American Democracy

Who are the Dewdrop Fairies?

While most of us have heard of the victory gardens of World War II, you may not know that during World War I, children across the U.S. enrolled as soldiers in the United States School Garden Army, a program that promoted sustainable gardens in suburban and urban communities.

Remembering Robert Kennedy

June 6, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Robert “Bobby” Francis Kennedy. For the past few weeks I’ve been on a quest to learn about who Robert Kennedy was. What is his legacy?

What connects Abraham Lincoln and vampires? Bram Stoker, of course.

There is a connection between Abraham Lincoln and vampires, but it might not be what you expect.

Madam Speaker: A famous first joins the national collection

Museums are full of “firsts.” Today we welcomed a new first into our collection, with objects donated by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, who in 2007 became the first woman to serve as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

Artifacts of assassination, Pt. 2

The best documented presidential deaths in the Political History collections are those associated with assassinations. In part 1 of this post, we examined some of the many objects in our collections connected to the death of Abraham Lincoln. In this post, we’ll be looking at objects tied to later presidential assassinations in U.S. history.

Artifacts of assassination, Pt. 1

The best documented presidential deaths in the Political History collections are those associated with assassinations. Though the nation has mourned when presidents died of natural causes (our collections include many mourning ribbons and broadsides commemorating this fact), those deaths did not produce quite the level of intimate, personal collecting as the unnatural ones.

Unique souvenirs of death kept to remember U.S. presidents

Tucked among the festive campaign mementos and first ladies’ gowns in the Division of Political History’s collections storage are a group of objects that people saved from somber moments: souvenirs of presidential deaths.

Commemorating a president's life, in stationery and floral arrangements

For most of us, traditions are private and reserved for friends and family. But when you are the president expectations change, and everything, especially your funeral, becomes larger and more public.

I Pledge Allegiance

Since October 1892, countless schoolchildren across the nation have begun their school day by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance as a daily patriotic ritual. Few students, however, could tell you when the tradition began, or even who wrote the words that so many of them have memorized.

Coffee cups, chairs, and jackets: Presidential last moments preserved

Last moments of famous people fascinate us. This is why compendiums of last words are so popular. It’s also why we have a handful of objects in our collection that are purported to be from the last moments of the lives of several presidents.