In 2011, one year after the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act failed to pass through the Senate, members of...
The National Museum of American History has over 2 million items in its collections, spanning every topic you could think of. And from...
Custom uniforms display cultural pride and signal Latino presence and excellence in baseball, America’s pastime. The colorful jerseys and...

Blog Posts in "Musings"

Tell us what you think about this blog! Whether you're a regular reader or this is your first visit, we want to hear from you. We...
From time to time, we ask you what you think of the museum’s blog. Based on your feedback, museum staff write blog posts on new topics,...
Editor’s note: As part of our free Classic Film Festival featuring four Civil War movies, you can see Gettysburg (1993) at...
Editor's note: As part of our Classic Film Festival featuring Civil War movies, you can see Gettysburg (1993) at the...
Hello, I’m David Allison, Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs. Here at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, we...
Federal government and politics have surrounded me for most of my life. I grew up in Washington, D.C., the hub of the nation for topics of...
Museum visitos look at the Star Spangled Banner
In line in the cafeteria recently, I stood behind a young woman in her early teens here on a field trip. She had with her a paper scavenger...
Dog wearing goggles on gravel
Meet Fausto and Jimmy. Fausto is a Dutch Shepherd; Jimmy, a former Marine, is his handler. As a team, they are a Contract Working Dog (CWD...
Horse-drawn wagon
Editor's Note: To commemorate Labor Day, the American Enterprise exhibition team will be highlighting some of the museum’s rich...
Last month I had the opportunity to walk through the Freer and Sackler Galleries with my three-year-old daughter. Passing by on...
I felt like a kid again. On the morning of April 17, I stood amid a crowd of fellow staffers on the rooftop terrace of the National Museum...
“Black Friday”—the day after Thanksgiving when holiday shopping goes into high gear—promises to start even earlier this year on Thursday,...
Somewhat late in the summer of 1784, James Smithson embarked on his first scientific expedition. This “expedition” might have seemed a bit...
Button with "National AIDS Vigil" text in white on black background
Editor's Note: This is the fifth post in a series exploring the 30th anniversary of HIV and AIDS. Beginning last June 3, the National...
Chromolithograph, from about 1893, of Columbus bidding farewell to the queen of Spain on his departure for the New World in 1492. Courtesy...
The author conversing with visitors at the history cart. Every so often, I am reminded of why I love working at the National Museum of...
Photo of the museum
Fred Starobin, former museum volunteer.The other day, my mail included a card-sized letter. It was addressed simply to "Smithsonian...
I’ve written before about the sartorial trends of our teens and other groups of like-minded visitors, but the biggest clothing event here...
When sculptor Marc Mellon was commissioned to create the bust of philanthropist Kenneth E. Behring, the artist gladly took up the job and...
It began with a complaint. But as complaints go, this one was articulate and astute. Mary had just visited Stories on Money. Her love...
Editor’s Note: Today’s guest blog is written by Kenneth Coultas, a Tennesseean who recently visited the museum with his family and had...
Coin collecting is the most popular hobby in the United States, and the Museum’s National Numismatic Collection (NNC) is one of the most...
Today, the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Jazz celebrate trumpeter Joe Wilder’s 89th birthday. Born in 1922 in Colwyn...
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is written by guest blogger Kurt R. Bell. In life, we often connect memorable dates with events that had some...
Gold frame containing black and white photo of man in hat showing off some type of instrument in box
If “matter can neither be created nor destroyed,” as the ancient Greek philosophers postulated, can the same principle be applied to...
Lincoln bust sold by Smithsonian store Recently U.S. Senator Bernard Sanders from Vermont wrote to the museum and gently chastised us for...
Photograph of exhibition exterior.
Los Angeles Times, April 30, 1939. "Goldfish Gulping," p. I3.It started out with one. One live goldfish, swallowed up by a Harvard freshman...
As the countdown to 2011 draws near, I’m pleased to share with you the top 10 most popular original “O Say Can You See?” blog posts in 2010...
Phew! That’s all I can say about compiling the highlights from another remarkable year at the museum. We kicked off the year in style, with...
Recently, Director Brent Glass hosted a “thank you” luncheon for a small group of the museum’s planned giving donors. The highlight was a...
My first job after college was teaching elementary students at a bilingual school in Mexico City. While the majority of our students were...
Photo of World Trade Center towers against a clear morning sky on September 11, 2001. Gift of John Labriola. What I remember about the...
Something wonderful is sprouting at the National Museum of American History. This past week I was introduced to the Victory Garden that is...
Singer/composer Abbey Lincoln drew strength from emancipation–her own and the liberation of others fighting for social justice. When she...
The Boy Scouts of America is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year and the museum is joining the celebration by recognizing staff...
Recently at the museum we were privileged to hear from one of this country’s eminent historians, David Hackett Fischer. As he described his...
If you’re at all like me, you like to share your opinions—not just for the thrill of being heard but to change things that seem wrong or...
Los Angeles. The Entertainment Capital of the World. What better place could there be for a presentation on the Smithsonian’s comedy...
The White House Correspondents Dinner brought quite a number of celebrities to Washington this month. One of the museum’s board members was...
I’ll admit it. Working at the National Museum of American History has some pretty great benefits. I get to meet famous Civil Rights leaders...
In Washington, spring means cherry blossoms and teenagers. As soon as the weather begins to warm up, the city is flooded by tour groups of...
Just imagine: you live in a time before electricity. No sewing machines, no lights, certainly no America’s Funniest Home Videos ...
Recently I had occasion to read a new biography of James Smithson, the Englishman whose bequest led to the founding of the Smithsonian...
In the past, readers have told us that they view the National Museum of American History as a trusted source of information and that...
Trained in graphics, I started as a publications designer of print materials for public events: lectures, concerts, performances of film,...
What will these highly skilled museum professionals do? Several of them mentioned that their first task is to turn off the alarm clock. No...
The Smithsonian hired architects Beyer Blinder Belle (BBB) to create a plan which would meet our needs. Since the Mall is such a sensitive...
My ears perked up at the announcement of this year’s Nobel Prize in physics. Not only was it awarded to an invention that revolutionized...

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