Is there room in Americans’ Thanksgiving celebrations for both thankfulness and mourning?That challenging question arose as my colleagues...
Minnesota doesn’t typically come to mind when you think about slavery and the Civil War. It’s also not a place that’s figured into the...
The Transcontinental Railroad was completed 150 years ago, in 1869. In 1800s America, some saw the railroad as a symbol of modernity and...

Blog Posts in "First Ladies"

A woman delivers a presentation in front of a large group of seated people. The stage is filled with various electrical appliances, as well as a large banner with the text, "Electricity, your helper, convenient, safe, economical," as well as as a smaller poster titled "Electric Cooking ABCs."
Louisan Mamer, known as the First Lady of the REA, spearheaded the expansion of women’s roles in business and leadership through her work...
Four images. Leather pants and jeans, orange and white Cuban rumba dress, a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball jersey with the player number 21, and a margarita machine decorated with faux-wood paneling.
The National Museum of American History has over 2 million items in its collections, spanning every topic you could think of. And from...
Uncle Sam, playing a pipe, leads a group of children armed with farming tools. Text reads: “Follow the Pied Piper. Join the United States School Garden Army”
While most of us have heard of the victory gardens of World War II, many of us may not realize that those gardens are seeded in a history...
Jean Stapleton stands at a podium addressing the crowd wearing a banner that says "Honored." A sign behind her reads: "ERA Yes"
February 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of  the professional debut of Jean Stapleton (1923 to 2013) at the Equity Library Theater in...
Collage of images taken from various blog posts, from photos of gowns to a portrait of a soldier in World War 1
2017 was another incredible year on the museum’s blog. More than a few of our most-read posts focused on how the museum continues to grow...
Photo of white gown in front of black background. It's off-the-shoulder with a cross-body sash in front along with red/maroon tie at waist. Narrow silhouette and slit cascading on one side. Glossy and matte fabric in subtle layers.
Have you heard? We have a new dress on exhibition. It's true. There has been an addition to the First Ladies exhibition. First Lady Melania...
Gold locket with black onyx stones along its border and brown hair embedded in the center under glass.
Just in time for Halloween, your favorite collections managers from the Division of Political History bring you a new blog series: "Death...
An elaborate outfit comprising a crimson robe with matching skirt with gold lace overlay. There is a sloping sash placed around the shoulders and a hat with four points.
In reflecting on National Coming Out Day, Curator Kenneth Cohen was reminded of the fascinating story of Charlotte Cushman that we've...
A woman stands inside a case with metal objects attached to poles, and there are lanterns hung up. She holds a white cloth out and attempts to clean the glass in front of her.
As collections managers and museum specialists, our job is to care, physically and intellectually, for the museum's objects. We research...
A woman wearing a yellow sweater and wearing purple gloves carefully manipulates the fabric of a beautiful white gown with delicate flower and sequin details. The gown is one-shoulder strap. It was worn by First Lady Michelle Obama. The dress is on a form.
Sunae Park Evans probably knows Martha Washington’s measurements better than anyone, including her own seamstress. As the senior costume...
In a black and white photo, a woman stands behind a microphone and sings in a dark room. A jazz band is behind her, and they are smiling.
"They're swingin' everything else—why not nursery rhymes?" stated Ella Fitzgerald while dancing around the room showcasing some new dance...
The cover of a cookbook entitled "cooking with COLD." It is emerald green with an abstract illustration of a woman standing in front of a fridge, holding an ice cream cone, with two more in front of her and a jug.
The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project explores "everyday things that changed everything." One innovation that definitely...
Woman in white suit and hat poses with man in baseball uniform and hat. Big smiles. In background, baseball stadium.
Baseball, signed by the 1984 San Francisco Giants. The autographed baseball was collected by American jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald (1917–...
President Johnson sits at a desk outdoors with a view of the New York coastline in the background. Many people gather around him watching. American flag on pole beside desk.
The 1960s are known as a tumultuous decade of activism, populated by larger-than-life figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby...
Black and white illustration of woman and girl using machine
American inventions associated with the book were having a bit of a boom between the 1850s and the 1880s. The number of books published...
Curator preparing “Abigail” doll for display in the “American Enterprise” exhibition.
A small, 11" cloth doll might seem like an incongruous object for discussing the issues of the American Great Depression. Yet enduring the...
LBJ Campaign sticker in the shape of a cowboy hat
Recent news of state and local elected officials stepping up their campaigns for the 2014 November elections brings to mind the fascinating...
Official U.S. citizens with their certificates in hand, waving their flags
Vanessa Chicas, an intern in the museum's Program in Latino History and Culture, reflects on the unique experience she had as a Smithsonian...
Soon after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, the president was memorialized in many ways, including through...
Radio
Fifty years ago tomorrow, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Curator Hal Wallace looks at how Americans would...
Curious visitors, social media followers, and donors often ask which U.S. presidents have visited the museum. Inspired by the upcoming...
When I arrived at orientation and received my internship guide, featuring an image of First Lady Michelle Obama’s inaugural gown, I...
Ella in white suit and hat with baseball player
After her death in 1996, curators from this museum worked with caretakers of the Ella Fitzgerald Estate, Richard Rosman and Fran Morris...
Editor’s note: This is the fourth and final installment in a series of posts about designing the new exhibition The First Ladies, which...
Editor’s note: This blog is the third in a series of posts about designing the new exhibition The First Ladies, which opened on November 19...
Editor’s note: This blog is the second in a series of posts about designing the new exhibition: The First Ladies, which opened on November...
Editor’s note: This blog is the first in a series of posts about designing the new exhibition The First Ladies, which opened on November 19...
In 1997, a Washington Post article suggested that “For one evening, the inaugural ball gown is the most important dress in the country.”...
If you’ve been to the new exhibition First Ladies at the Smithsonian, you may have found yourself asking: Where are all the other...
Last Friday we were thrilled to open our new exhibition First Ladies at the Smithsonian. The exhibition tells the history of the First...