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Calendar of Exhibition and Events National Museum of American History December 2015

November 16, 2015

Editor’s Note: All programs are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted. The museum will operate extended holiday hours Dec. 26 – 30, staying open until 7:30 p.m. on those days. The museum is closed Dec. 25.

Featured Display and Event

Giving in America
Dec. 1
Second Floor, East Wing within
American Stories exhibition

Philanthropy has been a driving force in founding, shaping, and strengthening the United States. With the announcement of a Philanthropy Initiative Dec. 1, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will open “Giving in America.”  This display provides a look at how philanthropy has shaped American civic culture in two eras – the Gilded Age (1870s-1900) and the present day. Artifacts include a register book showing the 1,600 libraries financed by Andrew Carnegie, an 1881 gown designed by Charles Frederick Worth for philanthropist Mary Eno Pinchot, an 1891 score for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 performed by the Chicago Orchestra, a nurse’s cap worn by a student at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing, circa 1945 as well as more current civic philanthropy stories. Also featured will be a rotating presentation of letters from signers of the “Giving Pledge” as well as a kiosk where visitors can view additional letters on loan to the museum. The Giving Pledge is a commitment by the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to dedicate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy. “Giving in America” is designed to provide a “preview” of the types of stories that will be explored when a permanent philanthropy exhibit opens on the museum’s third floor in December 2016.

Giving Tuesday: #AmericanGiving Program
Dec. 1; 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Second Floor, Flag Hall

On a global day dedicated to giving back, the National Museum of American History will feature opportunities for the public to share their own stories of giving and see themselves as philanthropists whose gifts of time, talent, expertise and funding shape American history. Activities include objects-out-of-storage, talk-back boards and a social media component inviting people to share their giving stories at #AmericanGiving.

Wegmans Wonderplace
Grand Opening Dec. 9, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
First Floor, West Wing

“Wegmans Wonderplace” will open Dec. 9 as the first gallery on the National Mall designed for children 0 to 6. This 1,700-square-foot center, located in the museum’s Innovation Wing, will provide the youngest historians with age-appropriate activities and experiences over the next 20 years.

Opening day festivities will include a meet-n-greet with “Walkaround Elmo” from Sesame Street, music and dancing with Coach, Williebob, and Boogie Bennie of the ever popular band Rocknoceros, cooking demos for kids and adults, face painting, balloon art and more.

The Wonderplace gallery will feature more than 100 objects and six sections each with play-based interdisciplinary experiences, combining artifact displays with fun hands-on activities to engage young children and their families. Curious kids will be able to “cook” in a kitchen inspired by Julia Child’s; plant and harvest pretend vegetables and run the farm stand; find owls hiding in a miniature replica of the Smithsonian’s Castle building; and captain a tugboat based on a model in the museum’s collection.

Family-friendly amenities include family bathrooms with diaper-changing stations, stroller parking and a quiet nook in the rear where parents can feed and take care of infants.

Smithsonian Holiday Festival
Dec. 5 and 6; 10 a.m. 5:30 p.m.

Get in the holiday spirit with free festive musical performances, book signings, crafts, special foods and more. Complimentary gift-wrapping will be available at the National Museum of American History. The free Circulator bus will transport visitors to the other festivities around the National Mall.

For a full schedule of events across the Smithsonian visit www.si.edu/events/holiday.

Performances

Singing Sergeants with Combo
Dec. 5 and 6; 12 Noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m.
First Floor, West Wing

Musical Performance by Members of the Singing Sergeants with Combo

Screenings

Pal Joey (111 minutes; Unrated)
Dec. 5 and 6; 11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
Warner Bros. Theater, First Floor
Free Screening
Check www.si.edu/events/holiday for show times

Joey Evans is charming, handsome, funny, talented, and a first class, A-number-one heel. When Joey meets the former chorus girl and now rich widow Vera Simpson, the two lecherous souls seem made for each other. That is, until Linda English comes along. Linda is a "mouse on the line" and built like there's no tomorrow. But she's the typical good little girl from a good little home -- just the right ingredient to louse up Joey's cushy set up.

Museum Stores and Specials

               Holiday Gift Wrapping
               Dec. 5 and 6; 10 a.m. 5:30 p.m.
               Outside main store

Visitors can get a head start on holiday shopping and take advantage of free gift-wrapping services.

            Operation Gratitude
               Dec. 5; 10 a.m. 5:30 p.m.
               Third Floor, East Wing

Join the National Postal Museum in saying thanks to the troops by writing letters and making colorful drawings in support of Operation Gratitude. 

