Smithsonian Centennial Celebration

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Secretary Alexander Wetmore directs the celebration of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Smithsonian Institution's founding. Due to the United States' involvement in World War II, the celebration is reserved. A 3-cent commemorative U.S. postage stamp is issued. The stamp design is based upon a design suggested by the Chancellor of the Institution, the late Chief Justice Harlan F. Stone. A Centennial convocation is held on October 23. A book is issued on August 10, titled "The First Hundred Years of the Smithsonian Institution" by Webster P. True, chief of the editorial division. The journal "Science" devotes its entire issue of August 9, 1946, to the Smithsonian Centennial. A special exhibit is also opened on August 10, in the foyer of the Natural History Building.


  • Stone, Harlan Fiske 1872-1946
  • True, Webster Prentiss b. 1892
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Smithsonian Institution Centennial (Event)


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Oehser, Paul H. The Smithsonian Institution. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970, p. 65.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1946. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1947, p. 4-9.

Contact information

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




  • Postage stamps
  • Wartime Activities
  • Exhibitions
  • Museums
  • Special events
  • Major Events in Smithsonian History
  • Museum publications

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