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 "From the Collections"

Movie camera in large apparatus with four small wheels.
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
This October 9, 1944, advertisement for Whitman's chocolate boxes shows a woman embracing a soldier in uniform kissing her cheek. On the bottom right is a box of Whitman’s Chocolate Sampler. The bold font reads, “A WOMAN NEVER FORGETS THE MAN WHO REMEMBERS,” and, “BUY MORE WAR BONDS.” In fine print below the box of chocolates reads, “If you can’t always get your favorite Sampler, remember it’s because millions of pounds of Whitman’s Chocolates are going to all our fighting fronts.”
"Do you like chocolate?" That's one of the first questions I ask museum visitors during a chocolate program I lead in the museum's Wallace...
A piece of tan-colored paper folded in half. One half is lying flat and the other is open facing the camera, like an open mouth. There are geometric drawings on the paper with strings attached. The top says "Relief e" with text below it in French.
If you frequent the object groups of the National Museum of American History online, you may have noticed a recent addition (group link at...
A little girl admires the Ruby Slippers in a display case
At a little past 11:15 p.m. on Sunday, October 23, 2016, you took us somewhere over the rainbow. With over 5,300 backers, our "Keep Them...
Pair of red shoes with sequins with yellow brick background
The Ruby Slippers are among the most famous pairs of shoes in the world. Generations of Americans know them from Dorothy’s journey in the...
Close-up photo of red sequins, cropped to a circle
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
One of the Ruby Slippers, with a small heel and a beaded bow, covered in sequins, sits under a microscope.
Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and display...
An black and white image of a building surrounded by smoke. People gather around it, many in hats and winter jackets. The full caption at the bottom of the picture reads "The Collinwood School, photographed while the fire still raged"
With the academic year in full swing, schools across the country are beginning their first rounds of fire drills. Remember those? As alarms...
a black and white photograph of a woman in a cream colored dress with a draped skirt, laid on top of pieces of fabric of varied textures and colors
Even before the United States entered the First World War in 1917, procurement officers for the armed forces began to look for sources for...
A group of young women in white, button up, short sleeved shirts stands and kneels for the photograph. In the middle of the back row there is a man with a serious expression. The young woman kneeling in the center is holding a baseball bat.
On February 20, 2016, former Smithsonian fellow Mark Ocegueda, currently a Ph.D. candidate in history at the University of California,...
Illustration for sheet music that says "Fair Hawaii" at the top in yellow text atop green palm trees. A woman in a lei and grass skirt sits in the center looking at a red, setting sun
In recent years, the ukulele, or jumping (lele) flea (‘uku) in Hawaiian, has received a renewed appeal. I've heard the instrument make...
Black and white illustration of Abraham Lincoln (bust)
As November 8 draws nearer, I have been thinking about what "electability" means for an American president. What makes someone look...
Girls in uniform sit around a table holding their certificates.
Moving to a new city is intimidating, particularly because most of your time is spent stumbling into familiarity. Guidance, trial, and...
Lafayette Escadrille pilot pin
Sunday, September 18, is the 69th birthday of the United States Air Force, which became a separate branch of service as part of the...
An illustration showing a cluster of figures. Neptune rides some sort of chariot pulled by four horse, with sea nymphs surrounding him and a cupid flying in the air. The scene is framed by pink ribbons saying "Neptune Hose Co.  Instituted August 6, 1805 and banners reading "To save out fellows we hazard ourselves"
Our fire engine has a secret message. For a few years now, this hand-pumped engine has been on display on the museum's first floor. For a...
A structure used as a sled. It has metal bars to support the legs and feet and a seat. Two wooden staffs that appear to be shortened hockey sticks are attached to either side.
Now that the 2016 Summer Olympic Games have come to a close, we can look forward to more gold-winning performances from Team USA at the...
A handwritten note hastily scrawled on a large rectangular yellow Post-it
In moments of crisis, our first thoughts are usually to get in contact with the people we love. September 11, 2001, was a day when many...
golden sign with red and bold lettering and an eagle holding a paper that says "V-MAIL"
"Oh happy day. Mail at last. Two from Jean and one from Mother. Sure was great to get them." Stationed on the island of Iwo Jima...
Cover of Mining Journal, 1897
Update: The project to transcribe our 1897 mining journal is now complete! Over 50 digital volunteers from 15 different countries...
A young girl stands behind a cake in a room full of seated children wearing party hats.
While scrolling through Facebook one day, Eunice was struck by a sudden memory. "I had a visceral reaction and thought, 'Oh my God!'" She...
A caricature of Jefferson Davis stands bawling with text, "Jeff, on Harper's Ferry. I should think I might be let alone. Boo-oo-oh"
While processing a collection of Civil War scrapbooks, I was surprised to find imagery that reminded me of today's internet memes. A meme...
Yellow scrap of fabric in a frame. Pencil writing on fabric.
This rectangle of yellow cloth is small, only seven by nine inches, but it tells a much larger story. It begins in January 1917, when the...
an envelope that reads "Morse's American Tele" from an office in Troy, NY. The paper is faded and has cursive writing on it.
During my 22 years in the military, before coming to work in the museum's Archives Center, I trained extensively for the possible...
Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton sits on a mat in a gym circled by children of various ages. She appears to be midsentence answering a question from a youth in front of her.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! The Olympics have arrived and it is time for us to send our most brilliant athletes to compete against their...
Silk with a pattern of the Grand Canyon. Bright orange, green, white and reds mimick the crags and dimensions of the famous natural canyon. The pattern goes in every direction to suggest rather than depict the Grand Canyon
Mallinson's Printed Pussywillow—This excellent quality is ideal for blouses, scarfs, and coat linings, offered in a large selection of...
young man wearing a jacket and a kilt seated upon a desk or similar furniture
Oh, sigh! Season two of Outlander (the show in which British World War II field nurse, Claire, slips through time and meets the...
White hat with blue ribbon and black and white photo of John F. Kennedy smiling
Scrolling through social media or watching on TV, you can't miss the pageantry accompanying national political conventions. The bright...
a green square board with a number of small pes attached by screen to a roller contraption with a handle on which lace is stretched
Walking down a street in Chicago in 1901, Sylvester G. Lewis saw a large group of women enthralled with a lady making lace in a window...
women sit in rows in a room using microscopes
I dare not eat / A dead pig's meat / Though not of creed of Moses /For, oh, I fear / From what I hear, / That horrid trichinosis—...
A full-length photo of the sewing machine. It looks like a box with painted doors featuring images of a man and woman. The top is open to show the sewing needle.
Nineteenth century Americans were voracious news-readers, and in 1863, there was plenty of big news. Abraham Lincoln signed the...
A beer comb which looks like a tongue depressor with an elaborate handle that is a black vine-like design
A tall head sits upon a lively body. An inviting aroma wafts forward. In a moment, the rising head is lopped off.Your bartender pours beer...
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...
Likeness of Ferdinand Foch in black, white and gray against a gray background surrounded by celebratory and commemorative details
Continuing our World War I series, discover an incredible portrait of a war hero.During World War I, several French textile manufacturers...
Two black-and-white photos of anniversary celebrations
We had a remarkable response to our contest to help the museum select photos for its display celebrating the opening of the National Museum...
An old woman, a young woman, a girl and a baby sitting in the living room of an 1860s home
Have you ever been to a bake sale? Or perhaps a craft fair or auction for charity? What about a raffle for charity with a beautiful quilt...
One woman kneels into a display case, placing glass objects onto a blue platform/display armature. Another woman holds design plans on paper and watches. In background, case is open to show objects and text panels.
Imagine you're setting a table with your finest glassware, and finding the best placement for each fragile and meaningful piece. Now...
Color photo of lots of red poppies growing in front of the Washington Memorial. Blue skies and green trees surround.
As Memorial Day approaches, enjoy three examples of how floral symbolism and military history are connected. Much like the Emojis of...
Postcard with photo of two young children wearing ballet shoes. Little boy holds top hat in his raised hand and an over-sized coat. The little girl strikes a pose with a fancy fan and wears a full-skirted tea length dress and a hat with many bows.
Cakewalks, for many, evoke visions of childhood and carnivals. Today, a cakewalk is where dancers promenade around a circle of numbers on...
(Detail) Indoor black and white photo of children gathered around a rectangular table, wearing party hats and waiting to eat cake. The birthday boy, in suit and tie, grins, standing with his hands behind his back with his two-tiered cake in front of him. Behind him, a patterned curtain. Wood-paneled room.
We're thrilled that our new neighbor, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will open its doors in September....
(Detail) Many people in formal outfits sit at a long table with a white tablecloth. A couple smiles, wearing silly hats, about to cut a cake. Behind them, 15 or 16 people stand on a raised platform or stage, smiling for the photo. Streamers and other decorations are visible on the ceiling. There are tall candles in candle holders on some of the tables.
We're thrilled that our new neighbor, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will open its doors in September....
Purple fabric with geometric streaks of lavender, violet, pink, and white. Vignettes include figures, churches/grand buildings, etc.
Celebrities today have their own clothing lines, perfumes, and even cosmetic labels. What if the founders of our country had the same...
Poster with image of young woman in military uniform
“Wartime nursing is different,” The American Journal of Nursing soberly noted in 1943. As nurses well knew, wars always...
(Detail) Illustrated comic book cover with three planes and Superman, Batman, Robin saluting and smiling.
May 8 is the anniversary of V-E Day, the day that Germany unconditionally surrendered in 1945 to end World War II in Europe. Young American...
(Detail) Colorful carousel horse with pink saddle and light pink mane
"Unless something is done [the carousel] will turn the minds of people here, and no one would be surprised if in a few days, whole families...
1870s Remington typewriter, black with detailed flowers and patriotic emblems painted on it
The sound of clicking typewriter keys filled the museum's Innovation Wing recently during Type-O-Rama. This event, presented by the ...
Yellow guitar, dark blue background.
The museum will recognize the life and legacy of Prince Rogers Nelson (1958–2016) by displaying his "Yellow Cloud" electric guitar. The...
(Detail) Image of a nature scene with mountains in the background, rocks and a stream in foreground, and trees. Misty, cloud, but slightly sunny.
What would you have done if you saw your river burning? The Cuyahoga River that runs through the northeastern corner of Ohio was so...

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