"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...
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...
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...

Blog Posts in "From the Collections"

Blue jacket with yellow sleeves, buttons, zippers, and details. Patch on left says "EWBA Champions."
William "Ray" Werner joined the Marine Corps on December 8, 1941. Two years later Ray's mother received the official Marine Corps letter...
Small television with handle and turquoise frame around screen, which is slightly curved
For Super Bowl 50, we're sharing some 1960s objects from the museum's collections to add a little retro flare to any game watching party...
Display in which figures hold up contemporary campaign signs for presidential candidates while standing among historic objects related to voting, such as 1940s voting booths
As I walk into the museum each morning, I notice which figures in our Hooray for Politics display are holding their signs for presidential...
Man with beard facing camera and holding coloring book page with text "Cruz"
Two of the museum's curators, Lisa Kathleen Graddy and Jon Grinspan, are collecting objects at key moments in the 2016 election. We're...
1700s copper chocolate pot
With an intense snow storm bearing down on the mid-Atlantic, we're looking to history and our collections to inspire us about how to eat,...
Khaki uniform with skirt and collared jacket. Large brown buttons and two breast pockets. Brown lace-up boots with small heel. Brown hate with ribbon around it.
I came back from my eighth grade trip to Washington, D.C., with a Rosie the Riveter poster from the museum store here (not...
Group of small wooden carved figures, some with painted details.
The first job I had at the museum was working with a collection of more than 3,000 objects from Puerto Rico, all collected by Teodoro Vidal...
Black and white ad with photo of woman in dress with polka dots and umbrella with polka dots. Text: "Silks that express the spirit of sport."
Next in our World War I series this month, a look at what we now consider a go-to, neutral fabric for almost any season.In 1915 American...
Photo of panels of quilt, one with American flag in center
This week, we're exploring how participation—people joining together to accomplish shared goals—shapes American life by exploring our...
Photo of quilt panels
Americans have often banded together for the common good. That could mean marching on the National Mall to protest injustice or...
Photo of fabric. Dark blue background. Images of small children wearing pink, brown, white, and blue outfits. Attached together with string.
Some dolls, some dogs, and a charming Parisian story from our textile collections, part of our World War I series this month.In July 1918,...
Patter with wide white strips, thin black stripes, and stylized bird and anti illustrations
On December 18, 1915, Edith Bolling Galt married President Woodrow Wilson in a ceremony at her home in Washington, D.C. This very private...
Bright red silk top hat, decorated with a silver band and blue stars
When people think of costumes, they tend to think of elaborate, old-fashioned gowns, like the ones in Victorian novel adaptations....
In late December 1915, a century ago, 104 mathematicians and mathematics teachers assembled at The Ohio State University to form the...
Frank Sinatra in hat and tie stands at microphone with music stand in front of him, mouth slightly open
Do you think of Frank Sinatra as a jazz singer? As we celebrate his 100th birthday, guest author Eric Felten explores this question.When...
Case with objects inside
"In the United States associations are established to promote public order, commerce, industry, morality, and religion; for there is no end...
Hat with portrait of Benjamin Franklin
Benjamin Franklin's reputation for invention and inventiveness looms large in our national imagination: Franklin stoves, Poor Richard's...
"Park and Shop" board game
 This November 27, 2015, the day after Thanksgiving, millions of Americans will kick off the holiday shopping season with what has...
Small brown puppet with big white eyes, photo
Does this puppet look familiar? Remind you of anyone you know? Does he bear a striking resemblance to a famous frog? This is one of Jim...
Football, 1912
"The thud of the cleated boot on pigskin will soon be heard." It's football season! The Ten Thousand Men of Harvard! The Fighting Irish!...
Detail from scrapbook with photo of Saigon and clips of text
When I started my internship in the museum's Division of Armed Forces History, I expected to see reminders of what it was like to be a U.S...
Black and white portrait of George Pal, holding puppet
The National Museum of American History has a number of artifacts donated in 1983 by Elisabeth Pal, the widow of brilliant animation...
A photo of the bicycle in front of a palm tree
An 1896 Columbia woman's bicycle, made by Pope Manufacturing Company and embellished with gems and gold by Tiffany & Co., is currently...
