• In this newspaper column, the author bemoans what he calls the "political makeover of the Smithsonian." This sarcastic piece is prompted by Secretary I. Michael Heyman's recent approval of the National Air and Space Museum's proposed Enola Gay exhibit, which the author views as the latest example of how the Smithsonian Institution has been transforming its museums over recent years into "vehicles for political re-education." He writes that this trend began during the tenure of Secretary Robert McCormick Adams, who started in 1984 and hired individuals from the "Academic Left."
  • According to the author, the Smithsonian's Board of Regents and the U. S. Congress have not been paying attention to the fact that exhibits have been purposely presented to reflect ideological views rather than the facts to the general public. He gives examples of his argument by describing the "Science in American Life" exhibit at the National Museum of American History, mentioning various exhibits at the National Museum of Natural History, and the removal of the 1876 Centennial Exhibition from the Arts and Industries Building to make way for turning that museum into a National African-American Museum.


  • Heyman, Ira Michael 5/30/1930-11/19/2011
  • Adams, Robert McCormick 1926-2018
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • Enola Gay (Bomber)
  • Board of Regents
  • United States Congress
  • Science in American Life (Exhibition) (1994: Washington, D.C.)
  • National Museum of American History (U.S.) (NMAH)
  • National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)
  • Arts and Industries Building
  • 1876: A Centennial Exhibition (Exhibition) (1976: Washington, D.C.)
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

The Wall Street Journal (Newspaper)

Contact information

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


October 25, 1994


  • Politics and culture
  • Historiography
  • Education
  • National African American Museum Project
  • Secretaries
  • Controversies
  • Museums
  • Museums--Educational aspects

Physical description

p. A16, Review & Outlook column

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