Thursday 18 Mar, 2010

National Museum of Natural History turns 100

Yesterday the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) turned 100!  The museum, whose 126 million natural science specimens and cultural artifacts include the Hope Diamond, is dedicated to inspiring learning and discovery of the natural world through research, exhibitions and education outreach programs.  In addition to the Washington, D.C., location, the museum includes a storage facility in Maryland, a marine science research facility in Florida and various field stations across the world including one in Kenya. 

As part of this milestone, the NMNH will be opening a photographic exhibition in May, 2010 that documents its 100-year history. 

A fun fact about the museum is that it is two blocks long and covers almost four acres.  To put this in perspective, when it was first built in 1910, it was the second largest structure in Washington, D.C.!  On its opening day, 1,600 spectators came out, and since then the museum has welcomed 290 million people, making it one of the most popular museums in the world.

My favorite NMNH collection is the gems and minerals because I used to have my own precious stone collection growing up.  Not only is it fascinating to see the largest and most famous polished gemstones in the world, it’s also really interesting to see natural rocks from the earth.

Elephant at Museum of Natural History