National Museum of American History Calendar of Exhibitions and Events: Hispanic Heritage Month 2021


"¡Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues" / "En los barrios y las grandes ligas"
Recently Opened; Closes July 2022
Albert H. Small Documents Gallery
Second Floor, East

This year, the crack of the bat and the roar of the crowd will be heard from neighborhood parks to Major League stadiums. “Pleibol! In the Barrios and the Big Leagues/En los barrios y las grandes ligas,” a new bilingual exhibition, takes audiences on a journey into the heart of American baseball to understand how generations of Latinas/os have helped make the game what it is today. For nearly a century, baseball has been a social and cultural force in Latino communities across the United States. From hometown baseball teams to the Major Leagues, the exhibit shows how the game can bring people together and how Latino players have made a huge impact on the sport. The exhibit will have a series of companion programs as well as a traveling component through the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).  

Escaramuza Dress
New Perspectives case in “Girlhood (It's complicated)”
Opens Sept. 17; Closes Winter 2022
Second Floor, East

A new case outside of “Girlhood (It’s complicated)” will showcase additional collections. Veronica Davila wore this escaramuza charra dress, representing the only female event in the Mexican charrería. Escaramuzas consist of teams of 8 riding horses in synchronized maneuvers. Davila wore this colorful dress in the early 2000s as captain of the escaramuza team “Las Valentinas” in San Antonio, TX. As escaramuza charras, girls reclaim their Mexican cultural heritage and affirm their Mexican American identity. Riders wear stunning traditional outfits inspired by the fearless adelitas, women fighters in the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920). Ensembles follow strict guidelines to preserve historical and cultural authenticity. Skirts must cover the horse’s haunches and allow the team to perform dangerous maneuverers at high speeds while riding sidesaddle. Girls also don the emblematic sombrero charro, a broad-brimmed hat designed to provide relief from the blistering heat of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. The dress will be accompanied by a Latinas Talk Latina’s video featuring footage of Davila and will be made available as a 3D scan.

The Only One in the Room
New Perspectives case in “American Enterprise”
Closes Winter 2022

First Floor, West

Carving out a successful career in business and entrepreneurship is tough, but for women, rising to the top of their fields is even tougher. Those who do reach this pinnacle often find that they are the only woman in the room. This display explores the stories of women who made a mark in business, including Latinas Rea Ann Silva, inventor of the award-winning Beautyblender sponge, and Sara Sunshine, known as the “grand dame” of Hispanic advertising.


September 11: An Evolving Legacy: 20th AnniversaryVirtual Programs, Bilingual Story-Gathering and Collections

The National Museum of American History will commemorate the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 with panel discussions centered on the theme “Hidden Stories, Hidden Voices” to explore the attacks’ little-known impacts on New York’s Latina/o communities. A full listing of offerings is on the museum’s Sept. 11 web portal.

Hidden Stories, Hidden Voices: Art in the Aftermath
Thursday, Sept. 9, 7-8:30 p.m. EDT
Virtual Program
Free Registration on Eventbrite:

Whether through documentary photographs or fine art, artists have been telling the story of how September 11 affected their communities. Through their practice, these creators were able to capture not only a historical recording of the immediate aftermath of the attacks, but the intense spectrum of emotions and incredible community resiliency in the face of immense adversity. In this panel, audiences will hear from artists as they share their stories of how their experiences of September 11 shaped their artistry, community, and the world at large. This program is hosted collaboratively with the Museum of Chinese in America and El Museo del Barrio and will be recorded for online access.

Hidden Stories, Hidden Voices: Latinx Empowerment After the Attacks
Friday, Sept. 10, 7 p.m. EDT
Virtual Program
Free Registration on Eventbrite:

Twenty years after the collapse of the World Trade Center, panelists who served as first-responders and community organization leaders will share their experiences navigating complex immigration policy, worsening health effects and socioeconomic challenges. The panel builds on the museum’s New York City Latino 9/11 Collecting Initiative to add stories of the Latina/o experiences as part of the Sept. 11 narrative. This program is hosted collaboratively with the Consulate General of Mexico in New York, the Mexican Cultural Institute in Washington D.C. and the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health and will be recorded for online access.

This program series is made possible by the generous support of the Robert and Arlene Kogod Family Foundation and with federal support through the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center. The New York City Latino 9/11 collecting initiative is also supported through the Latino Initiatives Pool.  


Media only:

Melinda Machado

(202) 633-3129