This Day in Smithsonian History: National Air and Space Museum Authorized

Site on the Mall Reserved for the SI

On this day in Smithsonian history in 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law 85-935 authorizing the preparation of plans for the construction of a building for a National Air Museum to be located on the site bounded by Fourth and Seventh Streets, Independence Avenue, and Jefferson Drive, Southwest in Washington, DC.

Today, it would be hard to imagine our nation's capital without what is now known as the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, which is one of the world’s most popular museums with more than 8 million visitors a year.

Read more about the history of Air and Space in our history section, or check out some historic photos relating to the museum in our collections.

Related Resources

Historic Picture Highlights of the National Air and Space Museum from the Smithsonian Institution Archives

National Air and Space Museum Archives


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