This manuscript of "Little Joe from Chicago," is hand copied in unidentified handwriting. It was originally composed by the multi-talented Mary Lou Williams (1910–1981), a jazz composer, vocalist, and pianist. Talk about doing it all!

The score has been well-loved throughout the years and is in worn condition. It contains handwriting and other markings throughout the music, showing that it...
View details ⇨
This manuscript of Little Joe from Chicago is hand copied in unidentified
Where do you donate your time, talents, and treasure? How did people in the past do this? Philanthropy is a fascinating topic and we've just hired a new curator to explore it and grow our collections. Meet Amanda!
Where do you donate your time talents and treasure How did people

Meet Amanda Moniz, our new curator of philanthropy

s.si.edu
Karissa DeCarlo
Nicole Foronda
Today in 1785: Naturalist John Audubon is born. This lithograph was drawn by Audubon's son from one of his watercolors as the elder's eyesight was failing.

Audubon was known for painting birds, but we have lithographs from his “Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America:" [ S.si.edu Link ]
Today in 1785 Naturalist John Audubon is born This lithograph was drawn
Happy 100th birthday, Ella Fitzgerald!

Fitzgerald was one of the greatest American singers in any genre of music. She had a warm voice, superb rhythmic sense, considerable versatility, a great range (three and a half octaves), meticulous intonation, and improvisatory gifts as a fine natural melodist.

She succeeded in the male-dominated field of jazz. By overcoming the odds, breaking...
View details ⇨
Happy 100th birthday Ella Fitzgerald Fitzgerald was one of the greatest American
Pop quiz! True or false? Marilyn Monroe was a huge fan of Ella Fitzgerald's music.
Pop quiz True or false Marilyn Monroe was a huge fan of Ella Fitzgerald's music

Ella Fitzgerald: Breaking down racial barriers with her voice

s.si.edu
Audra Medve
Loretta A. Medve
Geronimo America
Today would have been Ella Fitzgerald's 100th birthday. This is an undated triple exposure photograph of Fitzgerald in concert.

Although most people know Ella for her impeccable jazz talent, many are unaware of her modest and sometimes timid personality.

Janis Siegal, a member of a vocal jazz group titled The Manhattan Transfer, recalled a rehearsal with Fitzgerald: "We were all around the...
View details ⇨
Today would have been Ella Fitzgeralds 100th birthday This is an undated
Jerry Johnson
Jazz icon Ella Fitzgerald's centennial is tomorrow. Did you know she was a huge fan of baseball? Her autographed baseball collection, including this one from the 1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, are part of our collection.

Fitzgerald's passion for baseball increasingly intensified as she had the opportunity to sing the national anthem at various baseball games.

Learn more on the...
View details ⇨
Jazz icon Ella Fitzgeralds centennial is tomorrow Did you know she was
"It belongs in a museum!"

Starting today, you can see two Indiana Jones objects on display.
It belongs in a museum Starting today you can see two Indiana

While the Ruby Slippers step out, two swashbuckling props step in

s.si.edu
American Acrostics
Thom Jefferson
Sarah Vaughan's voice enchants the crowd is this 1956 photo from Carr's Beach in Annapolis, Maryland.

Carr’s beach, also known as "The Beach," was one of two beaches in Annapolis that African Americans were allowed to visit in the 1950s and 1960s. During the week, it was a place for day camps and church picnics. On weekends, it was known for music and good times.

Happy...
View details ⇨
Sarah Vaughans voice enchants the crowd is this 1956 photo from Carrs
Best part about working at a history museum? When you say "let's do a 1960s potluck!" your coworkers go all out!
Best part about working at a history museum When you say lets

More time for the party: A 1960s make-ahead potluck

s.si.edu
Coins went everywhere in the ancient world, spreading military messages as they went.
Coins went everywhere in the ancient world spreading military messages as they went

Money and the military: How numismatics aided and affected war efforts

s.si.edu
Today in 1878: F.K. Traxler receives a patent for his invention, a dog-powered treadmill. This is a model of it.

The treadmill consists of an endless track of wooden cleats on a flexible belt, carried over two rollers held in a rigid frame. The frame pivots about the shaft of the upper roller so that the lower end of the frame may be raised or lowered to give any desired angle of inclination...
View details ⇨
Today in 1878 FK Traxler receives a patent for his invention a
Ken Bizarro
Nancy Gang
1977 lunch box featuring "Happy Days" scenes from our collection. The show ran from 1974-1984 on ABC, and was one of the most popular shows of its time. It served as the genesis for iconic spin-off series like "Laverne & Shirley," "Mork & Mindy," and "Joanie Loves Chachi."

Today we reflect on the memory of Erin Moran, who played Joanie on the series.

Did you watch the show?
1977 lunch box featuring Happy Days scenes from our collection The show
Cheryl Evans
Barbara R Gross
James Gahar
If you flip through Ella Fitzgerald's passport, you realize just how well-traveled America's "First Lady of Song" was.

Either to perform or explore, Ella visited a wide variety of countries including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Britain, Bulgaria, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Yugoslavia.

We hope you let the music of jazz transport you to different places...
View details ⇨
If you flip through Ella Fitzgeralds passport you realize just how welltraveled
Craig Gabriella Bennett
Ellen LaVan
Joan Abram
A whole zoo of fantastical beasts can be found on the coins in our National Numismatic Collection.
A whole zoo of fantastical beasts can be found on the coins

Fantastic beasts and the currency that depicts them

s.si.edu
Megan Ritter
Our philanthropy collection has its first object! Just in time for Earth Day, we collected this nest box for Eastern Bluebirds. On the blog, find out why this object is much more than a scrappy wooden box.
Our philanthropy collection has its first object Just in time for Earth

Making a place for Eastern Bluebirds—and philanthropy

s.si.edu
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm were the first integrated all-female band in the United States of America. In the peak of their career, they toured nationally and featured some of the best female musicians in the country. The Sweethearts recruited a diverse membership, including members who were Mexican American, Asian, American Indian, and African American.

This record,...
View details ⇨
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm were the first integrated allfemale band in
We have a new hands-on experience with MONEY!

No, you aren't allowed to bring it home.
We have a new handson experience with MONEY

Experience the hobby of kings with the National Numismatic Collection's new Discovery Cart

s.si.edu
This Volunteer Recognition Day, we wanted to take a moment to thank our wonderful volunteers. Thank you for helping us out behind-the-scenes as well as on the museum floor. We couldn't do it without you!

Fun fact: during Washington's Cherry Blossom Festival alone, our Museum Ambassadors assisted 12,828 visitors. Wow!

Keep up the great work, team.

P.S. Did you know you can volunteer for...
View details ⇨
This Volunteer Recognition Day we wanted to take a moment to thank
Barbara R Gross