In 2011, one year after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act failed to pass through the Senate, members of...
The National Museum of American History has over 2 million items in its collections, spanning every topic you could think of. And from...
Custom uniforms display cultural pride and signal Latino presence and excellence in baseball, America’s pastime. The colorful jerseys and...

Blog Posts in "From the Collections"

A top-down view of the Magnavox controller showing off its faux-wood paneling, three dials, and instruction text: English, Horizontal, Reset, and Vertical. A thick beige cable is wrapped around the controller's base.
In September 1972, the Magnavox Odyssey appeared in American Magnavox stores, making it the first video game console that could be played...
Screenshot from the Match the Money game’s closing video showing a human figure riding through the air atop a large goose while a Resplendent Quetzal bird flies in the background.
Earlier this year, the museum opened its very first money gallery for children, Really BIG Money. In addition to amazing objects (many...
A pocket sundial. The sundial is covered with both functional and decorative engravings as well as gold accents, including a golden gnomon with a support in the shape of a bird. Its compass is a six pointed star.
Sometimes, the records of unassuming objects preserve curious stories. Over the past year, while trying to find out more about a small...
Ita Aber
Food plays a critical role in many Jewish religious festivities, such as challah bread at weekly Shabbat services or holidays. Whether...
An illustrated oversize coin head decorated with Romain coins
While installing a new exhibition called Really BIG Money, we—collections manager Jennifer and mount maker Laura—faced a number of...
Black velvet ice skating costume with sheer long sleeves and a bodice accented with rhinestones and Swarovski crystals
Picture it: you're sitting with thousands of other audience members in a darkened arena. Suddenly, a spotlight illuminates a small circle...
Detail from the cover of the magazine, ONE: The Homosexual Viewpoint, with a black-and-white illustration of the Biblical Magi
The cover of the December 1960 issue of “ONE: The Homosexual Viewpoint,” titled “Homosexual, Servant of God,” picturing three kings on...
Large stone shaped like a donut, with a hollow center. One side has cracked and broken away from the rest of the stone.
Long feathers that shimmer in the light. A formidably heavy stone ring. An iron blade taller than most children. A hoard of ancient coins...
Poster showing a woman worker in a jumpsuit and bandana rolling up her right sleeve. Above her head is a speech bubble with the text, "We Can Do It!"
Poster, “Soldiers without guns.” Courtesy of Library of Congress (2002719121)In 1943, faced with labor shortages during World War II, U.S....
Page from copybook showing illustration of a child seated in various positions as a desk, as well as diagrams showing how to hold a writing instrument in a right hand
Words are an essential means of communication, yet how we put them down in writing has been continuously shaped over time by technologies,...
Sepia-toned photo of young African American man in U.S. Marine Corps uniform
Like many young men during World War II, Calvin Curtis and his fraternal twin brother, Clarence, were drafted in 1943. They were juniors in...
Eight insignia patches decorated with symbols, including elk, moons, swords, and stars.
Like many around the world, I spent the afternoon of January 6, 2021, watching the news and absorbing the chaotic events unfolding at the U...
U.S. map. One large arrow beginning in Jamestown, Virginia cuts through the U.S. South, labeled “God’s Curse Slavery.” Another arrow, starting in Plymouth, Massachusetts, cuts through the U.S. North, labeled “God’s Blessing Liberty.”
Is there room in Americans’ Thanksgiving celebrations for both thankfulness and mourning?That challenging question arose as my colleagues...
Gordo comic strip. Uncle Mio (wearing a suit and carrying a box of chocolates bouquet of flowers) talks to his nephew, who explains the qualities of different types of flowers. Behind the two figures appear precise, scientific diagrams of flowers.
On February 3, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle writer Wyatt Buchanan reflected on the life of Gustavo "Gus" Arriola, creator of the comic...
Martha Raye in conversation with members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. Raye and the soldiers sit outside on benches.
Around 1966, Dr. Carl Bartecchi was serving as an army flight surgeon in the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam. When units in his area engaged...
Conservator sews linen thread along the spine of the Caramelo Deportivo album
In preparation for an exhibition, all objects undergo a thorough assessment of their condition. Conservators determine whether the objects...
Cover of the Caramelo Deportivo baseball card album decorated with illustrations of player and related baseball ephemera
Caramelo Deportivo baseball card album after treatment by conservation technician Verónica Mercado Oliveras. The album contains cards of...
Two images. On the left, a small metal badge, decorated with an engraved star and other small line flourishes. The main engraving reads "Niagra, F. C., No. 8, 1861, W. P. P." On the right, an ornamental silver trumpet.
It’s late winter of 2006 and an ornate silver speaking trumpet is on offer at a prestigious New York City auction house. The engraved...
