In 2017, in response to a slew of racist incidents in the Gayborhood, Philadelphia added black and brown stripes to the traditional six-...
With Pride Month celebrations recognizing LGBTQ history and culture throughout the country this June, what better way to highlight the...
As objects representing Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning history enter the museum's collection today,...

Blog Posts in "From the Collections"

D-Day. June 6, 1944.  The words bring to mind images of hundreds of landing craft, machines, and American fighting forces landing on...
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...
A tin foil version of the Stanley Cup
I’m a lifelong resident of the Washington, D.C. area and a hockey fan. So imagine my excitement (and surprise) last year when my team, the...
Square banner for boxer John L. Sullivan showing flags and the phrases “Champion of the world…May the best man win”
There has been a lot of debate over the last few years about whether sports should be political. From NFL players taking a knee to a range...
Woman wearing purple latex gloves presses gently into the inside of one of the Ruby Slippers into a case.
Many noses are pressed against the case that houses Dorothy's Ruby Slippers each day. The famous shoes from The Wizard of Oz attract a lot...
 Lobby cards for the film "Saludos Amigos"
Every April, people throughout North, Central, and South America celebrate Pan American Day. The roots of Pan American Day go back to 1890...
“We were picking dandelions on the lawn there and we would boil them up,” Henry T. Chamberlain remembered. During the Great Depression,...
A heart shaped content
They had just arrived in a foreign country and the small girl’s mother was sent away.  Ernest and Mimi Hausner fled their home in...
The National Museum of American History has a staggering 1.8 million objects in the collections. It isn’t possible for one person to know...
In May 2018, the Boy Scouts of America changed the name of its program for older children to Scouts BSA and opened membership to girls for...
Three political ribbons with red, yellow, and blue colors, all showing illustrations of James Buchanan
James Buchanan. Do you recognize this name? According to TIME magazine’s “Top 10 Forgettable Presidents,” you probably don’t. Chances are,...
Souvenirs from battlefields the world over can be found in our Division of Political and Military History. Unique among them is a mounted...
Close-up detail of the end of a fairy's wand. It's the shape of a star, covered in silver/white/gold gems or sparkly stones.
The museum's pair of Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz returned to display on October 19, 2018, after spending time in the museum's...
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...
This year we celebrate 50 years of mumps vaccination in America, helping to make chipmunk cheeks and swollen testicles a thing of our...
Two advertisements for the 1947 Amateur World Series with cartoon illustrations of a baseball pitcher and catcher
Over seventy years ago, in 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American athlete to play in the World Series, having famously...
Woman in green shirt with purple latex gloves adjusts a microscope. She is looking at the Ruby Slippers.
Wielding an adorably tiny vacuum, objects conservator Dawn Wallace peered through her stereomicroscope at thousands of 80-year-old red...
Sesame Street was an innovative and radical children's television program when it premiered in 1969. In the 1960s, many parents were...
Cartoon drawing of a tangled ball of yarn with emotions such as “anxiety” and “rage” tangled up
Title page to Garrard Conley's workbook from the gay-conversion camp Love in ActionIt is dangerous to be different, and certain kinds of...
An illustration of an African American soldier
Suffering from "shell shock and a general breakdown," Charles Mackall and James Randall arrived in Philadelphia in September 1918 from...
A young child is shown walking into church with sign "Church of the Nazarene." An American flag and "Polling Place" sign hand in the foreground.
Like many other churches in the early republic, the Congregational meetinghouse in Castine, Maine, served both sacred and secular functions...
File of condolence letters
In October 1998, a college student named Matt Shepard was brutally murdered in Laramie, Wyoming, by two young men. Matt was slight of build...
Music blasts toward the audience as concertgoers dance to Steve Aoki's pounding bass rhythms and bright LED displays. The DJ throws cakes...
Today, the Washington Senators are most remembered for their ability to finish in last place. Despite their successful early history marked...
Photo of Jose Feliciano playing guitar at Smithsonian
José Feliciano will remain forever celebrated for his perennial Christmas classic "Feliz Navidad," one of his many hit recordings that have...
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...
Lace with U.S. seal
Safely cared for in the collections of the National Museum of American History are about 6,000 examples of hand- and machine-made lace from...
Grace Hopper examines a computer at work.
On December 7, 1941, two days before her 35th birthday, Grace Murray Hopper, an associate professor of mathematics at Vassar College, was...
A book of poetry
Curators at the National Museum of American History often rely on scholars in the field to illuminate new areas of collection and research...
As our Philanthropy Initiative continues to explore the history of giving, we're eager to share stories of success and failure. This story...
Shirtwaist made by Fisk, Clark & Flagg, about 1910.Shirtwaists, tailored blouses of the 1890s and early 1900s, became especially...
Pair of Ruby Slippers with red sequins and bows, very sparkly but worn
Dawn Wallace and Richard Barden stood in the museum's objects conservation lab over two shoes. Red. Sequin-covered. Small heels. Petite in...
John McCain and other returning soldiers stand before a crowd
This past Saturday, August 25, Arizona Senator John S. McCain III bid the nation farewell. For 60 years, McCain served the country either...
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...
Blue book with photos of show cast and text: “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”
The final episode of “M*A*S*H” was co-written with eight collaborators and directed by star Alan Alda.Despite the photo ops and historic...
"It was now quick work," Maria Mitchell noted. "As the last rays of sunlight disappeared, the corona burst out all around the sun, so...
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...
License plate showing Disney characters and bicentennial years, 1776 and 1976
The month of July plays host to the birthdays of both the United States of America (July 4, 1776) and Disneyland (July 17, 1955). This is...
"Green Egg" GPS Receiver
"Information is your new crop!" proclaimed John Deere's brochure, announcing the company's newly launched GreenStar Precision Farming...
Detail of baseball program with illustration of FDR
All-Star Games of years past that were played in Washington were full of history: the historic arrival of a president, the effective end of...
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...
An illustration showing crowds of well-dressed people gathering beside their seats in Madison Square Garden, as well as crowds approaching the building from the outside
Piano manufacturer William Steinway kept a diary from 1861 to 1896. It resides in the National Museum of American History’s Archives Center...
A group of musicians performing on stage
What was the Big Apple like in the second half of the 19th century? The daily diary of piano manufacturer William Steinway opens a window...
Hawkeye’s corduroy bathrobe looks purple in real life, but comes across as red on camera.The chronically jet-lagged actor Alan Alda got...
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 medal for the Humane Society of Massachusetts
Young Charles Taylor drowned in June 1818. He was six years, seven months, and 10 days old, the son of Nathan and Sally Taylor. While a...

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