Fire Breaks Out in MNH

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Fire breaks out in Hall 11 of the Museum of Natural History. The loss to the building, cases, and equipment is estimated $10,000 and the loss to the museum of the specimens was irreplacable. One case of Pueblo Indian figures, the earliest documented in the world, was totally destroyed. Another case contained religious objects from Franciscan Missions in the Southwest. The only object saved was a copper bell. Faulty electrical apparatus was believed to be the cause of the fire.


  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • Natural History Building


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Torch article also includes photograph of the damage.
  • Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 371, Box 1, "The Torch," June 1965, p. 3.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


May 25, 1965


  • Fire
  • Accidents
  • Fires

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