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 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
14 Can’t-Miss Museums on the National Mall

To go with its monuments and memorials, the National Mall boasts an impressive lineup of free museums. Visitors should take advantage of the wide range of experiences on hand, from immersing themselves in classic art to marveling at the wonders of aviation and our natural world. Let your wallet...

Museums for Days - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Washington, DC
100 Free & Almost Free Things to Do: History & Heritage

Adventure through American history in Washington, DC, a city brimming with exciting experiences, some of which literally date back to the founding of our nation (we’re looking at you, Declaration of Independence). Not only is DC filled with exciting history and heritage, it’s also been called the “...

@ray.payys - World War II Memorial on National Mall at night - Washington, DC
Southwest Waterfront: Past, Present & Future

Located at the confluence of the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, the land has been shaped and reshaped by visionaries who profited from the Southwest Waterfront ’s abundant natural resources. Today, visitors have much to see in this unique neighborhood a few blocks from the National Mall . The Past...

Southwest Waterfront skyline
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
Holidays in the White House: First Family Traditions

Holidays at the White House are a family affair…with thousands of guests. Each December, the President and his family deck the White House’s halls and opens the doors for dozens of parties and public tours. It’s a big job to prepare the country’s most famous residence for a month of celebrations...

national Christmas tree lighting
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
Turning Back the Clock with Virginia Ali

You might have heard that Washington, DC has experienced a significant resurgence in recent years, as new restaurants, retail and attractions flock to the city. Few people have witnessed as much change in the District as Virginia Ali, who along with her husband Ben opened up the DC institution Ben’...

bens chili bowl
Visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

What is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and where is it? The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall pays tribute to the brave members of the U.S. Armed Forces who fought in the Vietnam War and were killed or missing in action. The memorial consists of three separate parts: The Three Soldiers...