The last museum we went to was the National Museum of American History. I was sold on this museum as soon as I heard Dorothy’s red slippers were held here. We arrived just after a docent tour started, so we ran up and joined the back (it’s all free, after all).
One of the amazing things to see here (which they of course don’t allow photos of) is the Star-Spangled Banner. (Like THE Star-Spangled Banner!) In a dark room with soft illumination, they have the original flag which Francis Scott Key saw that inspired him to write our national anthem.
A Harry Winston replica, anyone?
This is a real Huey helicopter from the Vietnam War. The only thing it lacks is the engine.
A chunk of the Berlin Wall.
A chunk of the Twin Towers.
Downstairs they have an exhibit called American Stories that houses a huge and varied collection of things pertaining to American history.
Like a bit of Plymouth Rock.
Look at how much the way in which we listen to music has changed!
Some of Mohammad Ali’s boxing gloves.
Dorothy’s shoes are at the front entrance to the exhibit. They bought the shoes for 25 cents back in 1938, but they were silver. The head honchos decided to do the film in technicolor and wanted the shoes to stand out against the Yellow Brick Road. So they glued red sequins to the shoes! (I don’t know why they didn’t just buy red shoes, but whatever!)
All the way downstairs, they have a huge new exhibit called FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000 (which was my other favorite). Obviously, a huge influence in changing the American Table was the infamous Julia Child. The Smithsonian was gifted her kitchen (upon her move into a retirement home) and a team went to Cambridge, Massachusetts to photograph everything and take notes so they could rebuild it exactly as it had been for her. Even down to the time on the clock and the page in the phonebook that was open.
They also have food packaging and various memorabilia from the time period.
I’m not sure how I feel about “Cooking with Fritos”.
I thought it was very interesting in the change of shopping carts. The green one is older and obviously catered to the idea of buying things as you need them, while the white one is similar to what I have always known which encourages over-buying and over-stocking your home with boxed foods.
They also have a diorama and some photographs of the 1964 New York World’s Fair along with a beautiful 1965 Ford Mustang.
The docent tour was awesome. He was full of fun information about the exhibits and did a wonderful job of making history come alive.
This museum does a wonderful job at having truly varied exhibitions. To me, there was something here that would interest absolutely anyone. This wasn’t as singular in audience as other museums we visited, which was refreshing.
I absolutely loved the First Ladies’ dresses and the food exhibit. I love Julia Child (and thank her immensely for changing the American diet) and thought it was beyond cool to be able to see her kitchen as she would have used it. We didn’t see everything in this museum (cause we got there late and the tour lasted an hour) but this was one of my top museums. As a history fan, it was so cool to see things like Dorothy’s slippers, Julia Child’s kitchen and Mohammad Ali’s boxing gloves (amongst other items).