This cloth banner celebrates the electoral victory of Thomas Jefferson over John Adams in the presidential election of 1800. The banner is believed to be one of the earliest surviving textiles carrying partisan imagery, created at the dawn of the first American party system in which power passed
When Theodore Roosevelt was elected President in 1904 and needed an inaugural medal, he gave the commission to scupltor Augustus Saint-Gaudens after rejecting the standard, unmemorable medal typically produced for this occasion by the United States Mint.
During World War II, the U.S. military needed to find accurate ways to guide missiles to their targets. Harvard University psychologist B. F. Skinner suggested that a missile nose cone be supplied with three compartments, each with a window. A pigeon would be placed in each section, and trained t
The ENIAC was a large, general-purpose digital computer built to compute ballistics tables for U.S. Army artillery during World War II. Occupying a room 30 feet by 50 feet, ENIAC—the Electrical Numerical Integrator and Computer—weighed 30 tons and used some 18,000 vacuum tubes. It could compu
While leg makeup has been commercially available since the 1920s, it wasn't until rationing was introduced during the World War II that the product became an essential commodity for many American women. Unable to procure silk or nylon hose, many women resorted to painting their legs with products
Photographs can be powerful connections to the past. Soldiers, for example often had their portraits made before going off to war so that loved ones would have a rememberance of them in the event they did not return. This decorative mat is unusual and suggests the pride the owner may have felt ab
Declaring the distances to such places as Boston, San Francisco, and Toledo, this sign post graced the set of M*A*S*H during the show's run. Set in Korea during the 1950s, the show revolved around the work and antics of the staff of a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH). Its final episo
The Global Positioning System (GPS) consists of NAVSTAR satellites in earth orbit that send signals to receivers on land, sea, or in the air. The system became operational in 1978. Its military usefulness was demonstrated during Operation Desert Storm (1991), when coalition troops with receivers
This lithograph illustrates the chaos and conflict engulfing northern Mexico during the years of the Mexican-American War from 1846-1848. In these years the United States organized an Army of Occupation, initially led by General Zachary Taylor, to capture cities like Monterrey in preparation for
Many of the surgical sets used during the American Civil War were made to the specifications of the Union Army. This Civil War surgical set was made by George Tiemann & Company of New York City. Tiemann, who emigrated to America from Germany in 1826, was considered one of the finest surgical
Drawing on Takaki's vast array of primary sources, and staying true to his own words whenever possible, A Different Mirror for Young People brings ethnic history alive through the words of people, including teenagers, who recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and poems. Like Zinn's A Peopl
Japanese Americans reflect on their years spent in internment camps as children or young adults. They discuss the process of being forced from their homes, and their ability to make the prisons more livable despite oppressive conditions.