Friday June 1 Native Athletes in the Olympics
It isn’t news that the Summer Olympics start up this July in London. But I bet you haven’t heard much about the American Indian athletes who have provided some of the most dramatic moments in the history of the Games. Special attention should be given to the 1912 Games in Stockholm, Sweden, whose centenary the National Museum of the American Indian invites you to celebrate at the Best in the World: Native Athletes in the Olympics exhibit on display through September 3rd. It was at the 1912 Olympics that Jim Thorpe (Sac and Fox) won both the pentathlon and the decathlon (a feat never duplicated); Duke Kahanamoku (Native Hawaiian) won the 100-meter freestyle; Andrew Sockalexis (Penobscot) placed fourth in the marathon; and Lewis Tewanima (Hopi) won the silver medal and set an American record for the 10,000 meters that stood for more than 50 years, until another American Indian, Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota), won gold in Tokyo in 1964. Free. Ongoing. National Museum of the American Indian.
Saturday, June 2 Zebra Day
If you’re familiar with the National Zoo, you’ve probably seen or at least heard of 13-year-old Mei Xiang, the Zoo’s Panda House favorite. Even Betty White made a trip earlier this month to visit the famed bear. But this Saturday, join the volunteer African Wildlife Ambassadors as they celebrate the zoo’s “other” black and white animal—the Grevy’s zebras. Bring the whole family for special animal demos, keeper talks and other interactive events. Free. 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Cheetah Conservation Station, National Zoo.
Sunday, June 3 Ocean: Multimedia Dance, Film and Music
Standing on the beach can be a humbling experience—the seemingly endless stretch of water serves as a reminder that the world’s oceans are essential to all life. This Sunday at the Natural History Museum, experience Ocean: Multimedia Dance, Film and Music, a spectacular collaboration between artists, scientists and educators that offers insight into the state of the seas and their complexities. Presenters will expand perspectives, stimulate discussion and contribute original solutions to the challenges ahead.
SpectorDance, a non-profit dance company, will collaborate with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute for a live performance integrating interviews with leading ocean scientists, high definition underwater film, original music and dance. This strategic teaming brings together fact and feeling to inform and inspire. Ocean explores changes in ocean chemistry, storm patterns, extinction of species and the food web. Free. 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Baird Auditorium, Natural History Museum.
For a complete listing of Smithsonian events and exhibitions visit the goSmithsonian Visitors Guide. Additional reporting by Michelle Strange.