Our museum is temporarily closed to support the effort to contain the spread of COVID-19. Read a message from our director, and check our website and social media for updates.

Passing of Roger Kennedy, Former Director of the National Museum of American History

Statement for the Press and Public
September 29, 2011
I would like to mark the Sept. 30 passing of Roger Kennedy, who served as director of the National Museum of American History from 1979 to 1992, with a few words. Kennedy came to be known as a transformational director for his work to remake what was the Museum of History and Technology into a modern American museum. It was Kennedy who named the museum, the National Museum of American History in 1980 and it was Kennedy who presided over some of the greatest exhibitions that this Museum has ever mounted. Under his direction, the museum opened “Nation of Nations;” “From Field to Factory;” and “A More Perfect Union.” He embodied the Smithsonian’s mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. We are all in his debt and we are all students of his vision for this museum.

—Marc Pachter, Interim Director, National Museum of American History