2009 is upon us. The last year has seen major changes. For us here at the museum, being open again is certainly among the largest! As a country we’re approaching a change of historic proportions—where one administration will leave office and another will take its place. On January 20, 2009 Barack Obama will be sworn in as the forty-fourth President of the United States.
If you’re planning on coming to witness the swearing-in or parade be sure to stop by and get warm while you take in some of the sights. We’ve put up answers to the most common questions we’ve received regarding visiting on Inauguration Day. You’ll be in good company—historical interpreters will be on hand portraying past presidents Washington, Jefferson, and Lincoln. If you’re interested in exhibitions that relate to the presidency or the inauguration you might want to seek out the following:
- The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden explores the personal, public, ceremonial, and executive actions of the 43 men who have held the office of President over the past 220 years.
- The First Ladies at the Smithsonian showcases objects from our nearly century-old collection, including 14 dresses ranging from Martha Washington to Laura Bush.
- Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life (opening Jan. 16) brings together—for the first time—the museum’s unique and unparalleled Lincoln collection to explore the life and times of this extraordinary figure.
- America’s New Birth of Freedom: Documents from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (opening Jan. 16 in the Albert Small Documents Gallery) hosts 10 rare and important documents from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill, including a signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and letters expressing Lincoln’s views toward emancipation and the conclusion of the Civil War.
Dan Hoerr is new media assistant at the National Museum of American History.