Tue. Jun 18th, 2019

Hankering for History

Hanker: To have a strong, often restless desire, in this case for–you guessed it–history!

Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

2 min read
Suit belonging to Benjamin Franklin

Suit belonging to Benjamin Franklin

Suit belonging to Benjamin Franklin
Suit belonging to Benjamin Franklin
April 12th, 2012, a day which will live in infamy. Well, probably not, but today was the inception of The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History exhibit. This exhibit—which probably does have a few items from the days of Pearl Harbor—will feature iconic objects that date back to 1620, all the way to 2008. A visitor to this exhibit would find objects ranging from a trendy outfit from Benjamin Franklin’s wardrobe, (left) to the one and only Kermit the Frog (below). With the rich history that America has, I would imagine that an exhibit of this nature would bring a phenomenal amount of attention to The Smithsonian and that the ticket-purchasing tourists would want to flock from all corners of America to see it. The museum is arranged in a timeline format, starting with the landing on Plymouth Rock and ending with featured political odds- and-ends from Barack Obama’s campaign for president. A twist on this museum’s collection is the acquisition of Apple products. They have “ancient technology” ranging from a 1980 Apple II computer to an iPod from 2004. The most impressive part of this exhibit to me is that they are continuing to develop. They are requesting that everyone that comes to the National Museum of American History exhibit leaves behind a comment card with suggestions for additional items to add. Whether intentional or not, The Smithsonian has—in my opinion—established a time capsule. They have gathered great American history from 400 years ago to not only future preserve said history, but to add to it. This is no small feat to have accomplished, and I give them kudos for their efforts. As America continues to move forward, I find it important that our citizens not only plan for our countries future, but also remember the past. To quote the clichéd saying of George Santayana, “Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Those who do not remember their past are condemned to repeat their mistakes.” So hopefully, as a country, we can learn from an exhibit and reflect upon our history as we plan for tomorrow.

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