Dawn Wallace and Richard Barden stood in the museum's objects conservation lab over two shoes. Red. Sequin-covered. Small heels. Petite in...
The history behind a single object can often tell many stories. In 2004 the museum acquired a stock certificate from an early Internet...
In moments of crisis, our first thoughts are usually to get in contact with the people we love. September 11, 2001, was a day when many...

Blog Posts in "Latino History & Culture"

A woman with styled hair leans out a window.
In my first week as a curator at the National Museum of American History, I made a list of women I wished were present in the museum's...
Photograph of exhibition section under label, "Incorporating Western Lands"
This group portrait of Del Valle family members is on display in “Many Voices, One Nation.” This photo of the Del Valle family and...
Family members gather around a Thanksgiving table and smile.
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Natalia Flores’s pink quinceañera gown
Light pink and very full, the organza and tulle gown took up a major portion of the sofa. Beside it, Natalia had placed her glittery high...
Selena laughs and holds a Coke. She wears a silver vest, white t-shirt, and black pants.
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Cover of Leopoldo Martinez's red leather scrapbook. The embroidered book has features the text: Scrap Book.
Leopoldo “Polín” Martinez was a highly talented semiprofessional baseball player who toured with clubs in Mexico, Texas, and Southern...
Photograph of Ernie Martinez's re-stitched baseball glove and repair tools.
After hitting a double, the runner goes for glory and tries to stretch the hit into a triple. A throw, a slide, a cloud of dust, and...
Four figurines lined up against a background. They wear colorful clothing, carry different items and have objects on their heads
When Janice Hatfield, a collector of Mexican American folk art, first visited Mexico in the 1960s, she had an instantaneous feeling of home...
A dark-haired woman in a gold hat and top holds up a bottle of Coca Cola and smiles. There is a dark border created by the visible film strip around the photograph.
From the 1950s to 1970s, U.S. advertising started to shift from mass marketing to recognizing and defining distinct target markets. A...
The tails side of a standard quarter. It is a Puerto Rico quarter, with a bay and flowers and the year 2009
What do Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, legendary baseball player Roberto Clemente, salsa icon Tito Puente, actor Raúl Juliá, and...
Sara Sunshine’s Clio Award, 1987
Over the past two years, the museum's business history curator, Dr. Kathleen Franz, has been collecting a wide range of materials related...
A group of young women in white, button up, short sleeved shirts stands and kneels for the photograph. In the middle of the back row there is a man with a serious expression. The young woman kneeling in the center is holding a baseball bat.
On February 20, 2016, former Smithsonian fellow Mark Ocegueda, currently a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of California,...
Gold medal with portrait of a man's face. He wears a helmet and stares past the viewer. Behind him, other soldiers in uniforms and helmets hold guns in a tactical position.
As the rain clouds began to blow out to sea over the fortress of Castillo San Felipe del Morro, I looked out over the crowd of...
Dozens of soldiers on horseback stand in a line, shoulder to shoulder. Mountains visible in background. Desert sand.
The small American town of Columbus, New Mexico, was the site of a major event 100 years ago today. On March 9, 1916, spurred by events in...
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...
"Chiquita, can you bring me a soda?" "Chiquita, how much is two pupusas and a bag of mangos?" These are the things neighborhood...
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...
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....
A slow disco melody spins on the turntable, interrupted by the metallic sound of symbols. Right after that, the running sounds of bongo...
Tarima and shoes used by Martha Gonzalez in California, 1999
As the Museum gears up to open new exhibitions in 2015, 2016, and 2017, our curators have combed the country, looking for the richest...
"A Room of Her Own" by Sandra Cisneros at the National Museum of American History
If you've ever confused Día de los Muertos with Halloween, you might be surprised to learn how very different these fall holidays are from...
On the right, the motorcycle parked in a driveway with a license plate that reads "Guatemala 1979-1983."
In museums, it's common for a single artifact to tell many diverse stories, far beyond the scope of any one exhibition. Christine Miranda,...
Mexican-style dress
Looking to discover Latino history during your museum visit this Hispanic Heritage Month? Christine Miranda, who interned with our Program...
Selena's outfit in the collection
Iconic cultural objects have the power to preserve beloved chapters of history long after they come to a close. As we approach the 20th...
Official U.S. citizens with their certificates in hand, waving their flags
Vanessa Chicas, an intern in the museum's Program in Latino History and Culture, reflects on the unique experience she had as a Smithsonian...
Three statuettes of kings complete with robes and gowns stand on the same base.
Dr. Margaret Salazar-Porzio, curator of Latino History and Culture in the Home and Community Life division, and intern Jonathan Borda...
Poster show child playing with blocks that spell "E L R E T O"
Smithsonian Latino Center Fellow Jessica Lott's dissertation research led her to our medicine and science collections, where she...
We doubt leg-of-mutton sleeves will make an appearance on runways during Fashion Week, but there's one thing that never goes out of style:...
Container of Abuelita hot chocolate on colorful fabric
Spotting a familiar artifact at the Smithsonian can be an exciting moment for visitors—and, in this case, a moment of cultural connection....
Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers remembers Diosa Costello. "I was the original J. Lo.," Costello said at a 2011 Smithsonian donation...
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...
The signature image for "REBEL" is a composite of two portraits of Loreta Velazquez passing as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, soldier and spy of the American Civil War, played by actress Romi Dias.
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...
The author as a child missing her two front teeth
Spread the word: the Tooth Fairy is using the Museum as a secret drop spot for the teeth she collects. We even have it all on video....
Latino and food history expert Steve Velazquez looks beyond the plate to discover the people, technology, and systems that bring food to...
Small statuette of the Three Kings, or "Reyes Magos." The three figures are joined together by a shared base. Though they have different expressions and garb, they all wear crowns and are posed carrying a small gift.
Editor’s note: January 6th is Three Kings Day. Magdalena Mieri, director of the Program in Latino History and Culture at the museum, shares...
Editor's note: If you're planning a visit to the museum after Thanksgiving, save room for dessert—and check the hours of our cafés. In...
Biographical portrait of Celia Cruz by Robert WeingartenIt's a pop of vivid color and glimmering textures, tinted with memories of home,...
We asked you to vote on which of five iconic American figures should be memorialized in a new biographical portrait by Robert Weingarten, a...
The Latino D.C. History Project is an initiative to document, preserve, interpret, and display the varied stories of Latino life in the...
The National Museum of American History and photographer Robert Weingarten are working in collaboration to build a historic portrait with...
As chronicled in several of our past posts, the National Museum of American History regularly holds naturalization ceremonies in...
In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the National Museum of American History will hold a symposium and cultural festival, ...
Curators use objects to tell a story about an event, a period of history, a person, a group of people, or a movement. Because we have a...
Margarita machine
Why is this homely little brown box, with its sign that identifies it as the "World's First Margarita Machine," living at the Smithsonian?...
As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close on October 15, I am reminded of a recent conversation I had with my old friend Dr. José (Joe) V...
In 2005 the museum started a multi-institution collecting initiative to document and preserve the experiences of braceros, Mexican...