The Reading Room will be closed Christmas Day, the 26th, and New Year’s Day.

Every Collection has a StoryThe Archives holds records that document the Smithsonian’s people, events, buildings, and research. The history of the Smithsonian is a vital part of the history of American experience, scientific exploration, and international cultural understanding.

Community

Latest Forum Topic

Get updates on our amazing collections!

Today in Smithsonian History

Robert "Railroad" Harris, by Hofmeister, Richard K, 1984, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 84-18042-25A.

December 18, 1984

"Railroad" Harris, a security officer at the National Museum of American History, retires after thirty-eight years at the Smithsonian.  When he arrived at the Institution, the guard force consisted of eighty men who rotated between four buildings.  Robert Riley Harris received his nickname of "Railroad" when another security officer learned his initials were R.R. and because he was frequently stationed by the transportation exhibits.More

Featured Exhibit