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Someone Left A Noose Inside The African American History Museum In DC
"It's clearly a message to the museum," a Smithsonian spokesperson said.
By David Mack

Visitors were removed from a section of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, on Wednesday after a noose was found on the floor of one of the rooms, Smithsonian officials said.

It’s the second time this week a noose has been discovered on the grounds of a Smithsonian museum.

The rope was found Wednesday by a tourist inside one of the museum’s three history galleries, the Era of Segregation 1786-1968, Smithsonian spokeswoman Linda St. Thomas told BuzzFeed News.

“It was rather a small rope thing and not something that would set off the magnetometers,” she said.

“Park Police removed it and we reopened the gallery about an hour later,” she said.

Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton informed staffers of the discovery via email on Wednesday afternoon, calling it “deeply disturbing news.” A copy of the email was obtained by BuzzFeed News.

“The Smithsonian family stands together in condemning this act of hatred and intolerance, especially repugnant in a museum that affirms and celebrates the American values of inclusion and diversity. We will not be intimidated,” he wrote.

Nooses are often used to intimidate African Americans, evoking an era of lynching and subjugation.

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When Scientists Get Accidentally Artsy

A new exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History lies right at the intersection of art and science, showcasing the inherent beauty of skeletons — that is, fish skeletons.

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     Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, offers the unique sight of a complete Mercury spacecraft. Many of these spacecraft are available for viewing all over the United States, but this one is special because it did not fly.

     During the course of a Mercury flight, several parts of the spacecraft are jettisoned and not recovered, including the retro package. This piece of equipment is visible here in my photos as the striped metal object strapped to the bottom of the heat shield. This small cluster of solid rocket motors was responsible for the safe return of the astronaut from space, making just enough thrust to change the shape of the orbit so that it would meet the atmosphere and use aerobraking for a ballistic reentry.

     If this package had not fired properly, the astronaut would be faced with the dire situation of being stuck in orbit. Fortunately, this never happened in real life, but it was captured in the fanciful novel “Marooned” by Martin Cardin, in which a NASA astronaut was stranded on orbit after his retro rockets failed. When the book was released in 1964, it was so influential that it actually changed procedures for Mercury’s follow on program Project Gemini, adding more redundancy to the spacecraft’s reentry flight profile.

     Alan Shepard, the first American in space and later Apollo 14 moonwalker, didn’t fail to notice that there was a leftover spacecraft at the end of the Mercury program. He lobbied for a second Mercury flight in this ship, speaking personally to both NASA Administrator James Webb and President John Kennedy about this flight. He told them his idea of an “open ended” mission in which they would keep him in orbit indefinitely until there was a malfunction or consumables began to run out. Webb stated (and Kennedy agreed) that it was more important to shelve the Mercury spacecraft in order to jump start the more capable Gemini Program. Thus, we now have this whole Mercury on display for future generations to appreciate.

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Hello, all my lovely followers! Long time no see! Sorry for the prolonged lack of original posts, but I’ve been crazy busy at my new job as Library Technician at Smithsonian Libraries (@smithsonianlibraries)! I’m working primarily at the Cullman Library in the Natural History Museum, which houses the Smithsonian’s special collections relating to natural history, although I’ve also spent some time at the Dibner Library, which is home to special collections relating to the physical sciences.

Although I’ve only been there for two months, I’ve had the opportunity to do and see some amazing things! From a shelving unit for miniature books to a well-loved 13th century Armenian manuscript (MSS 1675B), the Libraries are truly full of wonders great and small. One of my favorites is the volvelle, or rotating calculator, found in a 16th century alchemical manuscript (MSS 867B)– I just love it when books are interactive! Expect more from that one in the future.

Happy Black History Month!

See the work of Horace Pippin on view in Masterworks from the Hirshhorn Collection

Serving in an African American regiment during World War I in France, self-taught artist Horace Pippin received a wound that partially paralyzed his right arm. Thereafter, Pippin used painting  as a physical therapy, and in 1931 was able to complete his first oil painting. Although his earliest works are somber depictions of his wartime experiences, his later scenes are hopeful and imbued with religious faith. “Holy Mountain III” (1945) is based on the biblical passage Isaiah 11:6-9, a prophecy that describes a peaceful world in which predatory animals live in harmony with their prey. A dense forest is suggested behind the flowered field, in which small, shadowy figures threaten to disturb the utopia.

