Spoiler alert: If you aren't caught up on your Game of Thrones viewing, there may be a few surprises inside.Even though it's...
Phyllis Diller, the groundbreaking stand-up comic, would have been celebrating her 100th birthday on July 17, 2017. The Smithsonian honored...
America has long been home to enthusiastic movie fans. Even back in the 1910s and 1920s, a period in American film history known as the "...

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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...
Black and white portrait of George Pal, holding puppet
The National Museum of American History has a number of artifacts donated in 1983 by Elisabeth Pal, the widow of brilliant animation...
We recently shared a blog post featuring Bette and Lindsey Hagan, the mother and daughter who through their generous support created the...
Sheet music cover with witches
How would you describe a witch? Black pointy hats probably spring to mind, as well as a range of distinguishing ugly features like crooked...
"Chiquita, can you bring me a soda?" "Chiquita, how much is two pupusas and a bag of mangos?" These are the things neighborhood...
With each new season, a new crop of interns comes to the National Museum of American History. Two museum supporters, Bette and Lindsey...
High wheel bicycle race in Frederick, Maryland
One of the most popular photo opportunities in the museum's new innovation wing can be found in the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object...
Dennis the Menace with stethoscope and "Less of a Menace" text on button or sticker
Metaphors of war and combat are almost impossible to avoid when describing humankind's struggle to control infectious disease. The war may...
A photo of the bicycle in front of a palm tree
An 1896 Columbia woman's bicycle, made by Pope Manufacturing Company and embellished with gems and gold by Tiffany & Co., is currently...
Four buttons. "How dare you presume I'm heterosexual!" "Come out, come out." "I AM R U." "Closets are for clothes."
"Better Gay than Grumpy""My Unicorn is a Lesbian. Is Yours?""I'm Straight. But not Narrow"The National Museum of American History recently...
"I call it my diamond dress," cooed Broadway star Carol Channing in her distinctive voice, which combined little-girl innocence with great-...
Latin Jazz postage stamp
On October 16 and 17, the museum's own big-band-in-residence, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) will kick off their 25th...
KCOR Radio Microphone, early 1950s
In the U.S. today, Hispanic media is big business. In 2013, Advertising Age reported that spending in the U.S. Hispanic media market...
Olympia Mills, Columbia, South Carolina, about 1905. The all-electric Olympia Mills opened in 1899 about one mile down river from Columbia Mills. Explosive cotton dust in the air made the switch from open gas lamps to electric lights desirable. Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, 1895-1921
Engineering infrastructure usually isn't the most compelling topic for a blog post—except when it fails dramatically. In the wake of a 1,...
This tin lunch box was manufactured by Aladdin Industries in 1978. Released on the heels of the 1978 "Superman" movie, this lunch box shows Superman flying high above Metropolis in all his costumed glory. Not currently on display.
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a suit! And not just any suit! It's the signature blue, red, and yellow suit...
At the first sign of symptoms, many people turn to the Internet for health advice. Early listeners to radio could turn their dials and...
Black and white illustration of woman and girl using machine
American inventions associated with the book were having a bit of a boom between the 1850s and the 1880s. The number of books published...
Photo of three boxes of crayons
The kids are back to school and parents have done their best to fill seemingly endless lists of new school supplies. But what did children...
Photo of white overalls splattered with paint
As a curator at the National Museum of American History, I find that exhibitions are one space in which I can bring history to the public....
Image of political cartoon
You may not have heard about the Hart-Celler Act, but as the foundation of our current immigration laws it has had a dramatic impact on U.S...
Thomas Edison's patent model for improvements to a stock ticker
The Smithsonian and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are hosting an Innovation Festival at the museum on...
Political cartoon
The amazing thing about running for president is how many people are actually willing to attempt it. The 2016 campaign's big crop is...

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