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Smithsonian National Museum of American History

A powerful and fascinating institution, this collection of more than 3 million artefacts captures American history and culture.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Washington DC
Freedom Plaza
Originally known as Western Plaza, the landmark was renamed in honour of Martin Luther King Jr for its proximity to the Willard Hotel, where he wrote his "I Have A Dream" speech.
Washington Monument
The symbol of the nation's capital dedicated to its namesake, the Washington Monument towers above the city.
Star-Spangled Banner, 1814
Let yourself be astounded by the 200 year old flag from the Battle of Baltimore, where Francis Scott Key penned "O say does that Star-Spangled Banner yet wave."
Dorothy's Original Ruby Red Slippers, 1939
Dorothy's "There's no place like home" slippers always crack the top ten list of iconic items on display at the National Museum of American History
Antibody Science
From eradicating smallpox and battling tetanus, the National Museum of American History documents the American role in antibody based therapies and diagnostics.
Women's Suffrage
Beyond gaining the right to vote, explore the advancements women have made in math, science, and art.

Related Tours

Private Guided Tour of Two Smithsonian Museums
This tour is the ultimate All-American story of the Smithsonian Museums, taking you on visits to both the National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum. 

  • First, take a trip to the National Museum of American History 
  • See the artifacts underpinning American political landscape and undertones, with an emphasis on American women's history and Latino American's story in the country 
  • Following this, explore the world's largest collection of historical space artifacts and aircraft 
  • Immerse yourself in highlights including the Wright Brothers Flyer and Amelia Earhart's Plane. 
  • Learn about the Space Race and the Apollo mission to the moon 

The National Museum of American History

First, venture through the National Museum of American History, where myriad American treasures are on display. From a flag flying during the Battle of Baltimore to photographs taken of Titanic survivors aboard the Carpathia, iconic America is yours to grab hold of - or at least see for yourself. Interested in a richer, more nuanced story of the country? Your guide will be able to take you through the museum focusing on segregation, on immunization and medical advancement, or breakthroughs made by women in math, science, photography and textiles.  

National Air and Space Museum DC

Next, take a journey out of this world to the National Air and Space Museum, which spans more than 45,000 square meters. Explore the world’s largest collection of historical space artifacts and aircraft. Let yourself be swept away into space, as you immerse yourself in the the most groundbreaking space programs in history, including the Apollo mission that landed Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon. 
Private Full Day Highlights of D.C.
As America’s cultural centre, Washington DC is more than just the home of the President. DC is rich in history, proud in heritage, and a fascinating multi-layered destination.
 
  • Stand in awe of the Washington Monument, once the tallest structure in the world in 1884.
  • Admire the Lincoln Memorial - see if you can spot the carved mistake on a word on the north wall - it’s been touched up, but can still be seen.  
  • Learn about the importance of the Potomac River on the history of the city.
  • See DC’s ‘Big 3’: the Capitol, White House and Supreme Court. 
  • See the first equestrian statue ever made in the United States. 
  • Enjoy a delicious local lunch of your choice of DC eatery (paid locally by guest).  
  • Immerse yourself in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  
  • Explore the National Museum of American History, home to the original Star-Spangled Banner. 
  • Discover which DC home has 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows and 6 stories. 
At 68-square-miles, Washington DC has more than the political arena with which to seduce its many visitors, from the secrets of the FBI Building, CIA Headquarters to over 70 museums devoted to almost every topic, including an International Spy Museum, American Indian art and African-American culture. On your DC in a Day: Full Day Highlights Tour you will discover the heart and soul of America’s capital district, on a guided journey to its key attractions that do DC justice - politics and all.
 
As you discuss the city’s role in historical events, you will journey around DC’s most famous memorials, monuments and landmarks to read the Gettysburg Address inscription at the Lincoln Memorial and reflect on the impact of America’s Civil War. The beautiful Korean War Veterans Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial both evoke the sobriety of America’s involvement in overseas conflicts. At the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, it is impossible not to feel uplifted and inspired by the power of the words he penned for his famous I Have a Dream address. DC is spoiled for choice for world class-exhibitions and museums, and your DC in a Day: Full Day Highlights finale are two absolute gems - the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of American History. 
 
The Apollo Lunar Module LM2, Dorothy's ruby slippers and Washington's forged steel battle sword are just a handful of the museum’s 3-million items in a compelling collection devoted to the scientific, cultural, social, technological, and political development of the United States. This celebration of heritage, and the American identity, runs from colonial times to the present -  and is wholly engrossing, be it Muhammed Ali’s boxing gloves, the first ever Barbie doll or Prince’s yellow cloud guitar. 
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