Moments of Innovation

A history of the Smithsonian

The Smithsonian was founded in the early days of a brand-new democracy, as the United States was developing its identity as a nation that applies new ideas and scientific inquiry to better society. From the beginning, the Smithsonian helped shape that identity. The institution still does, innovating to meet the evolving needs of the American people.

Explore moments of innovation that shaped the Smithsonian over 175 years.

Published January 2021 in IMPACT Vol. 7 No. 1

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