Perhaps one of the most diverse collections of any museum on the Mall it holds artifacts and exhibits to capture everyone’s imagination.
The Star Spangled Banner is the most significant exhibit. On their class trip to Washington DC, your students will see the original garrison flag that inspired Francis Scott Key.
As the Institution writes on their site:
On September 14, 1814, U.S. soldiers at Baltimore’s Fort McHenry raised a huge American flag to celebrate a crucial victory over British forces during the War of 1812. The sight of those “broad stripes and bright stars” inspired Francis Scott Key to write a song that eventually became the United States national anthem. Key’s words gave new significance to a national symbol and started a tradition through which generations of Americans have invested the flag with their own meanings and memories.
Use their interactive site to learn more about the “Flag” before your planned student tour of the museum.
Other notable exhibits feature the John Bull Locomotive in the transportation wing called ‘America on the Move’ situated on the lower level. Another important exhibit is the one on the First Ladies on the upper floors.
Learn more about Edison at the Electricity Hall or see Dorothy’s ruby red shoes from the Wizard of Oz in the American Stories Hall.
Some exhibits rotate; Kermit the frog puppet and C3PO were on view and may yet again resurface. Stay current with the exhibits and you can always check what is planning to be showed if you visit the Museum website or follow the plan your visit link.