Calendar of Events and Exhibitions: June 2019

Editor’s Note: All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. Visitors should be prepared for a security check upon entrance to the museum. Program attendees should arrive 30 minutes in advance. For a complete schedule of activities check:

Opening in May:

Ted Williams and Kinky Boots objects
Opens May 17
New Acquisitions Cases
Third Floor, West

The costume, including the signature red boots, worn by “Lola” from the musical Kinky Boots and Ted Williams’ Boston Red Sox jersey and hat will be on display in New Acquisitions cases.


Illegal to Be You: Gay History Beyond Stonewall 
Opens June 21
Second Floor, Center

In June 1969, LGBTQ community members spontaneously demonstrated in response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, a bar in lower Manhattan. The museum will mark this 50th anniversary with a display featuring objects from its collections that put the history of that memorable event within the broader LGBTQ experience in the U.S.
D-Day 75th Anniversary
Opens June 6
Hall of Military History
Third Floor, East

To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the museum will feature a select number of objects from its World War II collections, including one of two existing grappling hooks used by Army Rangers at Point du Hoc in Normandy, identification tags, photographs, a canteen and spent .50-caliber machine gun casings recovered from Utah Beach. A marble grave marker from the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, France will headline the display thanks to a government transfer from the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC).


Cooking Up History: The Harvey Girls & Meals for Rail Passengers
June 28; 1–2:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza Demonstration Kitchen
First Floor, West

Guest chef Sarah Lohman and Smithsonian food historian Ashley Rose Young will explore the history of the “Harvey Girls”—who worked as hostesses in restaurants along the rail lines in the Southwest—and how railroads transformed travel and food production in the American West. Lohman will also sign copies of her book, Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine.
Their discussion of the food history behind Judy Garland’s 1946 film The Harvey Girls will be complemented by a special “Objects Out of Storage” event from 1-2:30 p.m. Museum staff will showcase Judy Garland’s costume from The Harvey Girls, as well as sheet music from the film score and several paintings of the set design.
This program is held in conjunction with the “American Enterprise” exhibition and the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad. Visit:

National History Day
June 12; 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

National History Day students from across the country will present exhibits and displays throughout the museum around the theme "Triumph and Tragedy."

America Now
June 22; 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Three Smithsonian museums (National Museum of American History, National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum) will host a free one day festival with the theme “Celebration of Music.” The National Museum of American History will focus on hip-hop culture with activities, DJ performances and an outdoor dance party. There will be an Innovative Lives event in conjunction with the proceedings. Food and drink available for purchase. This year’s American Now is part of the Smithsonian-wide Solstice Saturday and Year of Music 2019 initiatives.


Software as Intellectual Property panel 
June 12; 1-2:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza
First Floor, West

Panelists will discuss the history and development of software IP protections while considering the concerns of inventors, corporations, and consumers. For more information, visit


Women’s History Theater Programs

Justice Must be Done
Wednesday; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
"Within These Walls" exhibition
Second Floor, West

Attend an 1840 meeting of the Ipswich Female Anti-Slavery Society in abolitionist Lucy Caldwell’s Ipswich, Massachusetts home.

Meet the Wheelwoman
Friday; Noon, 1 and 2 p.m.
First Floor, West

Meet wheelwoman Louise Gibson as she takes her bicycle on a journey to discover opportunities for women in the 1890s.

Votes for Women
Thursday and Saturday; Noon, 1 and 2 p.m.
Second Floor, West

Join a Silent Sentinel Suffragist on her way to the 1917 White House protests.

Join the Student Sit-Ins
Thursday, Friday Saturday; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Unity Square
Second Floor, West

Centered on the Greensboro Lunch Counter exhibit, this program trains visitors in the practice of nonviolent direct action.

Sunday, Monday, Tuesday; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Third Floor, West

Sing along with “ring shouts”— which originated from 19th century enslaved African Americans—and inspired new forms of religious and secular music.


"Wegmans Wonderplace"
Open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed Tuesdays
First Floor, West
The museum’s early learning gallery for children 0–6 connects important themes of the museum’s collections with children’s play and learning. Wonderplace provides young children with open-ended play opportunities that allow them to explore and learn at their own pace and interest level. For more information, please visit:

Open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; closed Tuesdays
First Floor, West

Spark!Lab reveals the real story behind inventors’ work through hands-on activities infused with historical content that help kids ages 6-12 explore the history and process of invention. Hosted by the museum’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Spark!Lab’s interdisciplinary activities appeal to varied learning styles and abilities and combine traditional STEM with art and creativity.

The activities of Spark!Lab change quarterly. For details about current Spark!Lab activities, please visit

Interactive Carts
Daily; 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Throughout museum

Interactive carts throughout the Museum allow visitors to interact with history and learn more about our collections. Carts are available most days; daily schedules are available at the museum's Welcome Center on the second floor and the Information Desk on the first floor. More information on daily programs and events is available at


Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history. It helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. The museum is located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information, visit For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.

Media only:
Rebecca Seel
(202) 633-3129 
Valeska Hilbig
(202) 633-3129