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Smithsonian Day

Celebrate Smithsonian Day with a virtual tour of the world-renowned museums and collections - explore history, science, art, and culture from the comfort of your home!
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September 17
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United States
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Get ready to celebrate Smithsonian Day on September 17! This day was created to recognize the amazing contributions of the Smithsonian Institution - the world's largest museum and research complex. Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian has since grown to include 19 museums, 21 libraries, 9 research centers and over 140 million artifacts in its collection. Celebrate this special day by exploring one of their many exhibitions or galleries, learning something new about history or science or simply just appreciating all that the Smithsonian has to offer.

History of Smithsonian Day

Smithsonian Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1829</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Smithson's Will</div><div class='timeline-text'>James Smithson, an English scientist, wrote his will leaving his wealth to the United States to create "an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge."</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1846</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Establishment of the Smithsonian</div><div class='timeline-text'>The U.S. Congress established the Smithsonian Institution, an educational and research institute, funded by Smithson's bequest.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1855</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Smithsonian Castle Completion</div><div class='timeline-text'>The iconic red sandstone Smithsonian Castle, housing the institution's first secretary and exhibits, was completed.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1881</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Natural History Museum</div><div class='timeline-text'>The National Museum of Natural History opened its doors as the first dedicated museum in the Smithsonian complex.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1976</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Air and Space Museum Opens</div><div class='timeline-text'>The National Air and Space Museum, one of the most visited museums worldwide, opened to the public.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1986</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Smithsonian Day Proclamation</div><div class='timeline-text'>President Ronald Reagan declared September 17 as Smithsonian Day, to honor the institution's extensive contributions to knowledge and culture.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Smithsonian Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit a Smithsonian museum</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take a trip to your local Smithsonian museum and explore the exhibits. Check their websites to see what special events they are hosting for Smithsonian Day.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Research a topic</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Dive into the Smithsonian's extensive archives and research a topic that interests you. There are lots of interesting topics to explore.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Listen to a podcast</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>The Smithsonian's podcast channel is full of fascinating stories. Tune in and listen to something new.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Watch a documentary</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Find a Smithsonian Channel documentary and learn something new. From wildlife to history, there is something for everyone.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Take a virtual tour</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Explore the Smithsonian from the comfort of your own home with virtual tours. Visit the National Museum of Natural History or take a trip through the Air and Space Museum.</p></div></div>

Why We Love Smithsonian Day

<div class='whywelove-item'><div class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 class='whywelove-title'>Incredible Learning Adventure</h3><p class='whywelove-text'>Celebrating Smithsonian Day means embarking on an incredible learning adventure where you can explore history, science, art, and culture. Their vast collections take you from the depths of the ocean to the outer reaches of space, all from the comfort of your home!</p></div></div><div class='whywelove-item'><div class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 class='whywelove-title'>Vast Variety of Topics</h3><p class='whywelove-text'>With 19 museums, 21 libraries, 9 research centers, and over 140 million artifacts, the Smithsonian offers vast breadth and depth of knowledge on a multitude of topics. No matter what your interests are, there’s always something fascinating to discover!</p></div></div><div class='whywelove-item'><div class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 class='whywelove-title'>Convenient and Accessible</h3><p class='whywelove-text'>In the modern digital age, celebrating Smithsonian Day is easier than ever! Thanks to virtual tours and podcasts offered by the institution, anyone can explore this world-renowned institution no matter where they live. It's a great opportunity to learn and explore, even if you can't visit in person.</p></div></div>

5 Astonishing Facts for Smithsonian Day Celebrations

Smithsonian Day FAQs

When is Smithsonian Day?

Smithsonian Day is celebrated on September 17 every year. In 2024 Smithsonian Day will occur on a Tuesday.

Smithsonian Day Dates



Sep 17



Sep 17



Sep 17



Sep 17



Sep 17


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