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Today in Smithsonian History
George Perkins Marsh dies. Marsh was a strong supporter of the Smithsonian in its early years, arguing for a great national library as part of the Institution. He served on the Board of Regents from 1847 to 1849, as a Congressman from Vermont. He encouraged Secretary Joseph Henry to hire his protégé, Spencer Fullerton Baird, as the first curator of the National Museum. His art collection was purchased for the National Museum in 1849, the first art collection acquired by the Smithsonian.More