September 23, 1916

Acting Secretary Richard Rathbun gives a brief address and turns the first shovel full of earth to start the construction of the Freer Gallery of Art.


September 22, 1891

A gift of $200,000 is received from Thomas George Hodgkins of Setauket, New York, to be used, in part, for studies of the atmosphere in relation to human health.  He left additional bequests upon his death in November 1892, including $42,000 in West Shore Railroad bonds  and an additional $8,000 in 1894.


September 21, 1978

The National Portrait Gallery opens its first research exhibition in photography, entitled “Facing the Light: Historic American Portrait Daguerreotypes.”


First exam for lion cubs

On September 17, the National Zoo’s lion cubs received their first veterinary exam. All four cubs were deemed healthy and appear to be female. They were born on August 30 and 31 to 5-year-old mother Shera and 4-year-old father Luke. In this photo: Zoo veterinarian Katharine Hope (left) and Lion/Tiger keeper Rebecca Stites examine one… Continue reading First exam for lion cubs


September 20, 1996

The permanent exhibition “How Things Fly” opens at the National Air and Space Museum, offering numerous hands-on and interactive exhibits for visitors. The flexible design will allow changes in the displays as testing discovers what elements work best.


September 19, 1994

I. Michael Heyman becomes the tenth Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. An environmental lawyer, Heyman had been Chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley. He will serve as Secretary until 2000.


September 18, 1981

“Cast and Recast: The Sculpture of Frederic Remington,” which includes 20 casts of four of the sculptor’s best-known works, opens at the National Museum of American Art.

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