Sesame Street was an innovative and radical children's television program when it premiered in 1969. In the 1960s, many parents were...
Suffering from "shell shock and a general breakdown," Charles Mackall and James Randall arrived in Philadelphia in September 1918 from...
As our Philanthropy Initiative continues to explore the history of giving, we're eager to share stories of success and failure. This story...

Blog Posts in "Stories of Freedom & Justice"

Bouquets in front of a gas station.
World Trade Center, September 2001, by Christophe AgouThe attacks of September 11, 2001, shocked the nation. Nearly 3,000 people were...
When you think about the culture around skateboarding, you might think about the laid-back vibe of acceptance and inclusion that the sport...
The Stonewall uprising began June 28, 1969, in response to a police raid at The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York, and has since...
The Transcontinental Railroad was completed 150 years ago, in 1869. In 1800s America, some saw the railroad as a symbol of modernity and...
Multiple rainbows flag items
In 2017, in response to a slew of racist incidents in the Gayborhood, Philadelphia added black and brown stripes to the traditional six-...
When Chef Sean Sherman began speaking about his experiences growing up on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, he shattered all-too-...
Blue, white, and red banner with an image of Admiral Dewey in center of white stripe, surrounded by laurels.
George Dewey was promoted to the rank of rear admiral after the Battle of Manila Bay. Dewey was celebrated in American culture with songs,...
These are our most fascinating blog posts of 2018, according to our readers.When FBI agents showed up with a pair of sparkly, red shoesA...
White celluloid collar on black background
Men’s celluloid collar, 1900sAt first glance, this collar from the 1800s might not look like much. A closer inspection shows that this...
Musical inspiration abounds in the collections and exhibitions around us. As interns in the Making American Music project, we get to follow...
Sheet music cover, 'Get off the track!'
Turn right at the Batmobile. Take the elevator behind the John Bull locomotive. If you hit Julia Child's kitchen, you've gone too far. My...
"It was now quick work," Maria Mitchell noted. "As the last rays of sunlight disappeared, the corona burst out all around the sun, so...
Sheets wearing the Special Olympics oath on his shirt with Eunice Kennedy Shriver. Courtesy of Dave Sheets.
"Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt."Eunice Kennedy Shriver, founder of Special Olympics, recited this oath at...
Political campaign buttons with slogans from Robert Kennedy’s presidential campaign
June 6, 2018 marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Robert “Bobby” Francis Kennedy. Being a native Northern Virginian, I knew that the...
A yellowed page with black text announcing the "Grand Concert in aid of the Russian Jewish Refugees"
The arts are "a space where we can give dignity to others while interrogating our own circumstances," Darren Walker, president of the...
A blue and yellow banner that reads "Please give your help" and "Bowl of Rice, Feb. 9, 10, 11,1940-S.F. Chinatown"
Wartime often catalyzes developments in philanthropy. In 2017, the museum added the Bowl of Rice party banner, from fundraising efforts to...
President Lyndon Johnson signing the Fair Housing Act, 1968, surrounded by onlookers
Fifty years ago, on April 11, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a bill that was to end discrimination in most of the nation’s housing...
Norman Granz and Ella Fitzgerald stand side-by-side in front of a microphone
A civil rights protest often invokes the vivid images of sit-ins, boycotts, and marches, but the fight for racial equality took many...
A woman with styled hair leans out a window.
In my first week as a curator at the National Museum of American History, I made a list of women I wished were present in the museum's...
A sepia tone portrait of Madam CJ Walker
A former laundress who became a millionaire from her hair-care company, Madam C. J. Walker (1867–1919) was a leading philanthropist of the...
An illustration of a ticket that reads 'Order 9066'
Each year we mark the Day of Remembrance with events recognizing Executive Order 9066, signed on February 19, 1942, after Japan’s bombing...
An image of a violet fraternal collar--opulently decorated with golden embroidery and a hand painted eye
Artists have long been major players in American philanthropy. If that surprises you to learn, you might be further surprised to learn that...
Photograph of lunch counter with four chairs
"I walked away with an attitude that, if our country is screwed up, don't give up. Unscrew it, but don't give up."   ...
A sepia photograph of a woman with dark coiffed hair in a military-style shirt. She is smiling.
Museum Specialist Noriko Sanefuji and Curator Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum and Historic Site...
A black suitcase whose case is old and warped with stripes down the center under the handle.
Museum Specialist Noriko Sanefuji and Curator Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum and Historic Site...
A man in a military uniform and a woman in a dark coat stand smiling in front of a house.
Seventy-five years ago, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066. While the order avoided naming any particular ethnic...
