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Today in 1779: Francis Scott Key, author of the lyrics to the song that became our national anthem, is born. On the blog, we answer a visitor's question about his lyrics to "The Star-Spangled Banner:" 

#History   #Flag   #AmericanHistory  
The short answer: because Francis Scott Key wrote it that way.But we can do better than that. Let's have a look:O! say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?
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Why is there a question mark at the end of the sentence? Because the last sentence is a question.

Does that star spangled banner yet wave for the land of the free and the home of the brave?
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Today in 1868: The 14th Amendment, which becomes a basis for the Brown v. Board of Ed. decision, is ratified, extending equal protection to all citizens: http://bit.ly/1vlMqqq

Image: Printed copy of the Brown v. Board of Education opinion issued by the Supreme Court on the day of the decision.

#AmericanHistory   #SCOTUS  
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What a day that was
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55 years ago today, the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina, is desegregated after six months of sit-in protests.
On February 1, 1960, four African American college students—Ezell A. Blair, Jr. (now Jibreel Khazan), Franklin E. McCain, Joseph A. McNeil, and David L. Richmond—sat down at this "whites only" lunch counter and politely asked for service. Their request was refused. When asked to leave, the students remained in their seats in protest.

For the months that followed, hundreds of students, civil rights organizations, churches, and members of the community joined the protest and boycotted the store. Their commitment ultimately led to the desegregation of the F.W. Woolworth lunch counter on July 25, 1960.

Their peaceful sit-down was a watershed event in the struggle for civil rights and helped ignite a youth-led movement to challenge racial inequality throughout the South.

#CivilRights   #History  
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130 years ago today: President Ulysses S. Grant dies. These are his field glasses, probably used during the Civil War.

Pres. Lincoln once said of him: "I can't spare this man–he fights."

#History   #CivilWar  
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Nice
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Now open: our small but moving display on the significance and legacy of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This week, we're celebrating the 25th anniversary of the ADA with free programs here and at the The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: http://s.si.edu/1JffOql Join us!

The display is located on our second floor. The last day to see it is December 17, 2015.

#ADA25   #DisabilityHistory   #DisabilityStories   #ADA25stories   #WashingtonDC   +Smithsonian 
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Tour new exhibitions and the Dibner Library in our Innovation Wing and share your experience on social media. Apply to participate in #FantasticObjects  tweetup with us and Smithsonian Libraries on Friday, August 7: http://bit.ly/fwtweetup

#SocialMedia   #WashingtonDC   #Smithsonian  
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Today in 1863: Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company, is born. This is a 1931 Ford Model A roadster in the collection of the National Museum of American History.

The much-anticipated 1928 Ford Model A was chic and sporty, and it had mechanical features that the Model T lacked: a three-speed, sliding-gear transmission, four-wheel brake system, and hydraulic shock absorbers. Sales were strong, but Ford never again dominated the new-car market as it had at the height of the Model T's popularity; Chevrolet, Plymouth, and other makes proved to be formidable rivals in the 1930s and beyond. In the 1932 model year, Ford replaced the Model A with a new line of cars featuring V-8 engines.

Learn more: http://s.si.edu/1I4uAhA #Transportation   #History   #Invention   #Cars  
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A ride with Great style !!!
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Our celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act is going strong. Come by today or tomorrow for performances, talks, a stamp station, and more. 

#ADA25   #DisabilityStories   #AmericansWithDisabilitiesAct  
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:)
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Faced with an incredible amount of injustice in his life, including poverty, institutionalization, and disability, Junius Wilson found freedom in his bikes: http://bit.ly/JuniusBk 

It's now on display on our second floor.

#ADA25   #DisabilityStories   #cycling   #history   #AmericanHistory  
Junius Wilson's history has been told in newspapers, books, and even in this museum's exhibitions. It is the history of a man who had more injustice pound down on him than most people ever hear about, let alone experience.
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In the 1820s, political candidates began to use buttons and other material objects specifically for campaigning purposes. Today, pins are an important part of protest movements. Take a look at some related to the Americans with Disabilities Act, which turns 25 on Sunday. 

#ADA25   #DisabilityStories  
Curator Dr. Katherine Ott invited students in Dr. Samuel J. Redman's Museum/Historic Site Interpretation Seminar to explore the museum's collections and write blog posts sharing their research. 
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Today in 1796: Cleveland, Ohio, is founded by Gen. Moses Cleaveland. "Cleveland: Many peoples, one language" says this poster from 1917.

Text appears in English, Italian, Hungarian, Slovenian, Polish, and Yiddish: "Come to the Public Schools. Learn the Language of America. Prepare for American Citizenship. Free Classes for both Men and Women. Classes in the Evening and Afternoon. Apply to nearest Public School or Library for further information."

Posters like this one were displayed in schools in an attempt to reach immigrant parents through their children.

Cleveland's factories, steel mills, port facilities, and assembly plants teemed with the new working–class arrivals from central and eastern Europe. On the eve of the American entry into World War I, nationalistic passions were rising and new immigrants were especially encouraged to "become American" by learning English and preparing for American citizenship.

#Cleveland   #History   #Migration   #Immigration  
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Nowadays if someone said this they'd be painted as "soft on immigration" or for taking jobs away from Americans.
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Many men returned from the Civil War with an obvious wound. Society had two views of these men: pitiful cripples OR the epitome of masculine patriotism. Learn more on the blog: http://bit.ly/emptyslvs 
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Introduction
On Flag Day, Saturday, June 14, 2014, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History invites Americans around the globe to join in a worldwide commemoration of the flag and the anthem. Raise it Up! Anthem for America will be a call to millions of Americans to participate in singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" simultaneously, led by a special guest on the National Mall, steps from the original flag that flew over Fort McHenry in 1814.

Visit us on the National Mall
1400 Constitution Avenue NW Washington DC 20560