Which blog posts were your favorites this year? Here are the top ten.
With 20,052 pageviews, the post announcing the Frame an Iconic American project was our most popular of the year. We collaborated with photographer Robert Weingarten to create a biographical portrait of one of five iconic Americans and asked blog readers to vote for which would receive the honor. More than 11,000 votes were cast and the portrait of winner Celia Cruz, "The Queen of Salsa," is now on display in the museum. Judging from the number of people who read the post and voted, this participatory project was a popular one. We’ll provide more opportunities to engage with the museum through the blog in 2013.
A post reflecting on the legacy of Cecilia Cruz claims the spot for our second most popular blog post of 2012.
The Italian soul of Steve Jobs was our third most popular blog post this year, with 3,315 pageviews. Though Jobs didn't have a drop of Italian blood, he "imbibed the principles of simple functional design that came to define his technological style" from the Italians, wrote Art Moella, director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
The making of Labor Day was also quite popular at 3,236 pageviews and 238 "likes" on Facebook. "The Pullman Strike, led by ... Eugene V. Debs, was crushed, and Debs imprisoned. Within days of the strike's end, Democratic President Grover Cleveland rushed a bill recognizing Labor Day through Congress. Not a single elected official in Congress voted against this measure," wrote labor historian Paul Buhle.
"Ba-ro-me-ter, ba-ro-me-ter!" says a voice from over 130 years ago. Our fifth most popular blog post explained how we have given voice back to recordings made by Alexander Graham Bell in the 1880s. Another post on the sound recordings was our ninth most popular, titled "Trilled R’s and the dawn of recorded sound in America."
World War II hero Audie Murphy claimed the next most popular blog post. "On January 26, 1945, he single-handedly held off six tanks and a force of 250 Germans by climbing on a burning tank destroyer and utilizing its .50 caliber machine gun," wrote Kathleen Golden, Associate Curator in the Division of Armed Forces History.
Inspired by the movie War Horse, another popular post focused on Winchester, the celebrity horse ridden by General Sheridan during the Civil War. Since the War Horse book is written in the voice of the horse, curator Kathleen Golden wrote her blog post in the voice of Winchester: "I was wounded at Stones River, and again at Missionary Ridge and Fisher's Hill, but the wounds were not serious. I maintained a level head and steady nerves through all of that. But my finest hour came on October 19, 1864..."
The Girl Scouts celebrated their centennial in 2012—and so did the museum. Tim Winkle, associate curator with the Division of Home and Community Life, coordinated a popular series of Girl Scout-related posts that received a total of 9,052 pageviews, making it an extremely popular feature on the blog.
Another centennial was commemorated this year: the sinking of the RMS Titanic. Curator of Maritime History Dr. Paul Johnston was quoted in the blog post as saying, "For some the reason the Titanic has echoed, it's resonated in the public imagination... There are still lawsuits over it, still fascination with it."
What do you want to see on the blog in 2013? Share your ideas in this short survey.
Erin Blasco is an education specialist in the New Media Department. Her favorite blog post of the year focused on the best beverages of colonial times, including cider and whiskey.