Nation of Nations Exhibit

The National Museum of American History exhibit, March 12, 1976 – April 30, 1991. Through more than 5,000 original objects, this exhibition documented the diversity of people who came to America over the centuries and affirmed that America is linked to other nations by an intricate web of cultural ties. The 1st section, "1776: A New Nation," explored immigration patterns to 1800. The exhibition showed early explorers from Spain, France, Holland, and England, then from almost every portion of Europe, as well as forced immigration by black Africans. The 2nd section, "Old Ways in a New Nation," explored the increasing flow of immigrants throughout the 19th century, their usual method of travel, traditional ways of working, and modes of social organization. The 3rd section, "Shared Experiences in a New Nation," focused on the "American" activities and environments shared by immigrants from the close of the Civil War to present day. Some shared experiences addressed in this section include becoming a United States citizen, attending free public schools, learning the routines of military basic training, and participating in and enjoying the world of entertainment (sports, movies, television). Highlights included a classroom from Cleveland's Dunham Elementary School.