National Museum of American History - 2nd Floor

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by kwasiak on January 15, 2006

The National Museum of American History is located on the National Mall. The closest metro station is Federal Triangle, which is located on the Blue and Orange Lines. The museum is open every day, excepy Christmas, from 10am to 5:30pm.

This is on my first visit to the Museum, where I spent over three hours, but only saw the exhibits on the 2nd floor, which is the floor you enter the museum on. The first thing you see as you enter the museum is a United States Flag hanging fromt the ceiling. This is where the original Star Spangled Banner once hung. The flag that now hangs here was the one hung over the damaged side of the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001. Another prominent object is located as you enter the West Wing of the Museum. It is a statue of our first president, George Washington.

One of the exhibits on this floor is Whatever Happened to Polio? This exhibit shows how the disease affected people and how it was treated. It also told of the development of a vaccine and how it was distributed around the world resulting in the wiping out of the disease. The exhibit contains video and audio of survivors telling their stories of surviving the disease. The exhibit also contains an iron lung that was used to save many and a pair of leg braces used by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Also, on this floor is probably the most popular exhibit in the museum. The exhibit contains the preservation room that holds the original Star Spangled Banner. In this room it was cleaned and worked on to help preserve it for the viewing of future generations of Americans. The exhibit also contains many artifacts relating to the history of this flag that inspired our national anthem. I really enjoyed listening to the original song tune that Francis Scott Key's The Star Spangled Banner was based on.

Another popular exhibit on this floor is First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image. This exhibit contains some of the dresses worn by these ladies during their time as First Lady. The exhibit also tells of how these famous ladies helped our country on their own and through their influence on their husbands.

Some of the other exhibits on this floor are Communities in a Changing Nation, which shows the history of immigrant communities; Field to Factory, which gives the history of the African American migration during the early 1900s; and Ceremonial Court, which is a replication of part of the White House as it appeared during the Theodore Roosevelt term.
Smithsonian National Museum of American History
14th Street And Constitution Avenue, NW
Washington, DC
(202) 357-1300

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