Leonard Carmichael Becomes Seventh Smithsonian Secretary

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Leonard B. Carmichael (1898-1973) takes office as seventh Secretary of the Smithsonian. He was elected Secretary by the Smithsonian Board of Regents on April 9, 1952. He serves an eleven year term from 1953 to 1964. He is the first Secretary selected from outside the Institution. For fourteen years prior to his appointment, he was president of Tufts College. As a physiological psychologist, Carmichael is the author of a standard manual of child psychology. He replaces Secretary Alexander Wetmore, who served from 1945 to December 31, 1952.


  • Carmichael, Leonard 1898-1973
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Tufts University


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Paul H. Oehser gives date as January 1, 1953.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1953, pp. 1, 6.
  • Oehser, Paul H. The Smithsonian Institution. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970, p. 66.

Contact information

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


January 2, 1953


  • Secretariats
  • Appointments
  • Secretaries
  • Psychology
  • Major Events in Smithsonian History
  • Psychologists

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