Calendar of Exhibitions and Events: March 2022
SIGNATURE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH PROGRAM
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg “Great Americans” Medal Posthumous Presentation
March 30; 6:30 p.m. ET
Virtual Event, Free with Registration:
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, recognized for her groundbreaking commitment to gender equity and human rights, will posthumously receive the National Museum of American History’s signature honor, the “Great Americans” medal. Her children, Jane C. Ginsburg and James S. Ginsburg will accept the medal on their mother’s behalf. A significant selection of artifacts representing the justice’s Supreme Court career will be donated by her family during the virtual ceremony. This capstone Women’s History Month event will include video tributes, a short biographical film, remarks by benefactor David M. Rubenstein and the presentation of the medal by the museum’s Elizabeth MacMillan Director Anthea M. Hartig. The ceremony will provide the first public reveal of the objects joining the nation’s collections. More information on the program and the “Great Americans" medal is at: https://greatamericans.si.edu.
FEATURED EXHIBITION OPENING
"Discovery and Revelation"
Opens March 18, 2022; Closes March 31, 2023
Nicholas F. and Eugenia Taubman Gallery
Second Floor, West Wing
One of the most significant factors in the development of spiritual traditions in the United States has been the interaction of religious ideas and communities with the scientific and technological advances that have shaped every generation. his exhibition will look at the intersections of religion and science from three centuries of American history, beginning with a 1721 controversy concerning smallpox and Puritan notions of divine judgement, and ending with encounters of technology and belief in the digital age. Artifacts on view will be drawn from across the museum and range from medicine and science objects related to the work of the theologian-chemist Joseph Priestley; technology collections related to Samuel Morse and his telegraph as well as objects illustrating recent research into religion and the brain. Objects on loan from other Smithsonian museums include a portrait of Henrietta Lacks and a letter written by Galileo; the National Library of Medicine is loaning 18th century pamphlets and Benjamin Franklin’s Lightning Rod is on loan from the Franklin Institute.
“Muppets Take American History"
Opens March 16; Closes Jan. 3, 2023
In these special pop-up displays, the museum’s Muppets appear in unexpected places in some of our best-loved exhibitions, inviting visitors to look at history through a fun new lens.
Count von Count puppet, around 1994
On View in the “Value of Money” exhibition
Count von Count, a friendly and number-obsessed Muppet, has been teaching children to count on Sesame Street since 1972. How many gold coins can you count in this exhibit?
Uncle Traveling Matt puppet, 1982
On view in the "America on the Move" exhibition
Uncle Traveling Matt, a character on the children’s television show Fraggle Rock, traveled around the world. He sent postcards home to his family, describing his adventures.
Bajo Sexto, 1972
Closes Nov. 2022
New Acquisitions Cases
Third Floor, West Wing
This bajo sexto was played by Max Baca of Los Texmaniacs and Texas Tornados. This instrument was made in San Antonio by the late Martín Macias, whose family continues to craft bajos from his original molds.
In the Texas-Mexico borderlands, twelve-string bajo sextos handcrafted by Macias are prized by conjunto Tejano musicians for their lush sound and ornate detail. Legendary player Max Baca received this bajo from his father when he was about six years old—and later emblazoned his name on the fretboard. Touring with his band, “Los Texmaniacs,” Baca has shared the bouncing bass lines of this rich music with audiences around the world.
Bat used by Hank Aaron in the Major League All-Star Game, 1957 and the glove he used, 1963–1964
Closes Nov. 2022
New Acquisitions Cases
Third Floor, West Wing
Hammerin’ Hank Aaron played his first major league game in 1954. Twenty years later, he hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s decades-old record. Aaron first took the field seven years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color line. But he confronted racism throughout his career —especially as he neared Ruth’s mark, when he received hate mail and death threats. Undaunted, the 25-time all-star continued breaking records, finishing his career with 755 home runs.
WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH
March is Women's History Month. For information, resources, events and more, see below and visit our website at https://americanhistory.si.edu/.
"Collected: Black Feminism Re-rooted" Podcast
Release of Episodes 2-6, Weekly, beginning March 3
"Collected" is a podcast from the museum's African American History Curatorial Collective. Hosted by Curators Krystal Klingenberg and Crystal Moten, the six-episode season features interviews with notable Black feminists including Barbara Smith, Brittney Cooper and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. The hosts and guests break down core Black feminist ideas such as “intersectionality,” “self-care,” and “identity politics." "Collected" presents scholarship and accessible social justice concepts for listeners interested in working towards a more inclusive, equitable society.
Episode 2: March 3: Collective
Episode 3: March 10: Identity Politics
Episode 4: March 17: Self-care
Episode 5: March 24: Intersectionality
Episode 6: March 31: Black Feminism Futures
For details, please visit the museum's website for updates.
