spirit of sport."
Next in our World War I series this month, a look at what we now consider a go-to, neutral fabric for almost any season.In 1915 American...
Photo of panels of quilt, one with American flag in center
This week, we're exploring how participation—people joining together to accomplish shared goals—shapes American life by exploring our...
Photo of quilt panels
Americans have often banded together for the common good. That could mean marching on the National Mall to protest injustice or...
Photo of fabric. Dark blue background. Images of small children wearing pink, brown, white, and blue outfits. Attached together with string.
Some dolls, some dogs, and a charming Parisian story from our textile collections, part of our World War I series this month.In July 1918,...
Black and white photo of women in uniforms (pants, ties, hats, boots) lined up looking at a woman who appears to be in charge.
6:00 a.m. June 16, 1916. Nestled in the Ramapo Mountains of Passaic County, New Jersey, lay an orderly row of cream-colored tents. At the...
Photo of white lace in the shape of a circle with lion and crown in center
The Women in World War I object group was a long labor of love for my internship. Essentially an online exhibition, the object...
Color photo of 18 ounce Tabasco bottle
We don't just blog about food here at the museum. We celebrate it in our demonstration kitchen programs and our multiday Smithsonian Food...
Photograph of Monopoly board game, 1940s
This month marks the 80th anniversary for Charles S. Darrow's patent for the board game Monopoly. By the time Darrow was awarded the patent...
Judging from our blog readers' favorite posts this year, military history is a popular topic. But you also kept some space on your reading...
Patter with wide white strips, thin black stripes, and stylized bird and anti illustrations
On December 18, 1915, Edith Bolling Galt married President Woodrow Wilson in a ceremony at her home in Washington, D.C. This very private...
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....
In late December 1915, a century ago, 104 mathematicians and mathematics teachers assembled at The Ohio State University to form the...
One man and two women standing in an office with wooden cabinets, desk, and white walls
Curator and FOOD: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000 exhibition project director Paula Johnson recalls a memorable visit...
Frank Sinatra in hat and tie stands at microphone with music stand in front of him, mouth slightly open
Do you think of Frank Sinatra as a jazz singer? As we celebrate his 100th birthday, guest author Eric Felten explores this question.When...
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...
Case with objects inside
"In the United States associations are established to promote public order, commerce, industry, morality, and religion; for there is no end...
Hat with portrait of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin's reputation for invention and inventiveness looms large in our national imagination: Franklin stoves, Poor Richard's...
"Park and Shop" board game
 This November 27, 2015, the day after Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will kick off the holiday shopping season with what has...
Small brown puppet with big white eyes, photo
Does this puppet look familiar? Remind you of anyone you know? Does he bear a striking resemblance to a famous frog? This is one of Jim...
Photo of pumpkin surrounded by green leaves
Thanksgiving meals have come a long way since the first shared feast back at Plymouth Colony in 1621. While our reasons for gathering today...
Holiday tree and abstract American flag sculpture
What do you get when you mix C-3PO (the real one!), an Oscar-nominated movie, classic toys, heritage chocolate, gorgeous seasonal...
Black-and-white photo of pony tracks, buildings, ferris wheel
From 1886 through the first two decades of the 20th century, New Yorkers escaping the summer heat flocked by boats and trolleys to North...
Football, 1912
"The thud of the cleated boot on pigskin will soon be heard." It's football season! The Ten Thousand Men of Harvard! The Fighting Irish!...
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...
1930s potluck spread
The members of the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project team have been poring over authentic period cookbooks as research...
1930s General Electric Monitor Top refrigerator
Electric refrigeration motivated Americans to rethink how they purchased, prepared, and stored food when it first took off in the 1930s....
Detail from scrapbook with photo of Saigon and clips of text
When I started my internship in the museum's Division of Armed Forces History, I expected to see reminders of what it was like to be a U.S...
In an effort to include teen voices in the museum's programs and directly address the needs of the hundreds of thousands of youth visitors...

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