Specialty Desserts and Hot Beverages
Dec. 5 and 6; 10 a.m.
3 p.m.
Stars & Stripes Caf
é

Enjoy festive treats created in the museum’s main cafeteria; for purchase.

Trunk Shows

KJK Jewelry
Dec. 5; 10 a.m. 4:30 p.m.
Main Store, First Floor

KJK's mission is to provide museums with beautiful, culturally specific jewelry designed to complement their exhibitions. Shop from their collection.

Demonstrations

From Bean to Bar: Chocolate Demonstration
Dec. 5 6; 10 a.m. 3 p.m.
Third Floor, West Wing

Experience chocolate as the early colonists did with demonstrations of American Heritage Chocolate. The chocolate is fashioned from recipes made in 1750 and uses a sprinkling of spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, orange and red pepper.

Moravian Star Demonstrations
Dec. 5; 11 a.m.
4 p.m.
Mall Store, First Floor

A Moravian Star is an illuminated decoration of German origin that has gained popularity in America. The most common form of this star is 26-points and composed of eighteen square and eight triangular cone-shaped points. Starry Treasures will demonstrate how the stars are made.

Book Signings

                Last to Die: A Defeated Empire, a Forgotten Mission, and the Last American Killed in World
                War II
and The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning
                Hours of World War II in Europe

                Saturday, Dec. 5; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
                First Floor, Center

Author Stephen Harding will sign copies of his books “Last to Die: A Defeated Empire, a Forgotten Mission, and the Last American Killed in World War II” which tells the story of Anthony J. Marchione, the last American killed in World War II combat and “The Last Battle: When U.S. and German Soldiers Joined Forces in the Waning Hours of World War II in Europe,” which tells the story of the unlikeliest battle of the war, when a small group of American tankers joined forces with German soldiers to fight off fanatical SS troops seeking to capture Castle Itter and execute the stronghold's VIP prisoners.

               Great Moments in Chocolate History
               Saturday, Dec. 5; 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

               First Floor, Center

Author Howard-Yana Shapiro will sign copies of his book, “Great Moments in Chocolate History,” which is packed with irresistible facts and photos and reveals the untold stories of chocolate and features 20 recipes from around the world.

Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America
Saturday, Dec. 5; 12 Noon – 2 p.m.
First Floor, Center

Author Wil Haygood will sign copies of his book, “Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America,” which details the life and career of one of the most transformative legal minds of the past one hundred years, using the framework of the five-day Senate hearing to confirm Marshall as the first African-American Supreme Court justice.

Captive of Friendly Cove: Based on the Secret Journals of John Jewitt
Saturday, Dec. 5; 1:30 – 2 p.m.
First Floor, Center

Author Rebecca Goldfield and artist Evan Keeling signs copies of graphic novel, “Captive of Friendly Cove: Based on the Secret Journals of John Jewitt,” about British sailor John Jewitt who lived for nearly three years as a captive of the Mowachaht people, a Native American tribe on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

March: Book One and March: Book Two
Saturday, Dec. 5; 1:30 – 2 p.m.
First Floor, Center

Co-author Andrew Aydin will sign copies of “March: Book One” and “March: Book Two,” the first two installments of the graphic novel trilogy which tells the story of Congressman John Lewis, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement.

               The Grind: Inside Baseball’s Endless Season
               Saturday, Dec. 5; 2 – 4 p.m.
               First Floor, Center

The Washington Post’s national baseball correspondent, Barry Svrluga, will sign copies of “The Grind: Inside Baseball’s Endless Season,” which looks at the 2014 Washington Nationals, discussing not just on the roster’s star players, but also on the typically invisible supporting cast who each have their own sacrifices to make and schedules to keep.

               Eat Your U.S. History Homework, Eat Your Math Homework, and
               Eat Your Science Homework
               Saturday, Dec. 5; 3 – 5 p.m.

               First Floor, Center

Ann McCallum signs copies of her books, “Eat Your U.S. History Homework,” “Eat Your Math Homework,” and “Eat Your Science Homework,” each of which helps hungry young readers discover delicious recipes while also providing helpful tips and fun facts to help complete school work.

The Value of Money
Sunday, Dec. 6; 1 – 3 p.m.

First Floor, Center

Curator and author Ellen Feingold signs copies of “The Value of Money,” which celebrates the power of using monetary objects to explore history. The richly illustrated book features over 175 objects from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History’s National Numismatic Collection and is the companion volume to the museum’s new exhibition.

