Calendar of Exhibitions and Events November 2021


"The Electric Dr. Franklin"
Opens Nov. 22, 2021
Artifact Walls
Second Floor, Center West

"The Electric Dr. Franklin" showcase explores the founding father's pioneering electrical work and will feature objects showing the electrical science of Franklin’s era as well as later devices he influenced. The display will allow visitors understand Franklin’s contributions to electrical science and how his research remains relevant today.


Emmet Till: River Site Historical Marker
Closes Nov. 2
Flag Hall, Second Floor, Center

During a visit to see his great uncle in Mississippi, 14-year-old Emmett Till, of Chicago, was brutally lynched Aug. 28,1955. When his mutilated body was recovered from the Tallahatchie River, his mother insisted on an open-casket funeral in Chicago. Starting in 2008, the Emmett Till Memorial Commission erected nine historical markers to remember Till, but the signs have been stolen, riddled with bullets, or thrown in the river. This monthlong display of the defaced historical marker preserves the memory of Emmett Till while demonstrating the contested nature of racism’s violent legacy in America. The 317 bullet punctures further serve as a reminder that the racism that caused Till’s death still exists today and that his murderers were never truly brought to justice.


Explore Food History

The National Museum of American History continues virtual Food History programming in 2021, commemorating the 20th Anniversary of Julia Child donating her kitchen to the Smithsonian with two online events. While the events are virtual, D.C. audiences may see the kitchen in the "Food: Transforming the American Table" exhibition.

"Celebrating Toni Tipton-Martin and Julia Child"
Thursday, Nov. 4, Time TBD
For details, please visit

Join a virtual award presentation from Julia Child's kitchen at the museum as Toni Tipton-Martin, editor-in chief of "Cook's Country" and award-winning author, will receive the seventh annual Julia Child Award from The Julia Child Foundation for Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts. Special guests talk about Tipton-Martin's work and how it reflects and extends Julia’s legacy.

"Recovering Food Histories with Toni Tipton-Martin and Friends"
Friday, Nov. 5, Noon–1:15 p.m. EDT
For details and registration information, please visit

Join in a virtual salon featuring cookbook author and Editor-in-Chief of "Cook's Country" Toni Tipton-Martin and a panel of trailblazing women in a conversation about the importance of research and documentation in recovering historical food history narratives. Tipton-Martin, a mentor and community health advocate, will kick off the event with award-winning journalist and author A’Lelia Bundles with new perspectives on Bundles’s great-great-grandmother, Madam C.J. Walker, the noted Black entrepreneur, philanthropist and activist. Sandra Gutierrez, journalist, food historian and cookbook author, will be among the panelists joining to explore women's roles as keepers of community histories, mentoring future generations, and offering personal and professional support to overcome challenges and barriers.


Immigration and Innovation: New Perspectives webinar series
Nov. 1, 2 and 3; 1-2:30 p.m.
Check Lemelson website for Zoom link at

Immigration has long been—and remains—a key driver of American innovation. From telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell (Scotland) to Zoom founder Eric Yuan (China), many celebrated inventors and entrepreneurs were born elsewhere before developing successful technologies in the U.S. This 3-day webinar series will explore the history, impact and contemporary experiences of foreign-born inventors. Speakers will include historians, economists, policymakers and immigrant inventors who will examine the factors that have made the U.S. an attractive destination for aspiring inventors and the attitudes and mindsets that have driven their success.

FORMAT: The online symposium will convene daily from 1-2:30 p.m. Each 90-minute session will begin with a moderator’s introduction, followed by two 20-minute presentations and audience Q&A.

Media only:
Rebecca Seel