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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...
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...

Blog Posts in "From the Collections"

A flag that has survived actual "bombs bursting in air" can surely survive anything, right? You’d be surprised. Maintaining the Star-...
table top connected to a chair
As the National Museum of American History marks its 50th anniversary, we also celebrate the many women who have enriched and informed the...
Young man posing on a bike with low handle bars. He wears short shorts and t-shirt with stripes, perhaps racing clothes. He is African American.
Can you imagine not knowing Babe Ruth? What if Muhammad Ali and his accomplishments had been lost to history? What if you didn't know who...
author with cookie monster
Yes, those of us on the museum staff know our jobs are awesome. Laura McClure of our Office of Exhibition Services shares what it's like to...
It has been 50 years since the U.S. Surgeon General's first report detailing the health hazards of smoking. Jeffrey K. Stine, the...
a spirograph kit is open, revealing plastic wheels and instructions
Remember that fun, spiral-drawing toy from the 1960s called the Spirograph? Turns out, those cool curves you made as a kid actually...
A woman in a yellow sweater prepares a document for digitization
Have you ever seen a box full of money—well, not exactly, money, but certified plate proofs? What about stacks of boxes? Stacks on stacks?...
Swedish Chef Muppet with spoon, mustache, chef's hat
Intern Peter Olson interviewed Bonnie Erickson, the executive director of The Jim Henson Legacy, to discuss some of the...
photo of men in uniform
If you've ever done research using primary source documents, you know that context is key. Who took this photo? Who's in the photo?...
ice skates
"Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" This was ABC sportscaster Al Michaels' quote "heard 'round the world" after the U.S. National Team beat...
American Heroes: The Japanese American Nisei Congressional Gold Medal goes on display on February 19, 2014, beginning with a special...
Sean White clothing and snowboard
"Citius, Altius, Fortius"—translated as "faster, higher, stronger"—is the motto of the modern Olympic Games. This phrase could also sum up...
Pop-up illustration of a cupid with wings and rosy cheeks holding a garland of blue flowers.
Ah, Valentine's Day: when history curators' thoughts turn to love. This Valentine's Day, we asked members of our curatorial staff to share...
An 1898 catalog
Not satisfied with a bouquet of standard red roses, Smithsonian staffers share unique blooms from museum collections. Diane Wendt is a...
Trade card for a heart remedy featuring illustration of heart
Valentine's Day is traditionally for those whose hearts are all aglow with love, but the cardio-obsession also led the Center for Disease...
A brooch made of dimes
Don't forget to pick up a token of your affection for your valentine this year. Robyn Einhorn, a specialist in the museum's National...
A collection of sweetheart jewelry
Does your family own any jewelry from World War II? Curator Kathleen Golden shares a few sweet pieces from our collection.In honor of...
Wendy Williams
Ever wonder how the museum acquires all of its fantastic pop-culture memorabilia? Guest blogger Wendy Williams of The Wendy Williams...
Ice skates
Excited about the Winter Olympics? We indulge our Olympic fever with curator Jane Rogers, who shares a few favorite and less-expected...
Theologian and chemist Joseph Priestley immigrated to the United States in 1794 after a mob destroyed his house and laboratory in...
Grey Civil War coat with red detailing and gold buttons
It was December 21, 1864, a few days before Christmas. Colonel John S. Mosby had ridden from Richmond, Virginia, to Upper...
silver bowl with fancy handle
With the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks set to square off in the big game on Sunday, it's time to take a look at some more of our own...
Photo of a black purse with a short handle. It is rectangular and bulges in the middle as though it's full. A little worn around the edges. Metal buckle.
Intern Peter Olson interviewed Curators Nancy Davis and William Yeingst, whose exhibition Camilla's Purse reveals the previously...
Apple Macintosh (“classic” 128K version), 1984
2014 marks the 30th anniversary of Apple's famous "1984" television ad that aired on January 22, 1984, during the third quarter of the...
The Museum of History and Technology (our previous name) was dedicated on today’s date 50 years ago, opening to the public on the following...
teapot
In honor of Benjamin Franklin's 307th birthday, curator Deborah Warner shares an experiment Franklin isn't known for—and, no, there's no...
Three statuettes of kings complete with robes and gowns stand on the same base.
Dr. Margaret Salazar-Porzio, curator of Latino History and Culture in the Home and Community Life division, and intern Jonathan Borda...
Titanic survivors in black and white photo
Are you one of Downton Abbey's many American fans? With the new fourth season airing here in the U.S. on PBS ...
Percy Medicine, 1996-1999. "For the relief of diarrhea, sour stomach, acid indigestion, heartburn, and upset stomach associated with overindulgence of food and drink." Orange packaging with a child's face.
On this first day of 2014, many of us will be looking forward to the New Year. Others will just be looking forward to recovering from the...
"O Say Can You See?" turned five this year. Like many five-year-olds, we ask a lot of questions. In fact, half of our top ten...
Two hundred and thirty years ago, on December 23, 1783, George Washington willingly resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the...
Little girl paper puppet and wolf paper puppet
On December 13, 2013, the new Puppetry in America display case opens at the museum, highlighting a collection that curator Dwight...
Carte-de-visit of John S. Moby
A New Jersey Yankee now living in the area of Virginia known as "Mosby's Confederacy" during the Civil War, curator Kathleen Golden shares...
Portrait of Joseph Henry in suit
Today, scientists grapple with tension between two types of research: applied research that attempts to solve specific real-world problems...
Have you ever wished that you could go behind-the-scenes here at the National Museum of American History and explore our vast collection of...
Illustrating of a pilgrim's hat, book, and ship on a Thanksgiving menu
On October 3, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring the third Thursday...
Gold-colored Hanukkah lamp decorated with Statue of Liberty figures and an eagle
Thanksgiving 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Proclamation that established the national observance of the holiday....
Soon after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, the president was memorialized in many ways, including through...
Radio
Fifty years ago tomorrow, President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Curator Hal Wallace looks at how Americans would...
Top hat, brown
If you're shopping for the holidays, don't miss The Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects, a new book that highlights...
3 perfusion pumps
Judy Chelnick, a curator in the Division of Medicine and Science, chats with us about the museum's collection of artificial hearts and...
Update in November 2018: This blog post will updated with new research in the coming months. Kelly Whitson, who works with our...
This umbrella handle, 4 ½ inches long and carved from horn, was collected in 1875 as an example of material manufacturing. It features a narrow face with a mustache.
November is all about facial hair here at the Smithsonian, so we're highlighting a few hairy collection objects to celebrate...
To kick off National Diabetes Month, pharmacy curator Diane Wendt shares how the Smithsonian has covered the history of insulin...
black and white piece of art depicting families gathered in a cemetery with picnic baskets and candles at night
The smell of marigolds, the bright pink of fluffy tulle, and moments of quiet reflection. Curator Margaret Salazar-Porzio explores the Day...
Fair warning: If you get a holiday gift from a staff member of this museum this year, it'll be this book (and no, we are not getting it...
As Halloween approaches, we asked museum staff to share objects from the collections that evoke the holiday's spooky spirit. The result?...
Diane Wendt, associate curator in the Division of Medicine and Science, shares objects from the museum's collection that offers a glimpse...

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