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Treasures of American History in Washington
Film still from the movie The Wizard of Oz.

WASHINGTON, DC.- The rarely seen Scarecrow costume worn by Ray Bolger in "The Wizard of Oz" will dance onto display when it joins Dorothy's ruby slippers in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History's "Treasures of American History" exhibition, opening at the National Air and Space Museum on Nov. 17. Featuring more than 150 objects from the museum's collections, the exhibition will explore an engaging mix of the famous, the familiar, and the unexpected from across the museum's vast holdings.

"The museum is thrilled that visitors will be able to see some of American History's most treasured objects while our building is closed," said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. "Showcasing American History objects at Air and Space presents a unique and singular opportunity for visitors to see two diverse and extraordinary collections in one visit."

In addition to objects from "The Wizard of Oz," "Treasures of American History" will feature artifacts drawn from every museum collection, from transportation to politics and reform to home and community life. Highlights will include R2-D2 and C-3PO from "Star Wars," Abraham Lincoln's top hat, the compass used by Lewis and Clark during their journey across the Louisiana Territory, the lunch counter from Greensboro, N.C., where four African American students staged the first "sit-in" in 1960, Thomas Jefferson's Bible, Thomas Edison's lightbulb, General Custer's buckskin jacket and Kermit the Frog. The exhibition will be divided into four sections: Creativity and Innovation, American Biography, National Challenges and American Identity. The exhibition will also feature a new acquisitions case that will allow the museum to showcase its ongoing collecting efforts.

"Treasures of American History" will be on view at the National Air and Space Museum, which is located on the National Mall at 6th and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the fall. Admission is free.

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage through exhibitions and public programs about social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. Documenting the American experience from Colonial times to the present, the museum looks at growth and change in the United States. The museum will close for major renovations beginning Sept. 5.

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