Calendar of Exhibitions and Events: September 2018

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:
Returning October 19, 2018:
The Ruby Slippers
On view Oct. 19 - indefinite
Third Floor, West
The Ruby Slippers from The Wizard of Oz return to view Oct. 19 in an intimate gallery following a year of research and conservation treatment supported by the museum’s successful Kickstarter campaign: #KeepThemRuby. The Ruby Slippers are one of the most iconic artifacts in film history and one of the most asked-about objects at the Smithsonian.
The Ruby Slippers display is one of eight installations opening on the third floor of the museum to showcase American history through culture, entertainment and the arts. The permanent galleries on this floor will open in late 2020.
Opening Exhibition:
"Inventive Minds: Women Inventors"
Opens Sept. 17
The Lemelson Hall of Invention and Innovation
First Floor, West
"Inventive Minds: Women Inventors" is a new display in the "Places of Invention" exhibition illustrating the creativity of women inventors over more than a century. Some of the stories include:
• Madam C. J. Walker, an African American inventor who created an highly successful business with her line of hair care products
• Neonatal intensive care unit nurse Sharon Rogone, who invented medical supplies specifically for premature babies
• Pro-skateboarder Cindy Whitehead, whose brand, “Girl is NOT a 4 Letter Word,” empowers girls and women in action sports.
For more information, please visit:
Last Chance to See:
"T is for Television"
Closes Sept. 5
First Floor, East
Four showcases display artifacts ranging from the early days of children’s television to more contemporary programming. This exhibition has featured treasured objects from The Mickey Mouse Club, Captain Kangaroo, Romper Room, Sesame Street, Bill Nye the Science Guy, and more, while exploring the historical production of children’s television.
For more information, please visit:
Featured Event:
Hispanic Heritage Festival
Sept. 15; 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
First Floor, West
The Smithsonian Latino Center and the National Museum of American History will host a day of activities for visitors and families to mark the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month. Visitors can participate in hands-on activities, meet "Coco" Disney film co-director Adrian Molina and animator Alonso Martínez, learn about animation and and storytelling, view objects out of storage, dance to the music of Grupo Bella, an all-women mariachi band, catch screenings of the film "Coco" in the museum's Warner Bros. theater and and attend a special cooking demonstration. For more information, please visit: Activities and times as follows:
Sept. 15; 11 a.m.-12:45 p.m., 3:30-5 p.m.
Warner Bros. Theater
First Floor, Center
Ticket reservations needed: TBA
"Coco" is a 2017 American 3D Pixar-animated film that follows a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who finds himself in the Land of the Dead and seeks his deceased musician great-grandfather to help him return to his family. The film's concept was inspired by the Mexican "Day of the Dead" holiday and its principal cast is entirely Latino, and the film won two Academy Awards and was scored by famed composer Michael Giacchino. Ticket reservation procedures will be announced closer to the event.
"Cooking Up History: Hispanic Heritage Festival" with Chef Zarela Martínez
Saturday, Sept. 15; 1–2 p.m.
Demonstration Kitchen
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza
First Floor, West
Zarela Martínez helped introduce Mexican regional cooking to American audiences, popularizing new flavors and cooking techniques. In 1987, Chef Martínez opened Zarela, a fine dining Mexican restaurant in New York City. During "Cooking Up History," Chef Martínez will prepare her multi-generational dish salpicon de huachinango (red snapper hash) as she discusses with Smithsonian food historian Ashley Rose Young the ways memory, family and community relate to regional Mexican foodways. For more information, please visit:
Objects out of Storage
Sept. 15; 1–3 p.m.
First Floor, West
Curators from various divisions in the museum will bring objects out for the public to view.
Daily Programs:
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. The new activities theme "CONNECT" invites children and families to invent ways to connect people, places and things while they explore the history and process of invention. For details about CONNECT and current Spark!Lab activities, please visit
"Wegmans Wonderplace"
Open daily, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., closed Tuesdays
First Floor, West
The museum’s early learning gallery combines age-appropriate activities for children 0–6 with museum collections and touchable objects.
"The Nation We Build Together" theater performance
Wallace H. Coulter Unity Square
Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday; 12:30 and 2:30 p.m.
Second Floor, West
On Feb. 1, 1960, four African American college students sat down at a “whites only” lunch counter at the Woolworth’s store in Greensboro, N.C., and politely asked for service. Their request was refused, and when asked to leave, the students remained in their seats in protest. Participate in a 30 minute interactive play around the Greensboro Lunch Counter, a section of the historic eatery, which transports audiences back to the civil rights movement.
"Justice Must be Done" theater performance
Fall season begins Sept. 10; Dates and times TBD
"Within These Walls" exhibition
Second Floor, West
Visitors to the Ipswich, Mass., home of the Caldwell family may join Lucy Caldwell in an 1830s anti-slavery society meeting. The program will return from hiatus for the fall season on Sept. 10.
"Votes for Women"
Fall season begins Sept. 10; Dates and times TBD
"American Democracy" exhibition entrance
Second Floor, West
Meet suffragist Rebecca Gibson-McMurray and explore the fight for the 19th Amendment which granted most women the right to vote. The program will be on hiatus until the fall season begins on Sept. 10.
"Meet the Wheelwoman"
Fall season begins Sept. 10; Dates and times TBD
Throughout museum
Speak with Louise Gibson–a female bicycle enthusiast from 1895–about how women used bicycles to change their lives. The program will be on hiatus until the fall season begins on Sept. 10.
Flag Folding
Tuesdays–Thursdays; times vary
Flag Hall
Second Floor, Center
Take part in folding a true-to-size replica of the Star-Spangled Banner while exploring the history of the flag that inspired the national anthem.
Hands-On Activities
Daily; times vary
Wallace H Coulter Performance Plaza
First Floor, West
• The Business of Chocolate: Learn chocolate’s impact on American history through hands-on colonial chocolate-making demonstrations.
• Game On: Board Games on the Plaza: Play classic games and learn the surprising stories behind these everyday innovations.
• Harvest for the Table: How have food and farming changed over the years? Learn how wheat was made into flour over 100 years ago.
• Preservation for the Table: Learn how foods were harvested and preserved all year long and why these methods changed over time.
"We the People: Making a More Perfect Union, One Generation at a Time"
Daily; 10:30 a.m.*
Warner Bros. Theater
First Floor, Center
Free, no tickets required
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. For more information, please visit
*Subject to change
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 on Constitution Avenue between 12th and 14th N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For more information and to check extended hours, visit us online at For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.
Media only:
Rebecca Seel
(202) 633-3129
Valeska Hilbig
(202) 633-3129