Established August 10, 1846
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities and magazines. Most of its facilities are located in Washington, D.C., but its 19 museums, zoo, and nine research centers include sites in New York City, Virginia, Panama, and elsewhere (see below). It has over 136 million items in its collections, publishes two magazines named Smithsonian (monthly) and Air & Space (bimonthly), and Smithsonian YouTube Videos and employs the Smithsonian Police to protect visitors, staff, and the property of the museums. The Institution’s current logo is a stylized sun.
James Smithson’s Gift
“I then bequeath the whole of my property…to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge…”
Preparing the gowns for the First Ladies Exhibition (Michelle Obama inaugural gown donation)