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Our most-read blog posts of 2019

2019 marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and the 150th anniversary of completion of the Transcontinental Railroad. Our most-read blog posts of 2019 marked those anniversaries and went beyond. 

How did the Transcontinental Railroad impact Indigenous communities?

When the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, some people celebrated the railroad as a symbol of modernity and progress. For others, it threatened their sovereignty and communities. Read more

The story of a flag that bore witness to one of the largest seaborne invasions in modern history

Red, white, and blue with a bullet hole: this flag flew from LCC 60 during D-Day. Discover the story of the landing craft that guided vessels to Utah Beach. Read more

An American flag.
The flag that flew aboard LCC 60 was donated to the museum this year and is currently on display as part of our D-Day exhibition.

How did the rainbow become a symbol of pride? 

The decorations committee for a 1978 pride parade departed from the popular queer symbols of the time to create a rainbow flag (now the rainbow flag), but the rainbow was already a popular symbol in LGBTQ+ communities. Read more

What happens when the Girl Scouts change their name?

This question made news in 2019, and it made news in 1913, when the Girl Guides of America changed their name to the Girl Scouts. The change sparked larger questions and debates about what was expected from girls in a changing America. Read more

Before there was streaming, there was The Guild.

How did a YouTube series, funded by crowd-sourced support from its fans, find a home in the Smithsonian? By making history, of course. Read more

The Ruby Slippers are currently on display in their own gallery. The museum extends its thanks to supporters of the Ruby Slippers conservation effort through Kickstarter

There’s no place like the museum

Last year, a pair of Ruby Slippers used in the filming of The Wizard of Oz went back on display after almost two years of conservation. 

This year, we share the stories of how we are continuing to care for the sparkly slippers and the objects that accompanied their glorious return

How did a dandelion save lives during World War II?

When U.S. Army medic Henry T. Chamberlain was taken prisoner, he used a trick he learned during the Great Depression to help his fellow POWs. Read more

Ladies, if he doesn’t text you back, if pilots carry his picture into battle, if he raises money for the war effort, if he only wears dresses—he’s not your man. He’s the stylin' patriotic and philanthropic squirrel Tommy Tucker.

Fur the war effort

Some of your favorite stories of the year were about the varied ways animals contribute to war efforts—from carrying messages to raising money by putting on fashion shows. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Discover the stories of Kaiser, a pigeon that served in two world wars, and Tommy Tucker, a squirrel in a dress whose picture pilots carried into battle. 

 

Amelia Grabowski is the acting social media manager at the museum.