The museum will be open Fridays through Tuesdays 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning Sept. 25. Reserve your free timed-entry pass and review our latest visitor safety guidelines.
Note: While history shouldn’t require a spoiler alert, this blog does contain some minor ones regarding the HBO series Watchmen.“You know...
Maybe this painting looks familiar. A long row of red-coated soldiers. A cloud of gun smoke engulfing the street. Falling bodies.Detail of...
The Stonewall uprising began June 28, 1969, in response to a police raid at The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York, and has since...

Blog Posts in "You Asked, We Answer"

The museum has created a new collecting initiative focused on how undocumented activists are leading fights for political representation....
This week, the third impeachment trial of a sitting U.S. president begins. As we prepare to bear witness to this historic moment, we...
A colorful mask with red antlers, a black face covered in yellow dashes with two yellow horns. The eyes are exaggeratedly large and the mouth is open with many thin white teeth. There are bells attached all over the mask.
Getting to handle and study treasured artifacts, pursuing fascinating research adventures all day, and building inspirational exhibitions—...
Today, museum staff members are answering questions sent in to us through social media, particularly Twitter. Here are a few of our...
Ask a Curator graphic
The global online Q&A session between museum staff members and the public known as Ask a Curator Day took place on Wednesday, September...
Ambrotype of the washerwoman for the Union Army, who has an American flag on her outfit
Today, many of our staff are participated in a global, Twitter-based Q&A called Ask a Curator Day. Here are a few of our favorite...
Celluloid button featuring the image of a three-link chain, symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows
It's morning in New Zealand, meaning the global, Twitter-based Q&A called Ask a Curator Day has already started. We'll begin answering...
Handwritten manuscript by Francis Scott Key, on yellowed paper
You may not have heard of Baltimore's Indian Queen Hotel, but it plays an important role in the story of "The Star-Spangled Banner" song....
US postage stamp including two flags and the face of Francis Scott Key
Our National Anthem. It's a song that, in this writer's opinion, says much of what you need to know about the United States of America. It...
Today, on the anniversary of scientist Rosalind Franklin's death, we remember her with a story about how our audience pushed for her...
The global online Q&A session between museum curators and the public known as Ask a Curator Day takes place today, Wednesday, September...
The global online Q&A session between museum curators and the public known as Ask a Curator Day takes place Wednesday, September 18,...
Jefferson's small wooden desk
Museum staff Hannah Ostroff and Marko Zlatich have an answer, and it's not barbeques and fireworks.In the Revolutionary War era, news did...
Star-Spangled Banner
The short answer: because Francis Scott Key wrote it that way.But we can do better than that. Let's have a look:O! say does that star-...
George Washington's well-appointed personal camp chest, or "mess kit," enabled him to dine in a manner reflecting his position as commander of the Continental Army.
After answering a question about what may have been in the pockets of Revolutionary War soldiers, another Revolutionary War...
Powder horn from the colonial era etched with map of New York
Linda B. asked through our Facebook page: "I have a research question … What kinds of things would Revolutionary soldiers carry in their...
Babe Mit box
A recent tour group saw all kinds of interesting artifacts behind the scenes, from the first implanted heart to a baggy of chads...
Curious visitors, social media followers, and donors often ask which U.S. presidents have visited the museum. Inspired by the upcoming...
Most museum staff agree that working at the Smithsonian isn’t quite like Night at the Museum. In real museum work, it’s rare that anybody...
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on The Smithsonian Archives’ blog, The Bigger Picture. As many of you may know, a couple...
Some of the most frequently asked questions we receive at the museum have to do with objects that were once on display but are no longer on...
Star-Spangled Banner flag on a platform, nearly horizontal. Dark room. The flag is battered but vivid. On the wall, the first stanza of national anthem in white.
"Then in that hour of deliverance and joyful triumph, my heart spoke…" —Francis Scott KeyMany visitors have noticed that in our ...
Cameras are everywhere. I currently have three devices in my purse that I can take a picture with. We love it when our visitors take photos...
When it comes to objects—and sometimes humans—people are always curious to know what’s the first, biggest, oldest, or best.  The...