Media preview: National Museum of American History Celebrates 50th Anniversary

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Photo opportunity and media “open house” for 50th anniversary exhibitions, including a Ford Mustang made in 1964, two cases and new displays highlighting culture and science in the ’60s.

Friday, May 16, 2014 -

Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History

14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W.

NOTE: Use the National Mall entrance on Madison Drive

John Gray, director, National Museum of American History

Art Molella, director, Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation

“Making a Modern Museum: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the National Museum of American History” examines the museum’s growth in the 50 years since it opened as the Museum of History and Technology in 1964. The display includes blueprints and photographs of the museum’s construction, copies of the congressional legislation authorizing its creation and the changing of its name in 1980, a program from the dedication ceremony presided over by President Lyndon B. Johnson and archival photos from early museum exhibitions. 

Also opening May 16, “ Continuity and Change: Fifty Years of Museum History” displays modern digital photographic prints of key National Museum of History and Technology and National Museum of American History exhibitions and activities, showcasing the transformation of the museum from one of history and technology into a museum devoted to American history.

On the museum’s first floor, visitors take a step back in time to the early 1960s with a 1964 Ford Mustang and two cases that highlight aspects of culture and innovation from that era. Objects include a child’s “Midget Mustang” pedal car, books and music, computers and medical devices.  

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