American History, 50 Years of Exhibits

Tomorrow, on Friday, May 16th, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH) will celebrate its 50th anniversary with the opening of two exhibits;  “Making a Modern Museum: Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the National Museum of American History” and “Continuity and Change: Fifty Years of Museum History.”  “Making a Modern Museum: Celebrating the Fiftieth Anniversary of the National Museum of American History” will examine NMAH and its evolution since its inception in 1964. “Continuity and Change: Fifty Years of Museum History” will look at “the transformation of the museum from one of history and technology into a museum devoted to American history.”

To celebrate the launch of these new exhibits, here's a look back at a few of NMAH's exhibits from its opening until today. 

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Star-Spangled Banner, National Museum of American History, c. 1964, MAH-P6427.

Beehive Exhibit in Museum of History and Technology, June 8, 1966, SIA2007-0127.

Pendulum Hall in National Museum of History & Technology, c. 1970, SIA2010-2908.

First Ladies Hall, National Museum of History & Technology, 1972, 72-7078.

Railroad Hall, National Museum of History and Technology, 1972, 72-5115.

Hall of Graphic Arts, National Museum of History & Technology, 1973, 73-5907-3.

Numismatics Hall, National Museum of History & Technology, 1973, 73-5906-5.

National Museum of History & Technology Exhibit, "American Productivity," 1973, 73-5900.

Natoinal Museum of History and Technology, Transportation Exhibit, 1977, SIA2010-2891.

Waitress Kim Dempsey in the National Museum of American History Ice Cream Parlor, 1981, SIA2011-0958.

Tom Crouch at "A More Perfect Union" Exhibit, National Museum of American History, 1989, 89-13614-14/15.

C-3PO and R2-D2, National Museum of American History Iconic Collections on View, 2006, 2006-21494.

A view into the new SSB Gallery, 2008, Courtesy of the National Museum of American History.

The model of the tobacco ship “Brilliant” introduces visitors to ''On the Water'' exhibition Virginia for Liverpool, England in 1775, 2009, Courtesy of the National Museum of American History.

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