History & Heritage

History & Heritage: The country’s history starts with ours.

Meet a Community-Oriented Museum Director

The Anacostia Neighborhood Museum was founded in 1967 with the intention of inspiring neighborhood residents to visit the National Mall and see more artifacts at its other campuses. Today, savvy museum-seekers, informed residents and community champions the world over are the ones joining Anacostia...

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum Washington DC
Visiting the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

Where and what is the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial? The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to the tragic events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. All 184 lives lost in the attack on the Pentagon are represented by “Memorial Unit” benches. Surrounding the...

pentagon memorial
Visiting the National World War II Memorial

What is the National World War II Memorial and where is it? The National World War II Memorial honors the 16 million people who served as part of the American armed forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The memorial sits along the...

National World War II Memorial - Washington, DC
African American History in Washington, DC

With its Southern connections, Washington, DC has always had a significant African American population. Before the Civil War, the city was home to a growing number of free blacks who worked as skilled craftsmen, hack drivers, businessmen and laborers, and slave auctions were outlawed altogether in...

Howard Theater Tim Cooper
100 Free & Almost Free Things to Do: Best of Town

One surprising and pleasant discovery you’ll make when visiting Washington, DC - many events, museums and attractions are free. Here are a free activities that await on your trip to the nation’s capital.

Smithsonian Castle
Visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

What and where is the National Museum of American History? The National Museum of American History is located on Constitution Avenue NW, just a block away from the National Mall . Through research, in-depth exhibits, extensive collections and public outreach, the museum presents America’s history...

Entrance of the Museum of American History
Visiting the Jefferson Memorial

Where and what is the Jefferson Memorial? The location and architecture of the Jefferson Memorial make it stand out among DC’s amazing array of monuments and memorials . Designed by John Russell Pope in 1925, the memorial resembles the Pantheon in Rome, an adaptation of Neoclassical architecture...

Jefferson Memorial Lit Up at Night
Visiting the Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Since its opening in 1993 in the historic City Post Office Building, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum has served to honor and celebrate America’s proud postal history. Located next to Union Station in DC’s NoMa neighborhood , the museum houses a vast collection of stamps, postal artifacts and...

Smithsonian National Postal Museum
The History of Washington, DC

Founded on July 16, 1790, Washington, DC is unique among American cities because it was established by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the nation’s capital. You can read the actual line at the National Archives. From its beginning, it has been embroiled in political maneuvering,...

Washington, DC Aerial View
11 Reasons to Check Out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Each summer, the National Mall plays host to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a massive, multiple-day celebration of international cultures. The 2016 edition (June 29 – July 4, July 7-10) features two themes: Basque: Innovation By Culture and Sounds of California . Read on to learn what...

Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Washington, DC