About a month after the terrorist attacks on 9/11, I received a phone call from a colleague asking if I wanted to take a trip up to New...
The history behind a single object can often tell many stories. In 2004 the museum acquired a stock certificate from an early Internet...
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...

Blog Posts in "Film & Television"

Woman wearing purple latex gloves presses gently into the inside of one of the Ruby Slippers into a case.
Many noses are pressed against the case that houses Dorothy's Ruby Slippers each day. The famous shoes from The Wizard of Oz attract a lot...
 Lobby cards for the film "Saludos Amigos"
Every April, people throughout North, Central, and South America celebrate Pan American Day. The roots of Pan American Day go back to 1890...
Close-up detail of the end of a fairy's wand. It's the shape of a star, covered in silver/white/gold gems or sparkly stones.
The museum's pair of Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz returned to display on October 19, 2018, after spending time in the museum's...
These are our most fascinating blog posts of 2018, according to our readers.When FBI agents showed up with a pair of sparkly, red shoesA...
Woman in green shirt with purple latex gloves adjusts a microscope. She is looking at the Ruby Slippers.
Wielding an adorably tiny vacuum, objects conservator Dawn Wallace peered through her stereomicroscope at thousands of 80-year-old red...
Sesame Street was an innovative and radical children's television program when it premiered in 1969. In the 1960s, many parents were...
Pair of Ruby Slippers with red sequins and bows, very sparkly but worn
Dawn Wallace and Richard Barden stood in the museum's objects conservation lab over two shoes. Red. Sequin-covered. Small heels. Petite in...
Blue book with photos of show cast and text: “Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”
The final episode of “M*A*S*H” was co-written with eight collaborators and directed by star Alan Alda.Despite the photo ops and historic...
License plate showing Disney characters and bicentennial years, 1776 and 1976
The month of July plays host to the birthdays of both the United States of America (July 4, 1776) and Disneyland (July 17, 1955). This is...
Hawkeye’s corduroy bathrobe looks purple in real life, but comes across as red on camera.The chronically jet-lagged actor Alan Alda got...
Production drawings from Steamboat Willie show Mickey Mouse pulling on a string, tumbling on a bar of soap, and a wheel
It is hard to believe, but Mickey Mouse is celebrating his 90th birthday this year. For an old mouse, he still looks pretty spry! One of...
Patch with character of Fifinella—a winged woman wearing goggles, frozen mid-jump
On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, drawing the United States into World War II. The very next day U.S. Army troops...
A white background with a black electric guitar.
James Smithson might be surprised to learn about some of the objects in the collections at the institution he established. The Englishman...
Jean Stapleton stands at a podium addressing the crowd wearing a banner that says "Honored." A sign behind her reads: "ERA Yes"
February 2018 marks the 70th Anniversary of  the professional debut of Jean Stapleton (1923 to 2013) at the Equity Library Theater in...
Collage of images taken from various blog posts, from photos of gowns to a portrait of a soldier in World War 1
2017 was another incredible year on the museum’s blog. More than a few of our most-read posts focused on how the museum continues to grow...
Gold shiny dress with v-neck, silver circles in chest area, and flowy skirt.
As a kid and as a parent, I am all too familiar with the concept of hand-me-down clothes, the cost-cutting practice of wearing already "...
Photo of Oscar the Grouch puppet (green with big eyes, scraggly fur) popping out of an aluminum garbage can
[[{"fid":"24879","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"Photo of Oscar...
A model of the head and decolletage of what used to be a woman but is now a creature with leathery and deteriorating skin opening its lipless maw hungrily. It doesn't have arms.
When my daughter, Katelyn, told me I would like a new TV show that had aired on Halloween night in 2010, I was skeptical. I'm not a big fan...
A black and white photograph of a wall inside a building covered in a line of photographs with text panels and large lettering.
As frightening reports of North Korea's nuclear missile tests fill the news, many of us long for the days when the only television coverage...
A gold coin. It is very bright and has a long, snakelike dragon coiled in the middle with cloud-like designs around it.
Spoiler alert: If you aren't caught up on your Game of Thrones viewing, there may be a few surprises inside.Even though it's...
In a black and white photograph a woman in a white collared shirt and hair sticking up in every direction is laughing
Phyllis Diller, the groundbreaking stand-up comic, would have been celebrating her 100th birthday on July 17, 2017. The Smithsonian honored...
An illustration of a man in a chariot riding in a stadium under a yellow sky.
