As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo are temporarily closed. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our website and social media.

American Stories

Bronze life mask of Abraham Lincoln

American Stories featured an engaging mix of artifacts from the museum’s vast holdings to tell stories about the country’s history. Through more than 100 objects, visitors followed a chronology spanning the Pilgrims’ 1620 arrival in Plymouth, Massachusetts, through the 2008 presidential election.

American Stories highlighted the ways in which objects and stories can reinforce and challenge our understanding of history and help define our personal and national identities. The exhibition examined the manner in which culture, politics, economics, science, technology, and the peopling of the United States have shaped the country over the decades.