If you crack open a beer this Fourth of July, history might not be the first thing on your mind. But for Theresa McCulla, the first brewing historian at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the story of beer is the story of America.

“If you want to talk about the history of immigration in America, or urbanization or the expansion of transportation networks, really any subject that you want to explore, you can talk about it through beer,” McCulla says.

Since taking the job earlier this year, she has combed through the Smithsonian’s archives and pulled out treasures that show beer’s part in American history — whether that has to do with advertising, technology, gender roles or even popular entertainment.

Pointing to some sheet music in the collection for a song called “Budweiser Is a Friend of Mine,” she explains that the tune premiered on Broadway at the Ziegfeld Follies in 1907.

“The lyrics of the song tell the story of a man who goes out drinking in a bar and sings about how he prefers his Budweiser to his wife, because his beer does not talk back to him,” McCulla says. “But the song concludes with his wife pouring him a schooner of Budweiser at home so he does not need to drink elsewhere.”

How The Story Of Beer Is The Story Of America

Photos: Underwood Archives/Getty Images; National Museum of American History, Archives Center

Louise Daniel Hutchinson (1928-2014) was an important contributor to the preservation of African American history. She was a driving force behind the Anacostia Community Museum in Washington D.C., created specifically with the intention of bringing culture closer to the particular neighbourhood.

She started working for the Smithsonian in 1971, researching  African American portraits. In 1974, she became the Historian and Director of Research for the Anacostia Museum, expanding its collections and developing its oral history programme. Some exhibitions she brought to the museum include Out of Africa: From West Kingdoms to Colonization, and Black Women: Achievements Against the Odds.

We hope your weeked rocks.

A rock concert inspired artist Debra Baxter to create her “Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles” series. This one, a lefty, is on view at our @americanartmuseum’s #RenwickGallery, which is home to the museum’s collection of contemporary craft and decorative art.

Debra Baxter, “Devil Horns Crystal Brass Knuckles (Lefty),“ 2015, quartz crystal and sterling silver. Smithsonian American Art Museum, gift of the artist in honor of Joanna and David Baxter © 2015, Debra Baxter

You Saved Me - Part 1

Request from @fandom-rpblogHey can I make a request? Can you write one in where after the events of winter soldier, (ignoring civil war as I haven’t seen it yet), Bucky has been re-introduced to the world and is recovering slowly and he and reader are sort of a thing as she was the one who found him after the events of winter soldier and she find out she is pregnant and fluff, and stuff. Please.

Note: Okay, so, as you can tell from the title this is going to be a series. Probably only about three parts though; this is because I couldn’t stop typing when I wrote out their initial meeting and there’s only so long a post can be! :) This is almost an introduction just so you know how they met before we go further into it. It was a great request so wanted to do it justice….which I felt could be done more by making it a series. Hope you enjoy! <3 Going to put bits of their past in each part too to flesh their relationship out more. 

Bucky x Reader

Words: 2027

Warnings: Violence and swearing.

Disclaimer: None of the GIFs used are mine. All credit goes to their creators <3

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4(End)

TWO YEARS AGO.

For the third time that week you found yourself walking through the doors to The Smithsonian; you didn’t know why you were visiting once again because nothing had changed since the last time you graced the halls of this place but ever since your first visit here as a child you found that you could escape in here, forget about the worries that always seemed to creep up into your life, instead you could immerse yourself in the history of other people and simply…..forget.

The Captain America exhibit was the newest addition to the institute and, personally, one of your favourites. It wasn’t every day that you were able to see into the personal life of someone that saved thousands of lives and given that he had saved yours during the attack on New York you felt like you liked to see just what it was that had made him such a brave and courageous individual.

Some bits made you laugh, others brought a tear to your eyes, but most of all you simply found yourself smiling from ear to ear at the fact that an ordinary kid from Brooklyn had become a treasured superhero. Seemed anything really was possible.

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