"I call it my diamond dress," cooed Broadway star Carol Channing in her distinctive voice, which combined little-girl innocence with great-...
KCOR Radio Microphone, early 1950s
In the U.S. today, Hispanic media is big business. In 2013, Advertising Age reported that spending in the U.S. Hispanic media market...
Olympia Mills, Columbia, South Carolina, about 1905. The all-electric Olympia Mills opened in 1899 about one mile down river from Columbia Mills. Explosive cotton dust in the air made the switch from open gas lamps to electric lights desirable. Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, 1895-1921
Engineering infrastructure usually isn't the most compelling topic for a blog post—except when it fails dramatically. In the wake of a 1,...
This tin lunch box was manufactured by Aladdin Industries in 1978. Released on the heels of the 1978 "Superman" movie, this lunch box shows Superman flying high above Metropolis in all his costumed glory. Not currently on display.
Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a suit! And not just any suit! It's the signature blue, red, and yellow suit...
Photo of three boxes of crayons
The kids are back to school and parents have done their best to fill seemingly endless lists of new school supplies. But what did children...
Photo of white overalls splattered with paint
As a curator at the National Museum of American History, I find that exhibitions are one space in which I can bring history to the public....
Image of political cartoon
You may not have heard about the Hart-Celler Act, but as the foundation of our current immigration laws it has had a dramatic impact on U.S...
Political cartoon
The amazing thing about running for president is how many people are actually willing to attempt it. The 2016 campaign's big crop is...
Coin with "1939" and "New York World's Fair" on it
As an intern in the National Numismatic Collection, Scott St. Louis has been working on a cataloging project for a collection of coins and...
A slow disco melody spins on the turntable, interrupted by the metallic sound of symbols. Right after that, the running sounds of bongo...
Place setting and tray used by the Kim family to serve Korean food
Entrepreneurial success and innovative spirit can come in many forms, and emerge from innumerable paths. The same can be said for stories...
Photo from a scene in the television show "EMERGENCY!" with five actors
The pre-reality television show EMERGENCY! premiered in January 1972. Health- and medical-themed programs such as the radio and...
Ben Kuroki was born on May 16, 1917, in Gothenburg, Nebraska, to Japanese immigrant parents. With the onset of World War II, Kuroki and...
Black and white photo of building
Guest blogger Sarah Weatherwax, a photography curator at the Library Company of Philadelphia, brings her expertise to bear on several...
Detail of the cover of "The Quest," which includes illustrations of a baby and a dog
In 1926 seven-year-old Belema Siegfried was turned away from school. The reason? Her parents had refused to submit paperwork proving that...
Each year in August, National Immunization Awareness Month provides an opportunity to highlight the value of immunization across the...
Colorful poster with cartoon-like people traveling to be vaccinated in comic-like scenes. WHO logo in center.
At the height of the Cold War, Soviet and American scientists and physicians united to call for a new and very different war—one on...
Photo of round, wooden table
You've just won voting rights for the women of America. What do you do next? Go to the Smithsonian!The women of The National American Woman...
Titled sign, knocked over half way. Blue circular sign with arrow saying "HURRICANE EVACUATION ROUTE." Below that is square sign with AM FM radio stations for information. There is a dirty plastic bag on the ground.
Late curator David Shayt of the museum's Work and Industry division once said, "All museum work in one form or another is digging in the...
Photo of coin with swirly-bodied dragon thing in center
Ever wonder what it feels like to discover an object not seen for over 1,000 years? Ever been curious about the ancient world? Beginning...
Square shaped lace example, white on black background
"War" and "lace" are not often part of the same sentence. However, laces made in Belgium during World War I are an exception. About 50 of...
Dog look at camera, mouth open
In September 2012, I wrote a blog post about a contract working dog, Fausto, and his handler Jimmy Moore. We were introduced to...
Green pocketbook
In the colonial era, a certain type of pocketbook was all the rage from 1740 to 1790. Both women and men used them to carry valuables such...
Microscope, bronze in color, on small tripod. Small glass in viewer.
"Whoever at the seaside has not had a microscope and an aquarium has yet to learn what the highest pleasures of the seaside are." So said...
Photo of bicycle
An 1896 women's safety bicycle, currently on view in the Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project, has proven to be one of the...

Pages