The National Museum of American History

Washington, D.C., United States

The National Museum of American History opened in 1964. In 1980, the museum was renamed the National Museum of American History to represent its mission of the collection, care, study, and interpretation of objects that reflect the experience of the American people. The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and located on the National Mall.

Each wing of the museum's three exhibition floors is anchored by a landmark object to highlight the theme of that wing. These include the John Bull locomotive, the Greensboro, North Carolina lunch counter, and a one of a kind draft wheel. Landmarks from pre-existing exhibits include the 1865 Vassar Telescope, a George Washington Statue, a Red Cross ambulance, and a car from Disneyland's Dumbo Flying Elephant ride.



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Founded: 1964
Category: Museums in United States


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Eric Pinkela (10 months ago)
It’s difficult to encapsulate the entirety of the American experience in 3 floors of a museum, but the Smithsonian does a beautiful job of giving the visitor slices of our history. The new exhibit on pop culture was amazing and felt interactive. We particularly enjoyed the Star Wars, Muppet and video game portions. We also had fun cruising through the other exhibits, especially the Julia Childs kitchen, and the history of personal computing (the first mouse looks weird!) Of course, the coolest part is that these are all free. Some require times passes, but nothing costs a dime.
Michael Penny (10 months ago)
Incredibly interesting museum with a large number of very detailed exhibits. I could have spent several days inside but only hit the highlights on this trip. Entry is free like all the Smithsonian’s and at least when we were there on a Monday, it wasn’t incredibly busy. The Hollywood/Entertainment wing was really cool to check out. Ruby slippers, Mr. Roger’s sweater and a number of other cool artifacts were all on display.
Ammar Ali (11 months ago)
How has this Museum received such minimal review coverage?! This is an absolute must see in DC. Thoroughly enjoyed the history of transportation. Excellent collection of vehicles and supporting information. You won’t be disappointed.
Paul LaVigne (2 years ago)
One of the “Big Three” Smithsonian museums. What a fantastic collection of American history. Plan to spend at very minimum a half day in this museum. There are of course so many exhibits to see that will delight both young and old. I do suggest eating before going because the cafeteria is very expensive for non-special typical cafeteria food.
Ben Matthews (2 years ago)
This place should be called The Museum of American Everything. A super eclectic collection of what makes America special - from the Star Spangled Banner, to Judy Garland’s ruby red slippers. Be aware that many exhibitions are currently closed for renovation - so if you’re going for anything in particular, do check their website first. Unexpected highlights for me were the transportation exhibits, as well as the Presidential and First Lady sections.
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