In 2017, in response to a slew of racist incidents in the Gayborhood, Philadelphia added black and brown stripes to the traditional six-...
With Pride Month celebrations recognizing LGBTQ history and culture throughout the country this June, what better way to highlight the...
As objects representing Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning history enter the museum's collection today,...

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Just imagine: you live in a time before electricity. No sewing machines, no lights, certainly no America’s Funniest Home Videos ...
Recently I had occasion to read a new biography of James Smithson, the Englishman whose bequest led to the founding of the Smithsonian...
In 1997, a Washington Post article suggested that “For one evening, the inaugural ball gown is the most important dress in the country.”...
Feeling groovy? You will be if you visit the newly renovated store at the National Mall entrance to the museum. Its new look is a tribute...
On February 1, 1960, four African American college students—Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair Jr.), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and...
The stress. The mental focus. Getting your mind "in the zone." Fear, worry, doubt.  The waiting! The anticipation! With...
Illustration of Nirenberg’s chart of the 64 3-letter combinations that form the genetic code. An image of his handwritten chart may be seen...
If you are planning a visit to the museum, please stop in at the Nina and Ivan Selin Welcome Center to see our new addition, “An American...
Pink brochure with butterflies on the cover, pack of pills, and document
Only a few weeks into my internship I’ve already learned that the fastest way to create awkward silence, where even the cricket chokes, is...
Jefferson's Bible
You may have heard or noticed that Dan Brown’s latest novel, The Lost Symbol, features Horatio Greenough’s statue of George Washington...
In the past, readers have told us that they view the National Museum of American History as a trusted source of information and that...
There are only so many hours in the classroom day, and high-stakes testing is encouraging teachers to adapt their classroom practices to...
The recording, discovering, and sharing of history is a collaboration that takes place over time with many hands involved. Museums are one...
For many of our visitors, a trip to the museum is not complete without a souvenir purchased at our stores. We have three at the...
James Cameron’s Avatar was the box office smash to beat over the holiday season. The director of the Alien and Terminator franchises...
Food stamps
My first experience with Food Stamps was as a kid, growing up in Peekskill, NY. In the grocery store, my mother would give my sister and me...
Editor’s note: This year marks the 50th anniversary of the student sit-ins at the Greensboro, N.C. lunch counter. To commemorate this event...
When it comes to objects—and sometimes humans—people are always curious to know what’s the first, biggest, oldest, or best.  The...
Many people have seen black and white photographs of the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. But the earthquake photographs shown below are...
When I applied to become an intern at the National Museum of American History, I honestly was not sure what to expect, so I decided to...
2009 has been a remarkable year for the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Thanks to supporters like you, we were able...
I suppose the first question should be: what’s an old New York State license plate doing in the museum’s computer collection? The second...
One of the perks of working in a museum is being able to commune with objects in the quiet hours of the morning before the doors open to...
To come up with the top ten “O Say Can You See?” blog posts of 2009 I relied on you, dear readers, to tell me what should make the cut. It...
Bread-making technology spawned many inventions and patents, like the bread-slicer. While the earliest bread-cutting devices using parallel...
Trained in graphics, I started as a publications designer of print materials for public events: lectures, concerts, performances of film,...
“Like the sun in all its glory suddenly breaking through the shades of gloom.” So wrote Julia Child after finally succeeding in making real...
What will these highly skilled museum professionals do? Several of them mentioned that their first task is to turn off the alarm clock. No...
Perhaps the most important lesson I learned from working on Stories on Money was the incredible amount of collaboration—internal and...
Eggplant and zucchini gratin with ratatouille, made with a recipe created by Julia Child
Where to Find the Master Recipes Eggplant and zucchini gratin Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home, pp. 200-03 An online...
The Smithsonian hired architects Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB) to create a plan which would meet our needs. Since the Mall is such a sensitive...
A flourless chocolate cake, "le glorieux," created with a recipe from Julia Child
Where to Find the Master RecipeMastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. Two, pp. 495-97An online version from the Shazam in the...
In reality, the English dissidents on board the Mayflower called themselves “saints,” not “pilgrims,” and landed on a beach in Provincetown...
So I was very intrigued when a colleague distributed a report from the U.S. Department of Education about online learning studies. A main...
Julia Child's copper bowl
With turkey day fast approaching, cooks around the country are whipping up grocery lists and getting ready for what is the equivalent of a...
There is no shortage of snake oil in America. Whether sold by politicians as endless campaign promises, or by spammers tempting us with...
As soon as more than sixty Iraqi public officials sat down in our auditorium, I knew I was facing a tough audience. These men and one woman...
A honey spice cake, "Pain d'Epices," created from a recipe made by Julia Child
Today’s post is the thirteenth in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week, curator Helena Wright gets a start on holiday baking...
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on the Science at the Smithsonian blog. Learn more about the museum's Stradivari...
My ears perked up at the announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize in physics. Not only was it awarded to an invention that revolutionized...
We’ve always heard that “money talks.” I remembered the phrase while talking with Richard Doty, curator of our numismatics collection...
A casserole dish used by Julia Child
Today’s post is the twelfth in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week, public affairs associate Laura Duff embraces her...
When curator David Shayt passed away around the time the museum reopened in fall 2008, I inherited one of his many collections. Which...
A picture of boeuf bourguignon, created with a recipe made by Julia Child
Today’s post is the eleventh in a series of weekly Julia Child recipes. This week’s contributor is Joe Criste, an exhibits specialist who...
Many of the staff who work here at the National Museum of American History are “museum advocates” (AKA fans). Not only do we love visiting...
On the bottom edge of this pigment print (a type of digitally printed photograph) by Robert Weingarten, is the text “29 Oct 69 22:30 Talked...
I was interning at the National Museum of American History when I first encountered the photographic images of Leonard Nadel, who spent...
About the Blog "O Say Can You See?" is a blog produced by the National Museum of American History (NMAH). The blog takes readers...

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