Webcasts

March 25, 2014

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

April 26, 2013

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and guest conductor John Clayton pays tribute to John Levy, the great bassist, and renowned personal manager for many jazz greats.

April 10, 2013

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) jazz master Randy Weston and African rhythms and NEA jazz master Candido Camero tell the story of slavery and freedom in America. Historian Wayne Chandler provides historical and current insight into how the African diaspora and the legacy of Africans in America lead to the creation of jazz and other musical and cultural norms that are part of the American experience. Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the National Museum of African Art, joins John Hasse, American History Museum curator of music, to moderate the discussion.

March 5, 2013

Bestselling 39 Clues author David Baldacci takes students on a field trip to the National Museum of American History. Through this webcast, students will meet renowned museum curators, go behind the scenes, and investigate some of the most fascinating mysteries of American history. Baldacci is the author of Day of Doom, the last book in The 39 Clues series, Cahills vs. Vespers.

February 28, 2013

Dr. Rex Ellis, associate director of Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, interviews best-selling author Taylor Branch about his latest publication, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement.

February 23, 2013

Authors Matt Garcia, Don Mitchell and Melanie DuPuis and museum curator Steve Velasquez discuss the intersections of food, politics, and labor in the U.S. and how these issues have shaped American food production, economics, agriculture, politics, labor, and society in the past 50 years.

February 11, 2013

On February 11, 2013, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History hosted the National Youth Summit on Abolition, a moderated panel discussion that reflected on the abolition movement of the 19th century and explored its lessons for ending modern-day slavery and human trafficking.  Ken Morris, great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and President of the Frederick Douglas Family Foundation; Lois Brown, Professor of English at

February 9, 2013

Celebrate, discover, and savor the legacy of Mexican food in the United States and the world. Enjoy a lively discussion with historian Jeffrey Pilcher (Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food), syndicated columnist Gustavo Arellano (Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America), and Smithsonian curator Rayna Green. Learn about the popularity of Mexican food in the US, from its indigenous origins in Mesoamerica to the present era of global commercialization.

November 11, 2012

A symposium on technology and the American Civil War comprised part of the Smithsonian Institution’s contribution to the war’s sesquicentennial commemoration. It was hosted by the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, and took place in the Warner Bros. Theater, 9–11 November 2012.

October 17, 2012

On October 17, 2012, the National Museum of American History (NMAH) partnered with the National Endowment for the Humanities, WETA television, and Smithsonian Affiliations to present the National Youth Summit on the Dust Bowl. The program, related to Ken Burns’ new film The Dust Bowl, connected thousands of high school students and united them in a national dialogue regarding the Dust Bowl’s legacy on both the environment and the culture of the United States.

September 17, 2012

On September 17th, 2012, National Constitution Day, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will host a panel of renowned Civil War scholars at the for a performance and discussion about emancipation. The conversation features University of Richmond President Edward L.

February 9, 2011

In 2011 the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Humanities commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides with a national conversation on history, democracy and civic activism. In this program Freedom Rides veterans Congressman John Lewis, D-GA, Diane Nash, Jim Zwerg, and Reverend James Lawson share how they became involved in the Freedom Rides and how their lives were affected by them.

September 23, 2010

This all-day symposium covers the impact of the Mexican revolution on American literature, art, politics, and the Mexican American experience. After the symposium, Guillermo Gómez Peña performs at 5:30 PM.

April 1, 2010

New York-based Argentine bassist Pablo Aslán, a pioneer in the tango revival, interprets the tango's classic repertoire with a contemporary jazz approach. On April 1, the Pablo Aslán Quintet reunited musicians from New York and Buenos Aires to play tango classics that expand our expectations for both genres. Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month.

February 25, 2010

The Washington National Opera (WNO) and the museum discussed the upcoming production of Porgy and Bess at the Kennedy Center, including its complex artistic and historical legacy. The program included a panel discussion, multimedia presentation, and vocal performances by cast members.

February 23, 2010

Join moderator Tom Bowman, Pentagon correspondent for National Public Radio, along with a panel of noted scholars for a discussion of the expansion of the military to include African Americans under President Abraham Lincoln. The distinguished panel included Dr. Ira Berlin of the University of Maryland and Dr. Chandra Manning of Georgetown University, both experts on the African American military experience in the mid-19th century.

February 18, 2010

Fath Davis Ruffins, the museum's curator of African American History and Culture, moderated a panel discussion on race and presidential politics (in Lincoln’s time and our own).

February 4, 2010

The three surviving members of the Greensboro Four, Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair, Jr.), Franklin McCain, and Joseph McNeil participated in an oral history about their bold action that ignited student involvement in the Civil Rights Movement when they staged a sit-in at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960.

February 3, 2010

In a special evening ceremony, Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair Jr.), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and, posthumously, David Richmond—the Greensboro Four— received the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal in recognition of their contribution to civil rights in America. 

June 18, 2009

The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center presented a special program featuring renowned author and global environmentalist Lester Brown. This latest installment in the Center’s “Portrait of Invention” series offers participants the unique opportunity to engage Brown, founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, in a conversation about the challenges of sustaining civilization.

April 23, 2009

A discussion of Abraham Lincoln's philosophy on government-supported scientific study, the President's relationship with Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry, and the role of presidential science advisors to this day. Discussion features: Marc Rothenberg, editor of The Joseph Henry Papers Project at the Smithsonian Archives; Thomas B. Allen and Roger MacBride Allen, authors of "Mr.

March 26, 2009

Juan Williams of National Public Radio moderated a discussion of the relationships between Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Baines Johnson and the most influential African American leaders of their day, Frederick Douglass and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, the National Museum of American History presented an engaging public dialog series to accompany its exhibition, "Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life."

November 21, 2008

The Museum officially reopened to the public on the morning of Friday, Nov. 21, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Museum Director Brent Glass, Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough, and other special guests.

November 19, 2008

The National Museum of American History celebrated the dedication of the Star-Spangled Banner Gallery and the reopening of the Museum. The ceremony included remarks by President Bush; G. Wayne Clough, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution; Brent D. Glass, director, NMAH; David McCullough, historian and museum board member; Roger Farah, president and COO, Polo Ralph Lauren; and Jonathon Scharfen, acting director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.