Museum of American History

Star-Spangled Banner: An abstract flag, 40 feet long and up to 19 feet high, soars above the entrance to the Star-Spangled Banner gallery. Inside, the 30-by-34 wool-and-cotton flag that inspired the national anthem is displayed in a setting with floor-to-ceiling glass windows, designed to evoke the “dawn’s early light.”

  • America on the Move: This 26,000-square-foot exhibition features more than 300 artifacts—from the 1903 Winton that was the first car to traverse the United States to the 199-ton, 92-foot-long “1401” locomotive—showcased in period settings.
  • FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950 – 2000: This exhibition explores how new technologies and various social and cultural shifts in the second half of the 20th century influenced major changes in food, wine and eating in America.
  • Price of Freedom: Americans at War: An 18,000-square-foot exhibition surveying the history of the U.S. military from the Colonial era to the present, exploring ways that wars have been defining episodes in American history.
  • The First Ladies: This exhibition looks at the ways first ladies have shaped their role as the role of women in society evolved. This display features more than two dozen gowns, including those of Michelle Obama, Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan and Jacqueline Kennedy. Four cases provide in-depth looks at Dolley Madison, Mary Lincoln, Edith Roosevelt and Lady Bird Johnson and their contributions to their husband’s presidential administrations.
  • The American Presidency: This exhibition explores the personal, public, ceremonial and executive actions of the 44 men who have had a huge impact on the course of history in the past 200 years.
  • American Stories: This exhibition showcases historic and cultural touchstones of American history through more than 100 objects from the museum’s vast holdings, including Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers, the rarely displayed walking stick used by Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln’s gold pocket watch, Muhammad Ali’s boxing gloves and a fragment of Plymouth rock.
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