Digging Up James Smithson

Alexander Graham Bell traveled to Italy at the turn of the 20th century on an audacious mission to rescue the remains of the man whose legacy endowed the Smithsonian Institution.

Alexander Graham Bell did not spend the Christmas season of 1903 in the festive tradition. On the contrary, the inventor of the telephone passed the holiday engaged in a ghoulish Italian adventure involving a graveyard, old bones, and the opening of a moldy casket. Accompanied by his wife, Mabel, he had traveled by steamship from America at his own expense and made his way down to the Italian Mediterranean by train.Read more »

“They Were Always In My Attic”

The Smithsonian gets a remarkable new archive


Do you want Constitution Avenue or Independence?”asks 81-year-old Frank Kameny, from the passenger seat, as he guides the much younger man who’s driving to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History from Kameny’s modest brick house in northwest Washington. Kameny was already living in the house in 1957 when he got fired from his job as an astronomer with the Army Map Service and began an 18-year campaign, finally successful, to end the U. S.

Homosexuals picket the White House, October 1965; a 1963 button sets forth the movement's goal.
kameny papers project2007_1_10
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