Mi Comida Latina: Vibrant, Fresh, Simple, Authentic
Sunday, Dec. 6; 3 – 4:30 p.m.
First Floor, Center

Artist and author Marcella Kriebel signs copies of “Mi Comida Latina: Vibrant, Fresh, Simple, Authentic,” a hand-lettered and fully illustrated cookbook featuring more than 100 authentic recipes collected from home kitchens across Latin America.

Star Wars books:

               Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight
               Saturday, Dec. 5; 1 – 3 p.m.
               First Floor, Center

New York Times bestselling author Tony DiTerlizzi signs copies of “Star Wars: The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi Knight,” which pairs his text with the art of Ralph McQuarrie, the legendary conceptual designer behind the original Star Wars trilogy.

So You Want to Be a Jedi?
Saturday, Dec. 5; 1 – 3 p.m.

First Floor, Center

Author Adam Gidwitz will sign copies of his book, “So You Want to Be a Jedi?” a retelling of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back which infuses the iconic, classic tale of good versus evil with a unique perspective and narrative style that will speak directly to today's young readers while enhancing the Star Wars experience for core fans of the saga.

The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy
Saturday, Dec. 5; 1 – 3 p.m.
First Floor, Center

Author Alexandra Bracken signs copies of her book, “The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy,” a retelling of Star Wars: A New Hope which takes a deeper look at Princess Leia, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker as they join forces to defeat the evil that threatens their entire galaxy.

Beware the Power of the Dark Side! and Art2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling
Saturday, Dec. 5; 1 – 3 p.m.
First Floor, Center

Author Tom Angleberger will sign copies of “Beware the Power of the Dark Side!,” which   infuses the iconic, classic tale of good versus evil with a unique perspective and narrative style and “Art2-D2’s Guide to Folding and Doodling,” which presents dozens of activities including how to fold R2-D2 and C-3PO and draw Jabba the Hutt.

Opening Display

Tucker sedan, 1948
Saturday, Dec. 12 – TBD
First Floor, Innovation Wing

“The First Completely New Car in Fifty Years”—that’s how Preston Tucker billed his audacious Innovation in the late 1940s. He promised that his car would be fresh, advanced, and different, from its futuristic styling to its rear engine and rubber suspension. Tucker’s most important innovation was his obsession with safety. He insisted on a padded dashboard, obstacle-free zone for the front passenger, pop-out windshield, and turning center headlight. But he stopped short of installing seat belts, thinking that they would hurt sales. This Tucker, is the 39th of 51 made. It is gray and came to the museum as a transfer from the U.S. Marshals Service.

Film

We the People: Making a More Perfect Union, One Generation at a Time
10:30, 11:30, 1:30 and 2:30*

Warner Bros. Theater
Daily, beginning Dec. 16

Debuting Wednesday, Dec. 16, the museum’s signature film “We the People” is a 20-minute celebration of the national ideals of democracy, opportunity and freedom. Stunning footage and a soaring soundtrack take viewers on a journey from past to present, honoring the visionary ideas, significant sacrifices and remarkable fortitude of the people who built our country, one generation at a time.  Produced by Smithsonian Channel.
*Subject to change

Performances

Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Sinatra: His Way
Friday, Dec. 4; 7:30 - 9:30 p.m.

Tickets Required: $25-$40, visit http://bit.ly/SJMOtickets

Just in time for the holidays, the SJMO will feature the songbook of the legendary icon, Frank Sinatra (1915-98), with “nothing but the best” for his centennial. Often referred to as “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” Sinatra possessed an undeniably rich voice and stylistic approach that easily reached the heart, soul and conscience of the world. Equally at home on the concert stage or in front of a movie camera, Sinatra amassed a wealth of creative works. This concert will coincide with the museum’s holiday festival as well as a companion display on Sinatra, “Frank Sinatra at 100.”

Masterworks of Four Centuries
Sunday, Dec. 6, 2015; 7:30 p.m.
Pre-concert lecture; 6:30 p.m.

Hall of Music, Third Floor
Tickets Required: visit www.residentassociates.org

The Smithsonian Chamber Players — Robert Mealy (violin) and Kenneth Slowik (harpsichord) — present J.S. Bach and C.P.E. Bach: Sonatas for violin and harpsichord.

Book Signing

An American Family in World War II
Saturday, Dec. 26; 12 Noon – 5 p.m.

First Floor, Center

Author Sandra O’Connell signs copies of “An American Family in World War II,” which uses the correspondence between Ralph Lee Minker JR., a U.S. Army Airman in 1943, and his parents and two teenage sisters to tell the riveting story of life in America during World War II. 

About the Museum

The National Museum of American History explores the infinite richness and complexity of American history through its collections and research. The museum helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). To learn more about the museum, check https://americanhistory.si.edu. Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.