Today marks the 169th birthday of the founding of the Smithsonian Institution, created with a grant by an Englishman, James Smithson, whose body is interred in a tomb in the original building of the institution, the Smithsonian Castle, which was dedicated by Congressman and former President John Quincy Adams in 1846, after legislation was signed into law by President James K. Polk.
Smithson was a chemist and mineralogist, who became the donor of the founding of an institution named in his honor, although Smithson never visited the United States, but he made it clear in his will of his great admiration for the United States, and desire to give a bequest for the promotion of learning and knowledge.
The institution named in Smithson”s honor has become the largest museum-educational complex in the world including 19 museums, 9 research centers, and a zoo, including among them the following:
National Air and Space Museum
National Museum of American History
National Museum of Natural History
National Portrait Gallery
National Museum of the American Indian
Smithsonian American Art Museum
National Museum of African American History and Culture
This pursuit of knowledge in the arts, sciences, culture, and history is a national treasure, and a “must see” for tourists in Washington, DC!