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.


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Dedication of Henry Statue, by Unknown, 1883, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 10733 or MAH-10733.

April 19, 1883

At a ceremony attended by many notables and approximately 10,000 onlookers, the bronze statue of first Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry is unveiled on the Smithsonian grounds. The date for the event is selected to coincide with the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, of which Henry had been president of at the time of his death. The United States Congress, the Diplomatic Corps, the Executive Departments, and the public were also invited to attend.More

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