Smithsonian Institution's Record Attendance, 2009

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In 2009, 30 million people visited the Smithsonian Institution's 19 facilities. Not since 2000 and 2001 has the Smithsonian received similar numbers. Some possible reasons for the increase in attendance are the reopening of the National Museum of American History, the Inauguration of President Barack Obama, and the release of the motion picture, "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian." For example, usually January is a slow month for the Smithsonian with only an average of 990,000 visitors; however in 2009 with millions of people in town for the inauguration the Smithsonian hosted 1.8 million visitors in the month of January alone. The most visited museum in 2009 was the National Museum of Natural History with 7.4 million visitors. The National Air and Space Museum came in second with 7 million visitors.


  • Obama, Barack
  • Obama, Barack Inauguration, 2009
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Jacqueline Trescott, "Smithsonian Institution has record year in 2009, with 30 million visits," Washington Post, January 7, 2010.

Contact information

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




  • Museum attendance
  • Inaugurations
  • Motion pictures
  • Museums
  • Museum visitors

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