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...

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Editor's Update: See the February 2011 issue of Prototype to learn more about this topic. One of the best parts about being a...
The Boy Scouts of America is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year and the museum is joining the celebration by recognizing staff...
I recently attended my first conference of the American Library Association (ALA). The conference was held in Washington, D.C., and we’re...
Is American history dead? Are we on a slippery slope of national amnesia? If you look at data from a recent Marist Poll, you might answer...
An extravagantly appliqued mid-19th century cotton quilt has been placed on exhibit in an artifact wall case on the first floor of the...
They say the devil is in the details and as a student in the Humanities I know all too well how difficult it can be to get those...
The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation wants you to know more about our staff! You may have seen them in action in...
Black and white portrait of small girl with large white bow in her hair, holding rolled paper in hand, sitting in wheel chair
By Curator Katherine Ott There are a lot of people in town this week for the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. And...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by guest blogger Lynn Kessler, a writer and producer at Smithsonian Networks. "Seizing Justice: The...
Roger White is no Indiana Jones, but as an associate curator specializing in automobiles, he has hunted down his fair share of treasures....
Boy Scout scarf in blue and yellow
 The Boy Scouts of America was incorporated on February 8th, 1910. In celebration of the organization’s 100th anniversary, Boy Scouts...
The Smithsonian is big. The National Museum of American History is big. Many of our artifacts, like the John Bull locomotive and the Star–...
Earlier this year we invited Jennifer 8 Lee, author of The Fortune Cookie Chronicles, to meet with our staff and share her insights into...
Why does Silicon Valley continue to flourish and reinvent itself, despite periodic pronouncements of imminent decline or technological...
I am currently working on a book project—The Changing Face of Portrait Photography: From Daguerreotype to Digital , due out in March 2011—...
Recently at the museum we were privileged to hear from one of this country’s eminent historians, David Hackett Fischer. As he described his...
Teaching 4th grade has its challenges for a 38 year-old kid. I think I never really left the mind-set of being 10 and that has its upside,...
Editor's Note: The goSmithsonian Trek app was only open through July 24th, 2010, and is no longer available. After completing my first...
You know the nugget of writing wisdom, “Show, don’t tell” ? It can apply to museums, too: live your mission, don’t just talk about it. At...
On June 12, the Colonialists met the Futurists in Flag Hall. Some 24 children from 18 countries joined family members and friends at a...
If you’re at all like me, you like to share your opinions—not just for the thrill of being heard but to change things that seem wrong or...
It's an odd thing to eat an omelet while holding back tears. But that's how I felt prior to the Creativity Round Table, held at...
Black base with Pac-Man logo. On top, large yellow Pac-Man.
A few weeks ago, I discovered, like millions of others, that Google had changed their online logo again to commemorate another special...
As a film archivist at the museum’s Archives Center, I have seen our collections used in many ways. Of course, the most traditional use is...
What causes a hot spot of innovation like Cambridge, Massachusetts, or Silicon Valley to form? There clearly is no magic formula, though...
Los Angeles. The Entertainment Capital of the World. What better place could there be for a presentation on the Smithsonian’s comedy...
Technicolor camera with large lens, camera casing, and four wheels
Every day can be an adventure for the curators, specialists, interns, and volunteers who spend their days digging and researching in the...
One of the best ironic gifts I ever received is a paper bag vase. It’s a ceramic vase in the classic, flat-bottomed shape and classic brown...
This past weekend the iconic actor and member of the counter culture Dennis Hopper passed away. In 2006, Robert Weingarten had the...
Cameras are everywhere. I currently have three devices in my purse that I can take a picture with. We love it when our visitors take photos...
Because our History Explorer team develops K-12 lesson plans and interactives as well as professional development opportunities...
The White House Correspondents Dinner brought quite a number of celebrities to Washington this month. One of the museum’s board members was...
incunabula… incunabula…incunabula… That is the word that that was proclaimed all around me the first day of my internship. I had no idea...
I’ll admit it. Working at the National Museum of American History has some pretty great benefits. I get to meet famous Civil Rights leaders...
Black and white photo of a man and woman looking at pages of paper.
Lena Horne was an American treasure, a cultural icon whose career achievements and social legacy challenged and transformed America’s...
How long is a long bean? And who was General Tsao? These are questions you might ask after you visit our Stars and Stripes Cafe during the...
One of the fun parts of being a curator is deciding exactly what to collect. Sometimes it’s easy—the original helium-neon laser that was...
"I just got a call from the White House and they want us to perform Sing for Freedom for their visitors one day during Black History...
In February of this year, we commemorated the 50th anniversary of the sit-in at the F. W. Woolworth lunchcounter in Greensboro, NC. In 1960...
Throughout the spring, the blog has offered up a variety of topics related to freedom. We often use the term to indicate political...
You may know that the museum has around 3 million objects in its collections. You may have guessed—especially if you’ve been here on a busy...
Margarita machine
Why is this homely little brown box, with its sign that identifies it as the "World's First Margarita Machine," living at the Smithsonian?...
Do you like Chinese food? What is your favorite dish? Me, I love za jiang mein, it’s an eastern version of spaghetti with meat sauce. For...
Silicon Valley—we know it’s there, but its borders elude us. The region is synonymous with innovation, collaboration, and the cutting edge...
On Monday, April 26, 2010 we wrapped up our special eleven day program to commemorate the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln on...
Who among us hasn’t had to memorize or study Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address? To this day, it is Lincoln’s words that...
So many of the sustainable environmental technologies of today hold promise but are distinctly futuristic—from nanotechnology-based...
What do you think of when you see the name “Abraham Lincoln”? Do you think of the Gettysburg Address? How about the Civil War? Do you get a...

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