NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY
Three huge floors filled with a variety of fascinating objects make up this pae-
an to American culture. The first floor focuses on science and technology, in-
cluding hands-on experiments and exhibitions on transport, electricity, and
machinery. The second floor is home to the famous Star-Spangled Banner,
while the third floor features a stirring tribute to the American presidency
and military history. The museum is undergoing major renovation work,
which is ongoing in phases. Call ahead or check the website for information
on the latest exhibitions. 14th St and Constitution Ave, NW • 202 633 1000
• www.americanhistory.si.edu/ • Open 10am-5:30pm daily; extended
hours in summer (for further details see website for details); closed Dec 25 •
Dis. access • Free
1. THE STAR-SPANGLED BANNER
The flag that inspired the national anthem is strikingly large - originally 30 by 42 ft
(9 by 13 m) - although timeworn. Created by Baltimore flagmaker Mary Pickersgill
in 1813, it is on display in the gallery, which recreates the Battle of Baltimore and the
burning of the White House.
2. WITHIN THESE WALLS...
A two-story colonial house from Massachusetts has been rebuilt within the museum,
to explore the 200-year history of the families who lived there.
3. THE PRICE OF FREEDOM: AMERICANS AT WAR
This gallery explores the nation's military history, from the French and Indian War
in the 1750s to recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The exhibition features a
Vietnam-era Huey helicopter, and a World War II jeep.
4. THE FIRST LADIES AT THE SMITHSONIAN
The First Ladies' gallery is a firm favorite and includes inaugural gowns worn by Jack-
ie Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Nancy Reagan, and Michelle Obama.