Government Shutdown Closes Smithsonian Museums

Close
Usage Conditions Apply
The Smithsonian Institution Archives welcomes personal and educational use of its collections unless otherwise noted. For commercial uses, please contact photos@si.edu.
Print

Narrow Your Results

Reset

Filter Your Results

Smithsonian Secretaries Information

Close Browse records and papers of the Smithsonian Secretaries, from 1846 until today. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by individuals who have held that office.

Expeditions Information

Close Browse records and papers documenting scientific and collecting expeditions either affiliated with the Smithsonian, or with which Smithsonian researchers participated. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by geographic regions predominantly represented in expedition records.

Professional Societies Information

Close Browse records of professional societies closely associated with the Smithsonian, that focus on areas of scientific research and museum studies. Pre-set filters help narrow searches by major topics and disciplines.
 

Summary

For the first time in U.S. history, a one day government-wide furlough was ordered by President Ronald Reagan, with 400,000 of 2.1 million federal employees furloughed. The Smithsonian sent home non-essential staff and closed the museums. Essential staff, such as guards, keepers at the National Zoo, and building engineers stayed on site. Employees were paid for the furlough day by the federal government.

Subject

  • Reagan, Ronald
  • Office of Protective Services
  • Guard Force
  • United States Congress
  • United States President (1981-1989 : Reagan)
  • National Zoological Park (U.S.)

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • "Federal Offices Shut Down As Workers Are Sent Home," The New York Times, Nov. 24, 1981, p. B 15.
  • "Who/What Was 'Essential'," The Washington Post, Nov. 28, 1981, p. A22.

Contact information

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

Date

November 23, 1981

Topic

  • Closings
  • Zoo keepers
  • Museums

Place

Washington (D.C.)

Full Record

View Full Record