National Museum of American History(American Museum of Natural History), USA Tourist Attractions and Travel

American Museum of Natural History: North side of the Mall, 14th St NW and Constitution Ave; closest Metro Smithsonian.

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If you like kitsch, you won't want to miss the bizarre melange of cultural artefacts at the National Museum of American History. George Washington's wooden teeth, Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves, and the ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in the Wizard of Oz are set among didactic displays tracing the country's development. It's not so much a center for scholarly study as a sanctuary for vanishing Americana, incorporating Model T Fords, old post offices and even a restored, turn-of-the-century ice-cream parlor, which still serves up banana splits.

national museum of american history attractions

As you enter from the Mall, directly on to the second floor, a sound-and-light display showcases the battered red, white and blue flag that inspired the US national anthem - the Star-Spangled Banner itself, which survived the British bombing of Baltimore harbor during the War of 1812. The worthier exhibits are also on this floor: an account of the rural farm-based society of the early US stands across from an examination of the mass movement of African-Americans from Southern farms to the wartime industries of northern cities. A lunch counter from Woolworths in Greensboro, North Carolina, evokes the sit-in of 1960, while "American Encounters" focuses on New Mexico, looking at how tourism has affected communities such as the pueblo of Santa Clara and Hispanic Chimayo. On the first floor, the "Information Age" gallery traces communications from Morse's first telegraph to Apple Macintoshes, while separate galleries display in glorious profusion the artefacts and machines that have shaped modern America - from lightbulbs and motorbikes to trains and atomic clocks. Nairobi National Park


The national museum of american history travel top floor holds political memorabilia (much of it over a century old), stamp and coin collections, old TV sets and typewriters, though two final outstanding exhibits inject a serious tone - "Personal Legacy: the Healing of a Nation" brings together some of the 25,000 items left by relatives at the Vietnam Memorial in DC, while "A More Perfect Union" deals candidly with the shameful internment of Japanese-American citizens during World War II.

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