07/31/2008 - The National Museum of American History, closed for extensive renovations for almost two years, will reopen Nov. 21, officials announced yesterday.
The centerpiece is a special chamber for the Star-Spangled Banner, the actual flag that flew over Baltimore's Fort McHenry in 1814. It will be exhibited at a 10-degree angle behind a glass wall and appear to be floating. The lights will be low, giving the "dawn's early light" look that prompted Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became the national anthem. As visitors walk past the display, the story of the War of 1812, the burning of the White House, the battle at Fort McHenry and the preservation of the iconic symbol will be told in words and sounds. The display will include a charred timber from the White House, part of the museum's 3-million-item collection, and visitors will hear people and horses running.
This style of storytelling, said museum Director Brent D. Glass, will "shed new light on American history, by bringing light into the building and by establishing new ways of interpreting American history."
Read the full article Star-Spangled Reopening Set for November 21: American History Museum Gets $85 Million Makeover at The Washington Post's Web site.