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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"

Two men secure the billboard which includes a large flag image
Note: As of December 13, 2015, the billboard is no longer on display. For the first time since the 1990s and only the second time...
Matty Alou's brothers Felipe and Jesús also played professional baseball. This card shows the National League's 1968 batting leaders, which include Matty and Felipe Alou. Ronald S. Korda
Intern Jhensen Ortiz spent the summer researching integration narratives of Afro-Latino baseball players. Just in time for the World Series...
Posed basketball player on yellow background with pink text saying "warriors"
Curious about the story behind the basketball card, intern Curtis Harris interviewed Jim Barnett, whose pro basketball career began in 1966...
Electrophoresis set-up (two boxes, wires, probe)
Science history is an integral part of the American story. Mallory Warner, a project assistant in the Division of Medicine and Science,...
Elmo and Fozzie Bear wait in the conservation lab before their debut at the donation ceremony
On the anniversary of Jim Henson's birthday, the National Museum of American History received a donation of more than 20 Henson puppets and...
"Gaston and Josephine"
This weekend, the 13th Annual National Book Festival will take place on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and we hope that many bookworms will...
The global online Q&A session between museum curators and the public known as Ask a Curator Day takes place today, Wednesday, September...
"Uncle Sam" poster with pointing figure in a hat and beard
In honor of Uncle Sam Day, we tracked down the story of the familiar bearded figure.Drawing by James Montgomery Flagg of Uncle Sam....
Photo of white pitcher. In center, black and white illustration of a man wearing high collared jacket.
Two hundred years ago today, Oliver Hazard Perry unfurled his famous "Don't give up the ship" pennant on his flagship, the Lawrence,...
We doubt leg-of-mutton sleeves will make an appearance on runways during Fashion Week, but there's one thing that never goes out of style:...
Pigeon in jacket blueprint
Exploring our Archive Center's Maidenform collection, intern Lindsay Keating found an interesting story about how pigeons supported World...
William Hammer sitting in his lab. This black and white photoprint is part of the William J. Hammer Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
While cataloging a collection of electrical artifacts, curator Hal Wallace noticed one with an odd burn mark. His curiosity led him to this...
Photograph of man in a suit on the street with glasses
An adventure in contextual collecting with Archives Specialist Franklin Robinson, Jr.Update: Thanks to your help, we can add more...
intubation kit
As part of her work on a partnership between this museum and the National Library of Medicine, Project Assistant Mallory Warner researched...
In her non-fiction exploration of the Chinese food industry in America, Fortune Cookie Chronicles, Jennifer 8. Lee finds a mystery in...
New York Journal cover with Lindy's face and plane
A 1936 article in The Literary Digest claimed that aviator Charles Lindbergh's scientific work "would probably be remembered long after his...
Staged photograph of a man re-enacting a mining accident. The man is posed as if he has been pinned between to loaded train cars making a sharp curve on the tracks.
Intern Lindsay Keating shares an oddly interesting find from the museum's Archive Center.I was flipping through photo album after photo...
Happy Book Lovers' Day! Where history, collections, and good books meet, you'll find our staff book club. Here's what they'...
Like New Media interns before her, Hannah Ostroff enjoys the history of American musical theater. She interviewed Curator Dwight Blocker...
"Um, what is that?"When I first saw this object in the mathematics collections in 2000, I was cataloguing protractors, devices for drawing...
Glass bottles (two) and glass beads on string
Archaeology work might not be glamorous, but it yields some incredible finds. Intern Meera Munoz Pandya takes us behind the scenes in the...
Celia Cruz Portrait
Curator Marvette Perez remembers "Queen of Salsa" Celia Cruz on the 10th anniversary of her death. I stood in awe at the sight of such...
Photograph of a street corner with a large building and horse carriages
As a mob protesting the Civil War draft formed near Steinway & Sons on July 13, 1863, the factory owner recorded the dramatic events of...
Sketch or artwork of plane crashing to the ground. Soldiers lay on the ground. Toppled fence posts. Dark browns, blacks, grays.
Joseph Brichacek, an intern with the Military History Collections Project, explores how camouflage blurs the lines between...
While we're renovating the west side of the museum, a few of visitors' favorite objects have been moved off display, including Jerry...
Jefferson's small wooden desk
Museum staff Hannah Ostroff and Marko Zlatich have an answer, and it's not barbeques and fireworks.In the Revolutionary War era, news did...
The Smithsonian has been commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with exhibits, programming, blog posts, television programs,...
Three photos: A school desk patent, a label for a school desk patent, and an illustration of three desks in the "Triumph" style
There are more to desks than you might see on the surface. Just as American students have changed over the years, so have their furniture....
When a new object goes on display, we get excited. Intern Hannah Ostroff gives a behind the scenes look at the installation of our 19th-...
Tie, note book
On its 10th anniversary, Curator Katherine Ott discusses the landmark case of Lawrence v. Texas.On a warm September evening in 1998,...
Everybody poster with images in each letter
People with disabilities have been present throughout American history, but rarely appear in textbooks or shared public memories. Curator...
Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers remembers Diosa Costello. "I was the original J. Lo.," Costello said at a 2011 Smithsonian donation...
Star-Spangled Banner
The short answer: because Francis Scott Key wrote it that way.But we can do better than that. Let's have a look:O! say does that star-...
a rock with lettering describing the date, location, and men present
Curator William L. Bird explains why he has a lock of hair, a slice of very old birthday cake, and a chunk of Plymouth Rock in his...
Packaging for the game "Sorcerer"
Go on a quest for some nostalgia! Museum Technician Drew Robarge investigates a 1984 computer game that puts the player in control.One of...
Dwight Blocker Bowers remembers actress Esther Williams, who died yesterday. She was much more than a would-be Olympic swimmer. Esther...
The movie 42 has introduced many to the story of Jackie Robinson. Archivist Cathy Keen explores one interpretation of the...
Slack key guitar
What do cows have to do with slack key guitar music? Sarah Coffee from our education outreach team explains.For this month's episode of the...
A peek behind the scenes with Lauren Jaeger, button detective.  They witnessed General Robert E. Lee surrender to General Ulysses S....
During a one-week curatorial externship, Swarthmore College student Morgan Williams shadowed Allison Marsh in the engineering collections....
Postcard showing illustration of American flag, wreath of roses, and Civil War symbols
We know you're curious. A Civil War military history researcher explains where Memorial Day celebrations came from.Decoration Day...
George Washington's well-appointed personal camp chest, or "mess kit," enabled him to dine in a manner reflecting his position as commander of the Continental Army.
After answering a question about what may have been in the pockets of Revolutionary War soldiers, another Revolutionary War...
We recently loaned 64 objects from our National Firearms Collection to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, a Smithsonian Affiliate in...
Police badge
Two curators share interesting law enforcement-related artifacts in their collections, inspired by National Police Week.Curator Eric...
To close out National Poetry Month, writer Scott Ruescher reflects on how history, memory, and the National Museum of American History...
Curator Eric Jentsch shares artifacts related to American Pulitzer Prize Winner (1923) and Frost Medal Recipient, Edna St. Vincent Millay (...
A woman in a photograph drives a red farm machine on a hill in the countryside. She looks at the camera, wearing a baseball cap and denim shirt. Strapped to her back is a baby who looks at the camera suspiciously.
American agriculture has changed dramatically since World War II, impacting many aspects of American life. Curator Peter Liebhold has been...
Museum staff flaunted serious "Natitude" last year as we rooted for the Nationals. Why were their wins such a big deal? As Archivist Cathy...

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