A selection of the museum's past programs can be found on this page.
April: Jazz Appreciation Month
May: Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
September 15–October 15: Hispanic Heritage Month
National Day of Remembrance: 80 Years of Reckoning
February 18, 2022
2022 marked 80 years of racial reckoning since the signing of Executive Order 9066 that led to the wrongful incarceration of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. The museum kicked off a three-day collaborative event co-hosted by the National Park Service, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, and Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation.
Great Americans Medal - Posthumous Presentation to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
March 30, 2022
In this capstone Women’s History Month event, the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, recognized for her groundbreaking judicial work and commitment to gender equity and human rights, posthumously received the National Museum of American History’s highest honor—the Great Americans Medal.
Day of Remembrance - FACEism: A panel discussion of history and accountability
February 19, 2021
Day of Remembrance is the annual recognition of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 and the subsequent incarceration of nearly 120,000 people of Japanese descent. This year's program featured news anchor and filmmaker David Ono and his documentary series FACEism, which examines how racism is rooted in often ignored and painful histories.
History in Real Time: Undocumented Organizing
February 26, 2021
History is the story we tell about how change happens over time. But who writes this history of change? This program brought together museum professionals and undocumented organizers to discuss what a history of the undocumented movement might look like—and who should be its authors.
June 14–July 4, 2021
Civic Season, held in collaboration with historic sites and museums across the country, connects Americans nationwide with ways to explore our complex past, take action in the present, and shape the future.
September 11: Hidden Stories, Hidden Voices
September 1–10, 2021
September 11 has shaped the past two decades of American history in innumerable ways. This program series created with community partners shared stories reflecting the post-September 11 experience.
National Youth Summit - Gender Equity
September 21–October 12, 2021
This year's annual summit examined issues of gender, bias, and equity. Discussion topics included, how is gender equity shaped by race, ethnicity, and class? What strategies can we use to identify gender inequities and disrupt gender bias?
Food History Weekend
In a series of virtual events, Toni Tipton-Martin received the seventh annual Julia Child Award. Then, Tipton-Martin hosted a virtual salon, convening trailblazing women on the importance of recovering and sharing food histories that have been ignored and overlooked.
Day of Remembrance - Not for Sale: Preserving and Sharing a Community Collection
February 19, 2020
Day of Remembrance is the annual recognition of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 and the subsequent incarceration of nearly 120,000 people of Japanese descent. This year's program explored how museums have collected objects and told the story of Japanese incarceration over time.
Viral Histories: Stories of Racism, Resilience, and Resistance in Asian American Communities
May 18–21, 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian Americans have been experiencing increased racism and hate crimes. This program series presented conversations with community leaders combating racism while serving on the front lines.
National Youth Summit - Teen Resistance to Systemic Racism
September 22, 2020
This year's annual summit was centered on the case study of Claudette Colvin—a 15-year-old Black student in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955. Colvin refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus and testified in the legal case that brought an end to segregated busing in Montgomery.
Food History Weekend
The museum's food history programming welcomes everyone to join in exploring history through the lens of food. This year's Food History Weekend went online, featuring Culinary Traditions within the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma with Chef Nico Albert.
The Power of Giving
November 10 & 12, 2020
The Philanthropy Initiative’s keystone event is its annual symposium, The Power of Giving: Philanthropy’s Impact on American Life. This year's theme was Education.
2020-2021 Online Series
This engaging series of panel discussions offered perspectives on the COVID-19 pandemic. Panelists virtually shared objects from the past as a springboard to a lively discussion of how to better understand the present.
Day of Remembrance - Memory, Faith, and Music
February 19, 2019
Day of Remembrance is the annual recognition of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s signing of Executive Order 9066 and the subsequent incarceration of nearly 120,000 people of Japanese descent. This year's program featured a live performance by the award-winning composer Kishi Bashi and a guest lecture by renowned scholar Duncan Ryuken Williams.
The Power of Giving
March 19, 2019
The Philanthropy Initiative’s keystone event is its annual symposium, The Power of Giving: Philanthropy’s Impact on American Life. This year's theme was Health and Medicine.
National Youth Summit - Woman Suffrage: The Ballot and Beyond
May 21, 2019
The 2019 National Youth Summit looked at woman suffrage as an example of how groups with limited political power have and continue to shape our democracy using strategies and tools, like the vote and public protest, to give voice to issues and galvanize fellow Americans into communal movements for change.
Food History Weekend: Power Through Food
November 7–9, 2019
This event brings together food innovators, activists, educators, entrepreneurs, chefs, and scholars for conversations, cooking demonstrations, and hands-on activities with museum visitors to inspire a broader understanding of the history of food in the United States.