First Smithsonian Lecture Series

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The first Smithsonian lectures are given, from March 16-30. At Carusi's saloon, Professor Koeppen of Denmark speaks on "Attica and Athens." From April 30 to May 11, Dr. Edward Hitchcock gives a series of six lecture on geology, the first lectures actually held in the Smithsonian Institution Building.


  • Hitchcock, Edward
  • Koeppen, Professor
  • Smithsonian Institution Building (Washington, D.C.)
  • Carusi's Saloon


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Goode, 1897, page 834, gives the date as April 6, which is the date of the Board of Regents meeting at which Secretary Joseph Henry reported the lecture series had been given.
  • Goode, George Brown, ed. The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century. Washington, D.C.: De Vinne Press, 1897, p. 834.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1853. Washington, D.C.: A.O.P. Nicholson, 1854, p. 175.
  • Washburn, Wilcomb E. "The Influence of the Smithsonian Institution on Intellectual Life in Mid-Nineteenth-Century Washington." Records of the Columbia Historical Society (1963-1965): 96-121, p. 109.
  • Rothenberg, Marc, ed. Papers of Joseph Henry, V7. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1996, p. 495.
  • Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, volume 18, number 329. "Journals of the Proceedings of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution 1846-76, Reports of Committees, Statistics, Etc." William J. Rhees, ed. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, 1879, p. 471, 473.

Contact information

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


March 16, 1849


  • Firsts
  • Geology
  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Anthropology
  • History
  • Special events

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