The Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D. C. was founded on this day in 1846. The Smithsonian is a group of museums and facilities for research that are under the purview of the U. S. government. It's vast and varied collections have earned it the name of "the nation's attic." The Smithsonian: 150 Years of Adventure, Discovery, and Wonder by James Conaway [069 CON] covers much of the Smithsonian's history.
We are fortunate in that it costs nothing to attend the museums, many of which surround the National Mall. A visit to D. C. should definitely include a trip to the National Air & Space Museum or the National Museum of American History.
Smithsonian Magazine reflects the Smithsonian's mission and vision:
Our MissionThe July/August [MAG SMI] issue has articles on Harper Lee's hometown, the Magna Carta, Pompeii, the Inca Road in Machu Picchu, and lots more.
The increase and diffusion of knowledge
Shaping the future by preserving our heritage, discovering new knowledge, and sharing our resources with the world.
Our collection is full of books published under the auspices of the Smithsonian and cover varied topics such as natural history, penguins, the planets, and butterfly gardening!