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Within These Walls... GalleryVirtual TourVictory Garden Did You Know?
The Smithsonian Institution invites you to visit Within These Walls... at the National Museum of American History, Behring Center, in Washington, D.C.

See a real two-and-one-half story house brought from Massachusetts to the Smithsonian and now located on the Museum's second floor. Discover the stories of five families who lived in the house over 200 years and made history in their kitchens and parlors through everyday choices and personal acts of courage and sacrifice. Learn how their lives reflected the great changes and events in American history, from colonial times, the American Revolution, slavery and abolition, immigration and industrialization, to World War II.

Look inside the house to find original architectural details, as well as furnishings suggesting how some of the rooms might have been used in the 1760s, 1840s, and 1940s. See an 18th-century doll, a rare Revolutionary War coat, an antislavery almanac, and World War II posters, along with more than 100 other artifacts. Try your hand at wringing laundry, like the Irish immigrant laundress who lived here in the 1870s and 1880s. Take home a free brochure that will help you find the history of your own home and neighborhood. From May to October, near the Museum's cafeteria, stop by to view an outdoor victory garden created to recall another garden once planted in the backyard of this house during the 1940s by a woman with two sons at war.

The National Museum of American History, Behring Center

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Learn more about the Museum by signing up for our monthly newsletter or reading our blog.


National Museum of American History
National Museum of American History, Washington, D.C.

...that the National Museum of American History opened in January 1964 as the Museum of History and Technology? It was the sixth Smithsonian building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In 1980, the Museum's name was changed to better represent its basic mission - the collection, care, and study of objects that reflect the experience of the American people.