American Enterprise

2018 is Year of the Tractor at Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will mark 2018 as the Year of the Tractor with two new displays on the past, present and future of agriculture.

Calendar of Events: February 2018

Editor’s Note:
All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Visitors should be prepared for a security check upon entrance to the museum. Program attendees should arrive 30 minutes in advance.

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.

Healthy hogs for a healthy nation

On June 19, 1875, William Emerson Baker invited some 2,500 guests to his farm in Needham, Massachusetts, to celebrate the launching of his "sanitary piggery."

Coming of age: Young women and the FFA

High school can be a challenging time for teens. Much as they do today, young men and women throughout the 20th century wrestled with identity, education, and social status during their teenage years. For young women in the 20th century, changes in the way people thought about gender and equality greatly impacted their experience. Documenting those changes for teens is an important aspect of telling a larger story about the changing roles of women in the 20th century. The museum has found an interesting way to tell that story through its agricultural collection. 

Our brewing historian hits the road—and you can follow along on Twitter

Embarking on a research trip is always an exciting time for a historian, but this trip is especially important to me because it's the first one I'm making as brewing historian for the Smithsonian's Brewing History Initiative. I'll be on the road in northern California conducting oral histories with brewers, touring their operations, and delving into storage rooms to identify objects for possible future collection. And you can come along with me!

Black Wall Street on film: A story of revival and renewal

The Reverend Harold Mose Anderson was always fascinated by the movies. Anderson saved his money and bought a home movie camera from a catalog. Once he had it, he was seldom without it as he wandered the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Much like a seasoned reporter, wherever he went, he always took time to load up the camera and check his film and equipment. He never knew when he might get a good shot of his community in action.

Pioneers of agriculture reflect on the genetically-engineered revolution

The fall of 2016 was an important milestone in the history of agriculture—the 20-year anniversary of the first large-scale harvest of a genetically engineered (GE) food crop. The crop in question was herbicide-tolerant soybeans, and their harvest marked a sea change for the farming industry. Today, according to the U.S.

Collecting the history of Hispanic advertising

Over the past two years, the museum's business history curator, Dr. Kathleen Franz, has been collecting a wide range of materials related to the history of Hispanic advertising. We recently had an opportunity to sit down with Franz to learn more about this initiative and see some of the objects and records that have been added to the museum's collections.
Q. You've now spent the better part of two years researching and collecting materials related to the history of Hispanic advertising.

Populism and the World of Oz

Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display Dorothy's Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Stay tuned for updates on the project.