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra
Performance of Melba Liston's “Now, Ain’t It”
Melba Liston’s contributions in jazz can be traced through her talent as a trombonist, arranger and composer. She also led an all-women quintet in the late 1950’s that performed around New York. Melba’s career spanned over 50 years, which had been documented in 1996 for the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program.
Duke Ellington Collection “Now, Ain’t It”:
For more information on Smithsonian Jazz, please visit https://americanhistory.si.edu/smithsonian-jazz.
LEMELSON CENTER FOR INVENTION AND INNOVATION
"Innovative Lives: Kavita Shukla"
March 9; 4 p.m.
Free registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/innovative-lives-2022-tickets-204454377547
Kavita Shukla, Founder and CEO of The Freshglow Co. and the inventor of FreshPaper, a simple innovation taking on the massive global challenge of food waste, will be the focus of this Innovative Lives program. Shukla holds four patents and is the youngest woman to receive the biennial INDEX Design to Improve Life Award–the world’s largest prize for design. Her story of simple beginnings, belief and empowerment was the subject of a short film by Hollywood director Bryce Dallas Howard. Lemelson Center Associate Director Monica Smith will interview Shukla about her inspirations and innovations.
COOKING UP HISTORY
"Food Knowledge is Power: How to Eat Well on a Budget "
Guest Chef: Juju Harris
March 15; Virtual demonstration at 6:45 p.m.
Free registration: https://smithsonianassociates.org/ticketing/tickets/food-knowledge-is-power-how-to-eat-well-on-budget
Chef Juliet “JuJu” Harris shares a recipe from her recently revised cookbook, "Healthy and Homemade: Eating Well on a Budget." Harris will shed light on the food insecurity that many D.C. residents face and the ways organizations and educators are working with community members to build a healthier, more equitable and just food system. Harris will demonstrate that healthy eating does not need to be expensive, time-consuming or difficult.
For more information on Cooking Up History, see: https://americanhistory.si.edu/topics/food/pages/cooking-history.
This program is funded by the American Women's History Initiative.
WOMEN'S HISTORY ON DISPLAY
"Girlhood (It's complicated)"
Closes Jan. 2, 2023
Second Floor, East
While the nursery rhyme tells us that girls are “made of sugar and spice and everything nice,” history demonstrates that girls are made of stronger stuff. "Girlhood (It's Complicated)" showcases how girls have been on the frontlines of change and how they have made an impact on all aspects of American life. Spanning a timeframe of more than 200 years and displaying approximately 200 objects, including some never-before-seen artifacts, the exhibition examines the ways American girls, from Helen Keller to Minnijean Brown to Naomi Wadler, have spoken up, challenged expectations and used their voices to effect change.
"Becoming Chinese American"
New Perspectives case outside "Girlhood (It's complicated)"
Closes July 12, 2022
Second Floor, East
Chinese American Virginia Lee wore the vest and trousers on display in the early 1900s. Born in the United States but raised in immigrant households, Chinese American girls embodied multiple cultures. They were expected to conform to American culture while maintaining Chinese values. Clothing became an important way for Chinese American girls to navigate cultures and identities. Virginia, a first-generation Chinese American, grew up in New York City. She and her siblings wore Western-style clothing as everyday attire, but on special occasions donned imported clothes like these to highlight their Chinese heritage.
K-12 VIRTUAL LEARNING
HistoryTime: Shirley Chisholm
Week of March 7, 2022
HistoryTime videos are designed for children ages 5-8 and adults in their lives. Each video features an object or object(s) in the museum’s collection as a launching pad for exploring historical concepts that are relevant to young children. The videos are available on YouTube and are also linked to resource collections on the Smithsonian’s Learning Lab platform. Learning Lab collections can inspire lesson plans or help learners explore the videos’ topics further.
The March episode will feature the story of Shirley Chisholm, the first African American woman elected to Congress. Chisholm’s story will help viewers explore the topic of leadership. How do we know what our leaders believe? How do they share their plans for improving their community?
FEBRUARY PROGRAM ADDED
National Day of Remembrance: 80 Years of Reckoning
Feb. 18-20, 2022
For more information, visit: https://americanhistory.si.edu/day-of-remembrance
Eighty years ago, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 that forced the removal and incarceration of 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent during WWII. The bipartisan 1988 Civil Liberties Act resulted in the historic apology and redress for Japanese Americans. This year, the National Museum of American History is joining the National Park Service and the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation to mark the annual Day of Remembrance
Feb. 18; 7 p.m. ET
The Director of the National Park Service, the Secretary of the Smithsonian and the museum’s Director join with the Biden Administration, the Ambassador of Japan to the U.S. and noted scholars to mark the opening night ceremony for Day of Remembrance. The ceremony marks the opening to a full weekend of panel discussions Feb. 19 and 20. For complete details, please visit the full calendar listing.