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Today in Smithsonian History

Procession to SI with James Smithson's Remains, by Springer, E. L, 1904, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 82-3338.

January 25, 1904

Alexander Graham Bell, a Smithsonian Regent, brings James Smithson's remains from Genoa, Italy, to the United States. After a procession from the Navy Yard to the Smithsonian Institution Building, Bell hands over Smithson's remains with the words, "And now...my mission is ended and I deliver into your hands...the remains of this great benefactor of the United States." The remains are temporarily situated in the Regents Room accompanied by the few remaining personal relics of Smithson. In 1905 the crypt containing Smithson's remains is created at the north entrance of the Smithsonian Building.More

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