National Museum of American History

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Washington DC
National Museum of American History
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The National Museum of American History is a free Smithsonian Museum in the center north side of the National Mall. You don't need tickets to enter. The museum has some interesting exhibits though it doesn't have much of a wow factor. The life-size scenes of transportation are the most impressive and cool. The food section with Julia Child's kitchen is boring since you can't walk in the kitchen. There is an upstairs section about voting with pins and campaign torches. Another nice area is the immigrant area where you can see items brought by immigrants to America from many different countries. 

There is a cafeteria with big windows, but the food is expensive and not very good. Instead go to The Hamilton (near the White House), a large restaurant which is a ten minute walk north on 14th St NW (at dinnertime there's a wait to be seated).
This museum was not very crowded but we came right at 10am when it opened. 
The museum is an eight minute walk south of the White House Visitor Center and South Lawn. On the west side of the museum is the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which is supposed to be excellent, going from slavery on the ground floor to musicians on the top floor (you need tickets in advance to go to this museum even though it's free). On the east side is the Smithsoniam Museum of Natural History, in an incredible building with an amazing gem section- come at 10am for this one as it gets crowded.

Continue to directions...

Statue and shadow, at side of the building that faces the Mall.

Clara Barton's ambulance, 1898.

Activism signs.

Carter's campaign items.

Clinton and Bush campaign items.

LBJ and Kennedy campaign items.

George Washington's document box.

Family coats of arms.

Our Lady of Guadalupe painted on a car.

Exhibit about the US-Mexico border.

Between 1960 and 1962, fourteen thousand children were sent from Cuba to America. Organisations connected children with their relatives or family friends.

Puerto Rican instruments.

Glass heart from the Catholic chapel at Rancho Camulos, late 1800s.

Russian icon, 1800s.

Columbia figure, 1860s, personifying the new nation.

Quaker bonnet, 1800s.

Tsimshian Crest Hat from the Queen Charlotte Islands of the Pacific Northwest. A water spirit in the form of many eagles.

Sesame Street puppets.

Chicago Rapid Rail car, 1959.

Chicago subway platform in the 1950s.

Pedal car, 1953, in the suburb Park Forest.

Marbles, jump rope, and lunchbox, 1950s.

Orange car.

Train travel.

Thousands of Americans lived in trailers during the Great Depression.

Kramer farm wagon, 1925.

Running a steam engine was a complex job.

Kids can open these doors on wooden boxes- something interactive to do.

In 1903, H. Nelson Jackson, Sewall Crocker, and their dog Bud, made the first successful transcontinental automobile trip.

Streetcar, Washington DC, 1900.

Santa Cruz Railroad, 1876.

Hand-Pumped Fire Engine, 1842.

Front of the museum.

Looking up at the museum.

Looking up at amazing buildings on the north side of the museum.

Passageway on the north side of the museum.

Statue on the Mall (south) side of the museum.


The National Museum of American History is located at 1300 Constitution Ave NW, which means its between 12th St and 14th St (where 13th St would be, hence 1300). 
Entrance is free and you don't need to get tickets.
Open daily 10-5:30. 


Click on map for interactive view


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Last Updated: Fri, 06 Jul 2018 01:49:23 GMT

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