Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Smithsonian Institute

On July 10th, 1846, President James Knox Polk, formerly of Mecklenburg County, 20 miles from where I now reside, established the Smithsonian Institute. It would not be completed for 9 more years and then it became, for a while, the "nation's attic." It's where we put stuff we didn't know what to do with.

When I was a kid the Institute was the main attraction with the added feature of the new Air and Space Museum. Now the Institute is a complex consisting of 16 museums in all, including the National Gallery of Art. All are easily accessed by Public Transportation. Get acquanted with them through this link and if you ever have the chance to see our nations Capitol, then make the time to go.


There's something for everybody in this wonderful collection of American art, sculpture, and even actual planes; such as the Spirit of St Louis, in which Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic solo, something which had never been done before. The plane sits above the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo capsules, which eventually took us to the Moon. The contrast is awe inspiring. In only a 66 year span, man had gone from walking to flying to the Moon...

Thanks to the vision of one of our lesser celebrated President's, this Museum is still the "nation's attic", and a great place to look at our collective pasts and futures. Exhibit dates and transportation information are provided on the site, which is easily navigated, even by me!

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