December 6, 2018

Chi-Chi, Pestario the Pest Vargas, Benny Blanco, Tybalt, Sid, Aurelio, and more. Actor, comedian, and now historian John Leguizamo has embraced so many different characters in his career. Recently, he visited the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History where curator Steve Velasquez sat down with Leguizamo to talk about his personal story from Bogotá, Colombia, to Queens, New York.

March 18, 2017
An interview with Lisa Jaster, US Army Reserves - Major, Engineer, and graduate of U.S. Army Ranger School, October 2015
May 17, 2016

Hear former Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta discuss his experiences as an incarceree during World War II and the balance between protecting civil liberties and national security. Norman Y. Mineta spoke with curator Sojin Kim of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage and was introduced by Curator of Digital and Emerging Media at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Adriel Luis.

October 15, 2015

Latinos and Baseball: In the Barrios and the Big Leagues is a multi-year community collecting initiative at the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the Smithsonian Latino Center, focusing on the historic role baseball has played as a social and cultural force within Latino communities across the nation.

June 11, 2015
The Internet is among the most powerful and influential “inventions” ever created. But where did it come from? Who were the people who first imagined it, and what are the inventive technologies that enable the Internet to exist?
May 28, 2015
La Bamba writer and director Luis Valdez and Selena producer Moctesuma Esparza discuss the challenges and complexities of making these films—and the role Hollywood does and doesn't play in Americans' understanding of our national story.
March 31, 2015
From 18th-century political revolutionaries to the first dudes to skateboard down a half-pipe, Americans have risked life and limb in pursuit of greater glory. Do Americans really possess a propensity for risk—and if so, what explains it, and how does it differ from that of other nations?
March 20, 2015

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History convened a one-day symposium on “Religion in Early America.” Led by Stephen Prothero, Professor of Religion at Boston University, the symposium explored three major themes that characterize the role of religion in the formation and early development of the United States.

February 12, 2015
What makes rock 'n' roll quintessentially American? The answer may lie in our talent for innovation and reinvention--two subjects no one knows better than Eddie Van Halen.
January 14, 2015
When we think of the Wild West, we think mostly of men—the cowboys and outlaws immortalized in film, TV, radio, and on the page. But the West was a place where women could bend, break, and stretch the rules, too.
September 16, 2014
On Tuesday, September 16, 2014, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History partnered with WETA television and the National Endowment for the Humanities to present “The Roosevelts: A Conversation with Ken Burns.” The live webcast featured filmmaker Ken Burns and included historian Clay Jenkinson and Roosevelt biographer Geoffrey Ward. With an online audience of high school students representing 32 states, the District of Columbia, as well as India, Canada, and Spain.
March 25, 2014
The National Museum of American pays tribute to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane and the 50th Anniversary of his iconic composition A Love Supreme with a music celebration by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) and donation ceremony with reflections by Ravi Coltrane – son of John Coltrane – and photographer Chuck Stewart who photographed the recording session in 1964.
April 26, 2013

The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra and guest conductor John Clayton pays tribute to John Levy, the great bassist, and renowned personal manager for many jazz greats.

April 10, 2013

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) jazz master Randy Weston and African rhythms and NEA jazz master Candido Camero tell the story of slavery and freedom in America. Historian Wayne Chandler provides historical and current insight into how the African diaspora and the legacy of Africans in America lead to the creation of jazz and other musical and cultural norms that are part of the American experience. Dr. Johnnetta Cole, director of the National Museum of African Art, joins John Hasse, American History Museum curator of music, to moderate the discussion.

March 5, 2013

Bestselling 39 Clues author David Baldacci takes students on a field trip to the National Museum of American History. Through this webcast, students will meet renowned museum curators, go behind the scenes, and investigate some of the most fascinating mysteries of American history. Baldacci is the author of Day of Doom, the last book in The 39 Clues series, Cahills vs. Vespers.

February 28, 2013

Dr. Rex Ellis, associate director of Curatorial Affairs at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, interviews best-selling author Taylor Branch about his latest publication, The King Years: Historic Moments in the Civil Rights Movement.

February 23, 2013

Authors Matt Garcia, Don Mitchell and Melanie DuPuis and museum curator Steve Velasquez discuss the intersections of food, politics, and labor in the U.S. and how these issues have shaped American food production, economics, agriculture, politics, labor, and society in the past 50 years.

February 11, 2013

On February 11, 2013, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History hosted the National Youth Summit on Abolition, a moderated panel discussion that reflected on the abolition movement of the 19th century and explored its lessons for ending modern-day slavery and human trafficking.  Ken Morris, great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and President of the Frederick Douglas Family Foundation; Lois Brown, Professor of English at

February 9, 2013

Celebrate, discover, and savor the legacy of Mexican food in the United States and the world. Enjoy a lively discussion with historian Jeffrey Pilcher (Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food), syndicated columnist Gustavo Arellano (Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America), and Smithsonian curator Rayna Green. Learn about the popularity of Mexican food in the US, from its indigenous origins in Mesoamerica to the present era of global commercialization.