America has long been home to enthusiastic movie fans. Even back in the 1910s and 1920s, a period in American film history known as the "...
A lunchbox with a rectangular base and a curved top. It has a red handle and metal clasps. Its surface depicts a barren landscape with a starry night sky. A futuristic silver van on many wheels drives across the front. On the side, one can see two people with their arms raised. A giant green monster stands in front of them.
First, they crashed near Roswell, New Mexico, sometime in July 1947. Then they crashed into our lunch boxes and our lives.Our imaginations...
A movie poster for an African American action character. He wears a vivid crimson shirt, a kerchief secured around his neck by a metal ring, a cowboy hat on, and he stands in from of a large white structure in the background that has flags, towers, and domes.
The National Museum of American History is renowned for its collection of American cinematic treasures such as Dorothy's Ruby Slippers from...
Lunch box featuring a scene from Star Wars. Three characters are in a vehicle that has been stopped by storm troopers.
When the Virginia all-state student orchestra launched into the first thrilling notes of John Williams's Star Wars ...
Brown fedora with brown ribbon band
"I'm sorry. The Ruby Slippers aren't on display right now."It's something that we here at the museum are preparing ourselves to have to say...
A view of a brown filing cabinet. One drawer is pulled out slightly with the label "Phyllis Diller" and a small metal handle with an ID card stuck inside. A small note card with typed script is pulled out slightly.
"You talk about making waves—did you ever get hiccups in a waterbed?"Phyllis Diller kept Americans in stitches throughout...
black metal device that looks like a typewriter. All the keys, however, have numbers on them and they are yellow, green, and red.
Over the past few months, I’ve read Margot Lee Shetterly’s book Hidden Figures and seen the movie with the same title. These...
Photo of prop fish bowl with holiday decorations
As the fanfare leading up to the 2017 inauguration swirls around the Smithsonian and Washington, D.C., at large, I cannot help but think...
An award on a short wooden base of a young tiger with its paw on what appears to be a golf ball painted light blue with the world on it.
The Division of Culture and the Arts at the museum collects a wide variety of awards and trophies. We have iconic awards such as Oscars,...
A pair of dark leather books that are higher than ankle-length. They lace up the front. They have seen wear, as some of the seams look worn and the soles look like they're coming apart. On the ground in front of the shoes is a notebook. It looks to be made of dark leather and has rings like a modern binder, with pages covered in dark cursive.
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...
A pair of replica ruby slippers sit inside of a display case. They are positioned so that the toes are pointed slightly away from one another, and one of the shoes has its heel places on a small box covered in blue gingham wrapping paper.
 Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve...
A page from a television script. The paper is beige colored and the text looks like it is from a typewriter and is centered on the page
Watching the television show M*A*S*H is a family tradition in my house. My grandfather introduced the show to my mother and uncle...
Crop of image also used in full post. A little girl with her eyes closed gently touches the webbed foot of the lion. Her facial expression is happy--we see her in silhouette. The lion's poofy made is visible.
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...
Wizard of Oz, 1900
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...
Early television in wooden piece of furniture
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...
Photo of the Ruby Slippers on a yellow background
 Update: Thanks to you, our Kickstarter campaign to "Keep Them Ruby" was a success and we have the support we need to conserve and...
Costume on a faceless manikin includes pointed black hat tied with brown ribbon, white collar, burlap outfit, and hay pieces dangling.
Update: Your support has helped to make this project a reality! Our campaign to raise support to conserve Dorothy's Ruby Slippers and our...
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...
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...
Graphic in black text: "The Birth of a Nation" at 100
Our History Film Forum got us thinking about issues in depicting historic events in film. Watch our discussion on The Birth of a...
Film poster with three faces
Entering a museum with three floors, three million artifacts, and three dozen displays and exhibitions can be intimidating. That's why we...
Visitors playing "The Price is Right" at the museum
The Patrick F. Taylor Foundation Object Project is a new learning space in the museum's innovation wing that explores "everyday...
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....
Photo of a record album with Chewbacca in the snow
Please note that the droids you are looking for are not currently on display at the museum as of December 2016. Since its debut in...

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