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“Friends and Fellow Citizens....The unity of government which constitutes you one people is also now dear to you. It is justly so, for it is a main pillar in the edifice of your real independence; the support of your tranquility at home; your peace abroad; of your safety; of your prosperity; of that very liberty which you so highly prize.”

— President George Washington, 1796 Farewell Address

Exhibition at a Glance

American Democracy offers engaging stories, striking large-format images, multimedia experiences, touchable objects, and a flexible layout design to meet the needs of diverse spaces and audiences.


American Democracy features historic artifacts from the National Museum of American History’s collection and numerous touchable, replica, and contemporary objects. In addition, host museums will add artifacts and local content from their own collections to the exhibition making each installation truly unique. Design templates provided by the Smithsonian allow venues to incorporate their artifacts and content into the exhibition experience seamlessly – shining a light on local stories and figures throughout American Democracy.  


1964 Democratic National Convention in New Jersey. National Archives

Multiple video presentations are featured including:

Throughout American Democracy, visitors are immersed in the sights and sounds of our American democracy.


Visitors can test their knowledge about democracy through several interactive touch-screens including:

Voting, US Department of State

“Of the many special obligations incumbent upon the educated citizen, I would cite three as outstanding:

Your obligation to the pursuit of learning;

Your obligation to serve the public;

Your obligation to uphold the law.”

— President John F. Kennedy, 1963

Suffragists picketing the White House
Suffragists picketing the White House, Feb. 1917. Library of Congress
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