Within These Walls

An anti-slavery anthem reimagined for today

Sheet music cover, 'Get off the track!'

Smithsonian Marks 50th Anniversary of the Fair Housing Act of 1968

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will open a new display case Jan. 1, 2018, to share the story of the signing of the Fair Housing Act of 1968 with visitors to its “Within These Walls” exhibition. This landmark civil rights legislation was the result of years of individual and collective struggle against discrimination in sales, financing, rental and other housing-related transactions. The act protects the buyer or renter of a dwelling from discrimination based on race, color, religion and national origin; later amendments expanded protections.

Finding new stories in an old house: Chance Bradstreet and "Within These Walls"

Black and white photo of a two-story house. Part of a car is visible in the foreground.

Smithsonian Tells 200 Years of History Through One House

Through its newest exhibition, “Within These Walls…,” the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will showcase 200 years of American history as seen from the doorstep of one house that stood from Colonial days through the mid-1960s in Ipswich, Mass. Opening May 16, the 4,200-square-foot exhibition will highlight five ordinary families whose lives within the walls of the house became part of the great changes and events of the nation’s past.

Within These Walls

At the center of this gallery is a partially reconstructed house that stood for 200 years at 16 Elm Street in Ipswich, Massachusetts, about 30 miles north of Boston. The house and the exhibition that surrounds it tell the stories of five families who lived there over the years and made history in their kitchens and parlors, through everyday choices and personal acts of courage and sacrifice. Through their lives, the exhibition explores some of the important ways ordinary people have been part of the great changes and events in American history.

The exhibition features:

National Association of Realtors Sponsors Smithsonian Exhibition Centered on 300-year-old American Home

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History today announced a sponsorship in the amount of $2.4 million from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in support of a new exhibition centered around a two-and-a-half story house that stood in Ipswich, Mass., for nearly 300 years. Built around 1700, just 30 miles north of Boston, the house stood from colonial days through the early 1960s when it was saved from demolition by an Ipswich citizen and then brought to the Smithsonian Institution.