We're more than a museum. We're 19 of them and the National Zoo. Legal:

1,152 posts 760,117 followers 79 following


Happy New Year! 🎉 This jubilant stamp from 2000—designed by Carl Herrman and illustrated by J.C. Leyendecker—is in our @nationalpostalmuseum’s collection.
We're sounding the horn for the Smithsonian Year of Music, which kicks off today. Take a look and a listen to #SmithsonianMusic, including an Object of the Day for each day of 2019, at © USPS; all rights reserved.



A look back at a #NewYearsEve of the past, when you could ring in 1968 with a marathon of music—$6 including breakfast!
This poster, designed by Bonnie MacLean, is in our @cooperhewitt's collection.
If the #GovernmentShutdown continues beyond Jan. 1, all Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo will be closed starting Jan. 2. For updates on our status during the shutdown, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or at



In 1968, the Jimi Hendrix Experience released the album "Electric Ladyland," which reached no. 1 in the U.S.
James Marshall “Jimi” Hendrix bought his first acoustic guitar at 15 and taught himself to play by listening to the music of Elvis Presley, B.B. King and Muddy Waters. Fifty years ago, the year of his third studio album, Rolling Stone named him Performer of the Year.
This portrait by an unidentified artist is on view now at @smithsoniannpg in "One Year: 1968, An American Odyssey." The exhibition looks back at the turbulent year and is open through May 19.



Happy #Kwanzaa! Today in 1966, Kwanzaa was founded as an African American cultural holiday.
It is centered around seven principles based on African culture to build and reinforce community. The holiday's name comes from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza,” meaning “first fruits.” Each of its seven days represents a "Nguzo Saba,” or principle:
1️⃣Umoja (Unity)
2️⃣Kujichagulia (Self-Determination)
3️⃣Ujima (Collective Work and Responsibility)
4️⃣Ujamaa (Cooperative Economics)
5️⃣Nia (Purpose)
6️⃣Kuumba (Creativity)
7️⃣Imani (Faith)
This pinback button celebrating the seven principles, previously owned by Jan Bailey, is in the collection of our @nmaahc. #APeoplesJourney



Merry #Christmas! We're closed every year on Dec. 25.
This mid-20th-century Santa postcard is from the Archives Center of our @amhistorymuseum.



These mid-20th-century wrapping papers from our @cooperhewitt are here to help you with any last-minute presents. 🎁
We are currently open though Jan. 1 (but always closed Dec. 25). For updates on our status during the government shutdown, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or at



“But seeing the Earth at 240,000 miles, my world suddenly expanded to infinity.” —Jim Lovell, Apollo 8 astronaut

On this day 50 years ago, the Apollo 8 mission launched. It was famous for the astronauts’ Christmas Eve reading from the Book of Genesis and this iconic Earthrise image. 🌎
We celebrated the mission at our recent #SpiritofApollo event at Washington National Cathedral. This was just the beginning of our celebration of the 50th anniversaries of the Apollo program, as we look back at our first small step and forward to our next giant leap. Join us as we celebrate #Apollo50 over at @airandspacemuseum.



We can’t tell the story of @airandspacemuseum without Amelia Earhart’s “Little Red Bus.” No, this isn’t the plane she disappeared in, but it was in this Lockheed Vega that she became the first woman to fly nonstop across the Atlantic alone.
You can see this piece of women’s history in our Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery on the National Mall. #IdeasThatDefy



You might be familiar with our building on the National Mall, but did you know we have a second @airandspacemuseum location in Virginia? (Double the museums, double the fun!) As an aviation and space museum, our artifacts tend to be pretty big.
Our Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center’s two hangars allow us to display some of our largest artifacts including Space Shuttle Discovery, an SR-71 Blackbird and an Air France Concorde, with room to spare.



When you’re in the middle of a seven-year renovation, every day is #TransformationTuesday. We recently took Buzz Aldrin’s Apollo 11 spacesuit off display for conservation as we prepare for our brand new #DestinationMoon gallery in 2022.
This suit has been on display since our museum opened in 1976, and was originally designed for a single use—going to the Moon—not for long-term display. So it’s important to rotate the spacesuit on and off view, to give it a “break” from the exposure to light and humidity in the gallery.
During the museum’s renovation project, every single one of our galleries will be redesigned or updated. (Don’t worry, we’ll be open throughout the project—and there’s always something new to see at @airandspacemuseum!) Check out our Instagram Story for a behind-the-scenes look at the spacesuits in the Conservation Lab at our Udvar-Hazy Center. #Apollo50



👋 from @airandspacemuseum! We’re taking over the Smithsonian’s Instagram this week.
Today is the perfect day to launch our Instagram takeover because it’s the anniversary of one of aviation’s most significant moments: the Wright brothers’ first flight. Their first flight ever only lasted 12 seconds. We’ve come a long way since then! (You can see the actual Wright Flyer on display at our museum on the National Mall.) Join us all week as we share other amazing moments from the history of aviation and space.✈🚀 #IdeasThatDefy



Seeing red? The DeYoung Red Diamond is one of the largest known natural red diamonds, weighing a little over 5 carats.
In the late 1930s or early 1940s, the diamond was acquired by jeweler S. Sydney DeYoung, mounted in an estate scarf pin set with a dark brownish-red stone that everyone assumed was a garnet. DeYoung realized the red stone was really a diamond (!) and removed it to be kept in a vault.
He decided to bequeath the diamond to the Smithsonian, and it officially joined the National Gem Collection of @smithsoniannmnh in 1987.