February 17, 2012 •
The flag that inspired the national anthem.
This week’s Highlighted Site is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and its Star Spangled Banner Exhibit. Take a look at the gallery where our treasured flag has been housed since 2008.
It’s history is fascinating! According to the site: “On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those ‘broad stripes and bright stars’ inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem. Key’s words gave new significance to a national symbol and started a tradition through which generations of Americans have invested the flag with their own meanings and memories.”
The National Museum of American History’s site is wonderfully interactive. You can collect stars to complete the flag by taking a quiz about the history of the War of 1812.
There is an interactive flag page where you can view details documenting the damage the flag has sustained and the various attempts to restore it over the years.
Sing along with the lyrics to the National Anthem on the O Say Can You Sing? page and watch a video of the winner of the National Anthem Singing Contest from 2009.
On the Share Your Story page, you have the opportunity to tell everyone what the flag means to you.
I hope you enjoy this amazing exhibit and I wish each of you a great weekend!
June 9, 2011 •
The National Museum of American History’s Online Exhibit
For this week’s Highlighted Site of the Week, we visit the online exhibit for “The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden” at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History.
The museum’s website describes the actual “in-real-life” exhibit with these words: “This exhibition explores the personal, public, ceremonial and executive actions of the 43 men who have had a huge impact on the course of history in the past 200 years. More than 900 objects, including national treasures from the Smithsonian’s vast presidential collections, bring to life the role of the presidency in American culture.”
Fascinating Facts – Trivia abounds on The American Presidency site. Did you know Rutherford B. Hayes’ (1877-1881)wife Lucy was the first president’s wife to be called “first lady?” Did you know John Tyler (1841-1845) was the first president to use “Hail to the Chief” at official and diplomatic occasions to mark the chief executive’s arrival?
Life and Death in the White House – With the online exhibit, you can have fun exploring pictures of many of the historic items, like the hat President Lincoln was wearing the night he was shot. You’ll also find lighthearted items like President Warren G. Harding’s silk pajamas and the red “Flapper” evening dress worn by First Lady Grace Coolidge.
Communicating the Presidency – The American Presidency shows us the ways the office of the presidency communicated with the people before Facebook and Twitter – from horseback to telegraph, newspaper, radio, and television.
This site will even help you plan a visit to the actual museum.
Treasures in The American Presidency include campaign memorabilia; a list of the military service of the presidents, a long list of presidential biographies, and a little game called “All the President’s Children,” where you must match the picture of a president’s child with the correct description.
They have done a nice job with this exhibit.
Have a terrific weekend everyone!
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