Tag Archive: Smithsonian Institution

US Air Force Band Surprises Museum Visitors With ‘Holiday Flash Mob’




” If you haven’t seen this yet, it’s packed full of awesome. (Scroll down for video).

  The USAF Band decided to surprise visitors to the National Air and Space Museum with its first ever ‘holiday flash mob.’

They documented it on their blog.

  Dec. 3, 11:53 a.m. – The Air and Space Museum is buzzing with excitement. The United States Air Force Band members disguised in civilian coats roam the museum, acting as tourists. Observing a sign stating that there will be filming in the area, a group of tourists asks an employee what is being filmed. “Something big is happening in here in seven minutes–stick around!” the employee replies. A group of children speculate what the big surprise could possibly be. “I think they might be launching that rocket!” a young boy chimes. “Maybe we’ll get to try on a space suit!” The crowd noise heightens as the clock inches closer to noon. “



   What a wonderful experience , both for the people who were there to see it in person and for those of us lucky enough to see this video . Thanks to the folks at Legal Insurrection for bringing this Christmas treat to our attention .







Smithsonian Brings Alexander Graham Bell Voice Recording to Life



” The voice of Alexander Graham Bell, the man widely given credit to as developing the telephone, can now be heard. Due to a remarkable break-through, Bell’s voice has been shared online for all to hear.

In the age of YouTube and digital music, imagine a society that had no way to hear recorded sound. Just over a mere century ago, there was no recorded sound widely distributed the way it is today. And many of the bits that were invented are possibly long gone never to be listened to again.


Until now. As technology progresses, experts are finding ways to extract audio that was once thought to have been unplayable.

The Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of American History has successfully been able to bring a 1885 recording Alexander Graham Bell created back to life.”







Obama Sandy Aid Bill Filled With Holiday Goodies Unrelated To Storm Damage





” President Obama’s $60.4 billion request for Hurricane Sandy relief has morphed into a huge Christmas stocking of goodies for federal agencies and even the state of Alaska, The Post has learned.

The pork-barrel feast includes more than $8 million to buy cars and equipment for the Homeland Security and Justice departments. It also includes a whopping $150 million for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to dole out to fisheries in Alaska and $2 million for the Smithsonian Institution to repair museum roofs in DC.

An eye-popping $13 billion would go to “mitigation” projects to prepare for future storms.

Other big-ticket items in the bill include $207 million for the VA Manhattan Medical Center; $41 million to fix up eight military bases along the storm’s path, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; $4 million for repairs at Kennedy Space Center in Florida; $3.3 million for the Plum Island Animal Disease Center and $1.1 million to repair national cemeteries.

Budget watchdogs have dubbed the 94-page emergency-spending bill “Sandy Scam.”

The Smithsonian’s Top 6 Archives Myths


Snowflake Study, 1890, by Wilson A. Bentley, Smithsonian Institution Archives.


 ” Blogs across the Smithsonian will be giving an inside look at the Institution’s archival collections and practices during a month long blogathon in celebration of October’s American Archives Month. See additional posts from our other participating blogs, as well as related events and resources, on the Smithsonian’s Archives Month website.

Over the past month, we’ve been highlighting the things that are in the Smithsonian Institution Archives for American Archives Month. But what about the things that aren’t in the archives of the Smithsonian?

In celebration of Archives Month, and to clear up any confusion once and for all, here are the top six Smithsonian archives related myths I (and our archivists) often hear:


The Smithsonian does not have a freezer full of individual snowflakes in its archives (neither in our collections or any of the other archives across the Smithsonian). I see this one on Twitter all the time, and though it’s amazing sounding, it’s not true. However, we do have some incredible photographs of individual snowflakes in our collections, made by “Snowflake” Bentley in the early 1900s. (PS: You can see more of these photos on the Flickr Commons, and we even have some nifty craft templates made from Bentley’s snowflakes for you to use—perfect as the weather gets frostier!) “