Kenneth E. Behring Centre is the United States' main collection of objects and archives representing the history of the nation.
History and location
Part of the Smithsonian Institution and located in Washington DC, its exhibits and collections reflect the social, political, cultural, scientific and military history of America.
These exhibits range from the original Star spangled Banner to a Dumbo car ride. A key American history museum, the National Museum of American History is located on the National Mall in the capital city of the United States, Washington DC.
The museum first opened in 1964 as the Museum of History and Technology. Developments
It was renamed The National Museum of American History in 1980, reflecting a freshening up of the museum's principles.
The museum states that its mission is to: "preserve for the American people an enduring record of their past." The museum underwent a massive $85 million refurbishment from late 2006 until late 2008.
The museum has a massive collection which preserves over $3 million American national treasures, artefacts which comprise the biggest and deepest collection of American history. Each wing of the three exhibition floors of the museum is anchored by a key object, a physical representation of the the theme of the collections housed there. These key objects include the John Bull locomotive, the Greensboro lunch counter and a Red Cross ambulance.
The focus of the first floor is science and technology, along with transportation and a theme of innovation.
The second floor is where exhibits reflect the ideals of the United States and great American lives.
The second floor, the location of the Star Spangled Banner, is also where the George Washington Statue, created in 1841, is situated. Third floor
The third floor's focus is on American wars and politics, as well as the lives and works of American presidents.
The other wing of the storey focuses on entertainment and sport, as well as music.
There are also a full range of public programmes on offer at the museum, which provides demonstrations, lectures and tours, as well as festivals and storytelling events. There is also a huge Archives Centre, which makes its aim to identify, acquire and preserve significant archival records in many media and formats, in order to document America’s diverse cultures and wide range of historical experiences. The lower level of the museum is entitled, with wry humour, 'Taking America to Lunch'.
There is an exhibit that centres on the American lunch box, as well as the museum's food outlets. Final word
It truly is a museum of national history for, to quote the museum itself, "to inspiring a broader understanding of our nation and its many peoples."