Unusual Tourist Sites: The Smithsonian Institute Washington, D.C. Part 2

About the unusual tourist site The Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. how and how founded it, history of America's attic.

The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

In addition to the Spirit of St. Louis, the displays attracting most attention are the famous Hope diamond, the array of inaugural gowns worn by all First Ladies, the Apollo 11 Command Module, the dinosaurs in the Natural History Museum, and the pandas at the National Zoo.

The National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian, as are the Freer Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Art, the National Collection of Fine Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Renwick Gallery, and the very new Joseph H. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden housing some 6,000 art masterpieces. In addition, a new $40 million Air and Space Museum is to open July 4, 1976, with astronaut Michael Collins as its director.

If your time is limited, try visiting the National Air and Space Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, the Museum of History and Technology, and the Freer Gallery, all of which are on the Mall and close to one another. If you have more time, stroll a few blocks to see the National Portrait Gallery, the National Collection of Fine Arts, and the Renwick Gallery, or take a bus or taxi, or drive to the National Zoo.

Summer visitors may find the Smithsonian's Folk Life Festival in progress on the Mall. Performing arts groups representing many nations entertain with native music and dancing and arts and crafts. The festival usually lasts 2 or 3 weeks, but the time may be extended for the 1976 bicentennial.

Locations: Between 7th and 14th Streets, from Independence to Constitution Avenues, are the Smithsonian Building, the Arts and Industries Building, the Air and Space Building, the Freer Gallery of Art, the National Museum of History and Technology, the Museum of Natural History, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Hours: 10 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. (Summer months: 10 A.M. to 9 P.M.) Closed Christmas Day only.

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