a photograph of Ella Fitzgerald. She looks up and away from the camera. She is smiling and rests on a number of records spread out on the table in front of her.
In the Archives Center, jazz always seems to be a topic of discussion, whether it be a researcher looking for the Duke Ellington Collection...
A playing card on which a man wearing boxing clubs in a fighting stance stands against a green background made to look like a large hall with many seated people
In 1908, Texan Jack Johnson (1878–1946) defeated Canadian Tommy Burns to become the first African American world heavyweight boxing...
Still from a black and white movie. Movie poster in background. A young, nicely dressed African American woman and man stand together, smiling.
The Reverend Harold Mose Anderson was always fascinated by the movies. Anderson saved his money and bought a home movie camera from a...
(Detail image) Black and white photo of an African American man in military uniform. His arms are gently crossed, a watch o his wrist. His head is slightly tilted to the right, with a serious but gentle look on his face. The uniform has pockets, buttons, and a fairly high collar.
Offered in celebration of Black History Month and in recognition of the 100th anniversary of America's participation in World War I, the...
A black patch with a white helmet sewn on the front
As a kid, Leonard W. Miller secretly tinkered with his parents' car for almost a year before they noticed he'd been replacing parts under...
White button features a drawing of two students sitting next to each, one turns to the other and says "May 17th!." Around the button's border the text reads: "Keep the Buses Rolling...March on Boston."
On September 9, 1974, over 4,000 white demonstrators rallied at Boston Common to protest the start of court-ordered school desegregation in...
A photo from the museum of the installed portion of the counter from the Greensboro diner. It includes the countertop, four chairs, and part of the back wall with a mirror on it.
We often remember the civil rights movement as a few iconic events that took place at famous landmarks—the Edmund Pettus Bridge, the...
Color photograph of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, taken from ground level with a perspective looking up. Light and puffy clouds streak across the sky. Green foliage in foreground.
Our next door neighbor, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, opens on September 24, 2016, and our whole staff is...
A pair of children in period clothing stand next to a clapboard house
In 1962 Dr. Alixa Naff set out to tell the story of Arab immigrants from Syria and Lebanon. In addition to investigating an area that had...
Cover of comic book. Little boy in tears runs to father. Text: "Dad! They took away my baseball bat!"
Comics have historically been used to tell difficult stories and engage youth in important but challenging topics. Martin Luther King Jr....
Museum visitor looks at objects on a table while staff member points out features of historic objects
Our National Youth Summit on Japanese American Incarceration in World War II is just around the corner. In this national webcast...
Black and white photo of three Boy Scouts carrying a large U.S. flag with community in background, including other parade participants with bugle and drum.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Executive Order 9066 forcibly removed all people of Japanese ancestry, citizens or not,...
(Detail) Black and white photo of gathering in center of camp with buildings in background. Boy Scouts line up while community watches. In background, high mountains with snow on top.
Here at the museum, we're busy preparing for this year's National Youth Summit. The program is an interactive webcast event...
Graphic in black text: "The Birth of a Nation" at 100
Our History Film Forum got us thinking about issues in depicting historic events in film. Watch our discussion on The Birth of a...
Light yellow and white dress, tea-length, short sleeves, scoop neck, delicate pattern
During my internship at the museum, I had the immense pleasure of working with a collection of objects donated by Minnijean Brown Trickey....
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...
Ben Kuroki was born on May 16, 1917, in Gothenburg, Nebraska, to Japanese immigrant parents. With the onset of World War II, Kuroki and...
Photograph, circa 1958, of four young African American women standing beside a convertible automobile
Owning a car expanded people’s physical freedom to move, allowing them to participate in a radical democratization of space in America. In...
Woman sitting on couch with turquoise fabric in her lap, holding some of its folds. Smiling. Gray couch, bookshelf in background.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
Yellow button with text saying in capitalized letters "Handicapped Human Rights: Sign 504 ACCD" in bold text.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
Large tube-shaped machine with six legs on rolling wheels. Blue in color with small windows.
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's...
Circular white button with bold, capitalized text saying "I [heart symbol] ADA"
Activist Justin Dart, Jr. called it a "commandment." Some people think of it as a tangle of regulations, standards, and guidelines. Above...

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