Wagon panels with faded artwork advertising a traveling production of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, leaning against a wall outside a building
During my time at the museum’s object conservation lab, I discovered that a set of painted panels in the museum’s collection had quite a...
Cartoon illustration of the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall buried underneath stacks of crates and barrels marked with the initials, "TR."
“The East African Express is Arriving” pen and ink drawing by Clifford Kennedy Berryman, dated August 25, 1909 (GA.12195)This pen and ink...
Glass tube with label for helium inside a wooden box, adjacent to the box's removed lid
This glass tube, part of the museum’s collection, once contained a sample of helium. Its paper label reads, “HELIUM / SIR W. RAMSAY, K.C.B...
Cher Ami
This summer marks the centennial of a bird—possibly the most famous pigeon in history—going on display at the Smithsonian. A representative...
Group of people led by Dr. Marie Curie and President Harding walking down steps at the White House
One hundred years ago Marie Curie stood among the rose bushes, the press, and a crowd of White House guests, holding a golden key. The key...
Case showing changes in girls' uniforms in exhibition, Girlhood: It's complicated
"Girlhood (It’s complicated)" opened to the public on October 9, 2020.Three years ago our museum convened a diverse group of scholars and...
Detail of ten dollar note showing illustration of an interiror iron foundry with figures working
A sudden tragedy thrust Rebecca Lukens into the family business and into history, making her the nation’s first woman industrialist and the...
Photo of the Capitol Building from the National Mall, with a person in a military uniform walking in the foreground
On January 6, my wife and I watched the live news broadcasts in disbelief at the scenes unfolding on television, as a violent mob stormed...
La evolución de la esponja Beautyblender
Aunque la icónica esponja en forma de huevo llamada Beautyblender tiene una enorme popularidad y es usada por profesionales del maquillaje...
Theodore Roosevelt on a beach
Within a gallery stands a rifle once presented to Theodore Roosevelt. It is perhaps an odd gift, considering that it was given to him with...
Boycott Grapes button
Until the successes of the United Farm Workers (UFW) in the 1960s, agriculture was one of the last industries to hold out on unionization...
Bate Baret personalizado
Bate Baret personalizado, Woodbridge, Virginia, 2018Donación de Juan Baret (2020.0013.01)En el béisbol, todo a fin de cuentas recae en el...
Medal with Christopher Columbus
In October 1792, the United States of America was still a new country, not even a decade old, fresh from a complete government overhaul...
Debate chairs from the 1960 election
Presidential debates first became part of the campaign landscape when John Kennedy and Richard Nixon sat across from each other in 1960. It...
Joan Trumpauer Mulholland
Last year I began working as a stage manager for Join the Student Sit-Ins, an interactive theater program at the museum set in 1960. The...
Frank A. Taylor examines the construction of the National Museum of History
A mere 75 years ago aboard the battleship Missouri, representatives of the Japanese Emperor, his government, and the Imperial General...
On June 18, 2020, the Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration could not rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA...
After months of uncertainty, Major League Baseball will begin a shortened season at Nationals Park. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the...
For John Lewis, activism for social change was a communal activity. He believed that people coming together to mentor, protest, and learn...
For Michael and Robert, the quick peck before a walk around the lake with Michael’s son was an ordinary moment. For J. Ross Baughman, it...
Newspaper clipping
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...
Mary Walker
Mary Edwards Walker defied convention in just about everything she did. Walker was uncompromising in her beliefs about herself and the...
In March 1995, Ladies Home Journal named Dr. Florence Haseltine one of the ten most important women in medicine. Haseltine, currently...
Maggie Lena Walker was one of the most important Black businesswomen in the nation, and today too few people have heard of her.Maggie Lena...
An illustration of Civil War-era African American troops in the U.S. military posing with the U.S. flag in the background
Every election season in the United States revolves around a set of issues—health care, foreign affairs, the economy. In 1868, at the...
Costume monarch butterfly wings
El museo ha creado una nueva iniciativa de recolección centrada en explorar cómo los activistas indocumentados están liderando luchas por...
A line of people wait outside the Baltimore branch of the NAACP in 1843
In 2020, the Fifteenth Amendment—the first voting rights amendment added to the U.S. Constitution—celebrates its 150th anniversary. You’ve...
This week, the third impeachment trial of a sitting U.S. president begins. As we prepare to bear witness to this historic moment, we...
Happy days are here again banner.
January 17, 1920, was an important day in American history. Why? Because on that day the grand social experiment called Prohibition was...

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