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.
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.
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.
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.
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.