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The first display of the Project NAMES Aids Memorial Quilt was on the National Mall on October 11, 1987, during the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Composed of nearly 2,000 panels, the Quilt was larger than a football field.…

This Smithsonian Institution brochure documents the architectural styles, architects, and unique histories of the museums on the National Mall from 1855 to 2004. It also includes information on Smithsonian buildings which lay outside of the scope of…

This 1901 Washington Post article discusses the newly formed McMillan Commission. Architect Burnham, who arranged World's Fair Grounds, and landscape expert F.L. Olmsted are among the newly appointed members of the committee. The article is hopeful…

The Smithsonian Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History) hosted one of the five Inaugural Balls for Richard Nixon's second Presidential Inauguration in January 1973. During the party, a rooster escaped from an…

James Smithson, an English scientist, specified in his will that if his nephew, Henry J. Hungerford, died without heirs, his estate should be given to the United States to found an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." Smithson…

The original Smithsonian Institution Building, often called the Smithsonian Castle, caught fire in 1865 when workmen mistakenly installed a stovepipe in the building wall. The building was poorly fireproofed and the fire kindled unnoticed within the…

Cleve Jones is a human rights activist who created the idea of a memorial quilt commemorating people who have died of AIDS. The first time the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt was displayed was October 11, 1987, when it was laid out in full on the…

Richard West was the founding Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, serving from the museum's opening in 2004 until 2007. West is a citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a Peace Chief of the Southern Cheyenne.…

Spencer Baird served as the first curator of the Smithsonian Institution and became the second Secretary of the Smithsonian. He worked at the Institution from 1850 until his death in 1887. Baird expanded and strengthened the Smithsonian's…

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In 1909, visitors standing at the entrance of the United States National Museum (now the Museum of Natural History), saw horse-drawn carriages and carts, vendors, and storefronts, of Center Market. The small building in the foreground is a guard…
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