4 music-inspiring objects through the eyes of our Making American Music interns

As interns in the Making American Music project, we use the inspiration of the museum collections and exhibitions to make music and engage museum visitors in a conversation about the relationship between music and history in the U.S.

Reflecting on the Queen of Soul's reign in American culture

Today we're reflecting on the life of singer, songwriter, diva, civil rights activist, and cultural icon Aretha Franklin. Over 100 of Franklin's records, mostly 45s and 33s, are in our collection, together chronicling the vast expanse and depth of her recording career.

An anti-slavery anthem reimagined for today

Inside the museum stands a two-story house. In that house is a small piano with sheet music. That song: an anthem of emancipation.

"What's on your neighbor's table..."

Like okra slime in a bowl of gumbo, questions about Southern food swirled around the minds of the Smithsonian Food History Team as we focused on this year's annual theme.

M*A*S*H ended, but is not gone or forgotten

For many Americans, the Korean War ended on February 28, 1983, when the long-running television series set during the war, M*A*S*H, aired its final episode.

Special Olympics at 50

"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."

Smart phones: Collecting an electronic montage

New inventions always build on inventions of the past—and sometimes more than one. Few devices demonstrate that more clearly than smartphones. These technological marvels pack a battery-powered telephone, camera, radio, television, computer, flashlight, and more into one pocket-sized package. In addition to the hardware, there's the software, both the apps and the coding that makes the hardware function as a single device.

In "M*A*S*H," actor Jamie Farr wore famous hand-me-downs

As a kid and as a parent, I am all too familiar with the concept of hand-me-down clothes, the cost-cutting practice of wearing already "broken-in," often dated clothes that an older sibling has outgrown. Nowadays, hipster boutiques get away with calling some of these items "vintage." Hollywood studios have long employed this method of recycling costumes.

T is for Television, H is for Holiday, F is for Festival

Our holiday season display, "T is for Television," takes a look at some of our favorite television characters and shows in an irresistible combination of adorable-ness and nostalgia.

Tiny capsules, national service: The draft during World War I

After maintaining neutrality for three years, the United States entered World War I on April 6, 1917. Expecting around a million enlistees but receiving only 73,000 volunteers for military service, Congress and President Woodrow Wilson realized other methods were required to call up a large military force. By July 20, Wilson would enact a military draft lottery. Secretary of War Newton D.