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National Museum of American History
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Dorothy's Ruby Slippers are nearly 80 years old. Help us #KeepThemRuby: http://s.si.edu/ktr
Dorothy's Ruby Slippers are nearly 80 years old. Help us #KeepThemRuby: http://s.si.edu/ktr

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Did you know that black beauty salons were critical hubs for the civil rights movement? Historian Jay Driskell explores this story on our blog through the life of the businesswoman Marjorie Stewart Joyner: http://s.si.edu/2flVSXe
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"There's no place like home..." Dorothy's Ruby Slippers—now nearly 80 years old—have called this museum home for more than 30 years. Now YOU can join Smithsonian and Kickstarter in our campaign to preserve this American icon, and get exclusive rewards and updates. Will you help us #KeepThemRuby?http://s.si.edu/ktr

#WizardOfOz #ClassicHollywood #DorothyGale


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Today in 1902: Businessman Ray A. Kroc is born. Under Kroc's direction, McDonald's grew to become the giant we know today.

By 2013, McDonald's signs could be found in all 50 states as well as about 120 countries. This sign was made in the U.S. for use in Japan. While the writing is in Japanese, the sign remains instantly recognizable due to its color scheme and signature golden arches.
The restaurant's look is standardized, but so is the menu, making only a few concessions to local tastes. (There's a Teriyaki McBurger in Japan, for example.)

Learn more about globalization in our "American Enterprise" online exhibition: http://s.si.edu/1O8UuVh
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Today in 1998: After playing in a record 2,632 consecutive games, Cal Ripken Jr. of the Orioles sits out a game against Yankees. His autograph appears on this Baltimore Orioles baseball.
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Today in 1912: Ella Ray, wife of a Panama Canal worker, receives word that her husband has died in a Panamanian hospital. The news later turned out to be untrue, but Ray's story reveals some of the challenges of working in the Canal Zone. http://s.si.edu/2cWA5WP

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Pop quiz, history fans! What is this mystery object? Who do you think used it and what did it do?

We'll share in the answer this afternoon!
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This Blackberry belonged to a law firm partner who arrived at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, just minutes after the first tower was hit. Using this Blackberry, he stayed in constant communication with his staff all day until he had located everyone.

Blackberry devices were also instrumental in the publication of the "Wall Street Journal" on September 12, 2001. Although their offices were vacated and their staff scattered, writers were able to use their Blackberrys to write stories and submit them to editorial staff as events unfolded on September 11th.
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Today is the 50th anniversary of the premiere of "Star Trek" on NBC. To celebrate #StarTrek50, lower your shields and lock your tractor beams on Smithsonian Channel's "Building Star Trek:"

http://bitly.com/BuildingStarTrek "Make it so."
1979 Thermos featuring the USS Enterprise from the first Star Trek film, "Star Trek: The Motion Picture."

#LLandP #StarTrek #BoldlyGo50
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Success!

Over 200 pages of handwritten mining history are now available to all thanks to over 50 digital volunteers from 15 countries who helped transcribe it. The journal records the history of coal mining in Pennsylvania during a particularly dramatic year—1897. Throughout the summer of 1897, the coal fields were shaken by waves of protests and strikes, many of them spearheaded by a then-young union, the United Mine Workers of America.

Thank you to everyone who pitched in to help transcribe and to spread the word. Click to learn more about the journal and see the completed project.
Want to help on future projects? Check out the Smithsonian Transcription Center: https://transcription.si.edu

#MiningHistory #Mining1897 #AmericanHistory
#CoalMining #BlackAndWhite 
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On today's date in 1886, this "regulator" clock fell over, thanks to an earthquake that rocked Charleston, South Carolina. It was returned to the E. Howard and Company of Boston for quick repairs.

Most 19th century American clocks were cheaply made for domestic use. But a few firms made finely finished precision clocks for applications where accuracy was vital: determining the time of scientific observations, for example, or regulating other clocks and watches. E. Howard and Company made these special clocks.

This one was advertised as an "astronomical clock" recommended for observatories, watchmakers' shops, and railroad depots. Such a clock is today called a regulator, a particularly accurate timepiece designed exclusively for keeping time. Nonessential complications like striking mechanisms, calendar work, and moon dials are omitted. The case is likewise unadorned.

This particular clock has a 16-inch silvered dial that indicates hours, minutes, and seconds separately. The steel pendulum rod carries two glass jars filled with mercury. The expansion and contraction of the mercury compensates for changes in the rod's length as the room temperature rises and falls.

About 1855, E. Howard and Company sold this clock to James Allan and Company, a Charleston, South Carolina, jewelry firm whose name is engraved on the dial. The regulator stood in the same Allan family store from 1865 until it came to the Smithsonian in 1977, except for the brief period when it was returned for repairs.

Explore the other clocks in our collection: http://s.si.edu/2aN2rmK
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