November 11, 2012

A symposium on technology and the American Civil War comprised part of the Smithsonian Institution’s contribution to the war’s sesquicentennial commemoration. It was hosted by the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, and took place in the Warner Bros. Theater, 9–11 November 2012.

October 17, 2012

On October 17, 2012, the National Museum of American History (NMAH) partnered with the National Endowment for the Humanities, WETA television, and Smithsonian Affiliations to present the National Youth Summit on the Dust Bowl. The program, related to Ken Burns’ new film The Dust Bowl, connected thousands of high school students and united them in a national dialogue regarding the Dust Bowl’s legacy on both the environment and the culture of the United States.

September 17, 2012

On September 17th, 2012, National Constitution Day, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will host a panel of renowned Civil War scholars at the for a performance and discussion about emancipation. The conversation features University of Richmond President Edward L.

February 9, 2011

In 2011 the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Humanities commemorated the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides with a national conversation on history, democracy and civic activism. In this program Freedom Rides veterans Congressman John Lewis, D-GA, Diane Nash, Jim Zwerg, and Reverend James Lawson share how they became involved in the Freedom Rides and how their lives were affected by them.

September 23, 2010

This all-day symposium covers the impact of the Mexican revolution on American literature, art, politics, and the Mexican American experience. After the symposium, Guillermo Gómez Peña performs at 5:30 PM.

April 1, 2010

New York-based Argentine bassist Pablo Aslán, a pioneer in the tango revival, interprets the tango's classic repertoire with a contemporary jazz approach. On April 1, the Pablo Aslán Quintet reunited musicians from New York and Buenos Aires to play tango classics that expand our expectations for both genres. Celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month.

February 25, 2010

The Washington National Opera (WNO) and the museum discussed the upcoming production of Porgy and Bess at the Kennedy Center, including its complex artistic and historical legacy. The program included a panel discussion, multimedia presentation, and vocal performances by cast members.

February 23, 2010

Join moderator Tom Bowman, Pentagon correspondent for National Public Radio, along with a panel of noted scholars for a discussion of the expansion of the military to include African Americans under President Abraham Lincoln. The distinguished panel included Dr. Ira Berlin of the University of Maryland and Dr. Chandra Manning of Georgetown University, both experts on the African American military experience in the mid-19th century.

February 18, 2010

Fath Davis Ruffins, the museum's curator of African American History and Culture, moderated a panel discussion on race and presidential politics (in Lincoln’s time and our own).

February 4, 2010

The three surviving members of the Greensboro Four, Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair, Jr.), Franklin McCain, and Joseph McNeil participated in an oral history about their bold action that ignited student involvement in the Civil Rights Movement when they staged a sit-in at the Woolworth lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina on February 1, 1960.

February 3, 2010

In a special evening ceremony, Jibreel Khazan (formerly Ezell Blair Jr.), Franklin McCain, Joseph McNeil and, posthumously, David Richmond—the Greensboro Four— received the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal in recognition of their contribution to civil rights in America. 

June 18, 2009

The Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center presented a special program featuring renowned author and global environmentalist Lester Brown. This latest installment in the Center’s “Portrait of Invention” series offers participants the unique opportunity to engage Brown, founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, in a conversation about the challenges of sustaining civilization.

April 23, 2009

A discussion of Abraham Lincoln's philosophy on government-supported scientific study, the President's relationship with Smithsonian Secretary Joseph Henry, and the role of presidential science advisors to this day. Discussion features: Marc Rothenberg, editor of The Joseph Henry Papers Project at the Smithsonian Archives; Thomas B. Allen and Roger MacBride Allen, authors of "Mr.

March 26, 2009

Juan Williams of National Public Radio moderated a discussion of the relationships between Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Baines Johnson and the most influential African American leaders of their day, Frederick Douglass and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth, the National Museum of American History presented an engaging public dialog series to accompany its exhibition, "Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life."

November 21, 2008

The Museum officially reopened to the public on the morning of Friday, Nov. 21, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by Museum Director Brent Glass, Smithsonian Secretary G. Wayne Clough, and other special guests.

November 19, 2008

The National Museum of American History celebrated the dedication of the Star-Spangled Banner Gallery and the reopening of the Museum. The ceremony included remarks by President Bush; G. Wayne Clough, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution; Brent D. Glass, director, NMAH; David McCullough, historian and museum board member; Roger Farah, president and COO, Polo Ralph Lauren; and Jonathon Scharfen, acting director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.