Forensic Science, History Day, a Latin Music Festival and More: Check Out These June Happenings

A new exhibition and “Civic Season” activities galore at the museum

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“Forensic Science on Trial”
2 East, Albert H. Small Documents Gallery
Opens: June 29, 2024; through June 2025

Guilty or not guilty? When science enters the courtroom, it brings with it the people and the history that have shaped it. This exhibition will explore historic cases and how people influence the way forensic science is used in the pursuit of justice. The artifacts span more than 150 years of trials, represent at least twelve different techniques, and include items from three different “trials of the century.” Visitors will see arsenic tests from the 1872 trial of Lydia Sherman, who was suspected of poisoning three of her husbands and eight children in her care, the first polygraph used for lie detection, and a modern apparatus for testing bitemarks on cadavers.

"Forensic Science on Trial" Opens June 29, 2024.


This year again, the museum will participate in “Civic Season,” the flagship program from Made By Us, a nation-wide network of museums, historic sites, libraries and archives. The museum’s signature events will be a Latin Music Festival and student displays and performances part of National History Day. For more information, visit the museum's website.

National History Day: “Turning Points in History”
Student Showcases and Performances
Wednesday, June 12; 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Various locations within the Museum

In collaboration with the National History Day Organization, the museum’s three public floors will be taken over by 50 table-top displays created by middle and high school students competing in the 2024 National History Day contest. Students will also present a selection of their own performances between 1 and 5 p.m. in the museum’s Hall of Music. Displays and performances will explore this year’s theme of “Turning Points in History.”  

visitors look at History Day Displays
Visitors look at History Day Displays done by students. Smithsonian

“Fenómeno Latino: Latin Music’s Global Rise”

Summer Soltice Family Festival and Concert
Saturday June 22

Family Festival: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Performance Plaza First Floor, West Wing

The Fenómeno Latino” Family Festival will feature live music, dance lessons, a drum circle and storytime activities.

Concert: 5 to 9 p.m.
Mall Terrace and Flag Hall, Second Floor, Center

The “Fenómeno Latino” concert will explore the rise of Reggaetón from the urban underground to the global mainstream and feature live music, DJs, dance lessons and demonstrations, plus a conversation with scholars and practitioners, and a special display of objects. Voter registration will also be available in celebration of Civic Season. A complete lineup of artists will be available closer to the event on museum's website.



History Film Forum Presents: “High Noon” (1952)
Thursday, May 30, 7:30 p.m. 
Warner Bros. Theater, First Floor Center 
Free registration via

The History Film Forum presents “High Noon” (1952) in a special screening followed by a panel discussion with experts and family members of the original cast and crew. The iconic Western stars Gary Cooper as small-town marshal Will Kane, who faces a moral and ethical crisis when a violent outlaw from his past comes seeking revenge on the town's citizens. Setting aside plans for a peaceful retirement with his pacifist Quaker wife (Grace Kelly), Kane commits to making a final stand—alone—when the criminal gang arrives at high noon. Written by blacklisted screenwriter Carl Foreman, the film is a scathing indictment of a society unwilling to live up to its principles. Before the screening, Maria Cooper Janis will be signing copies of her book “Gary Cooper Off Camera: A Daughter Remembers.” Following the screening, the museum’s entertainment curator, Ryan Lintelman, will lead a conversation with Cooper Janis, Amanda Foreman, and Glenn Frankel. For more information, visit the museum's website

History Film Forum Presents: “Copa 71”
Tuesday, June 18, 7 p.m.
Warner Bros. Theater, First Floor Center
Free registration via
Eventbrite starting May 20.

The History Film Forum presents the D.C. premiere of “Copa 71.” Told by the pioneering women who participated in the games and assembled from archives unseen for fifty years, this is the extraordinary story of the 1971 Women’s Soccer World Cup, a tournament witnessed by record crowds that has been written out of sporting history – until now. This special screening will be followed by a talkback with co-directors and writers Rachel Ramsay and James Erskine. For more information, visit the museum's website.

The History Film Forum presents the D.C. premiere of “Copa 71.” Greenwich Entertainment


Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Presents:
“Sarah Vaughn: The Divine One”
Note: Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History

10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C. 20560
Friday, June 1; 7 to 9:30 p.m.

Sarah Vaughan's colorful vocal tone, unparalleled range, elastic stylized phrasing, and all-around dynamic musical interpretation earned her the moniker “The Divine One.” Also known as “Sassy,” Vaughan became one of the greatest jazz vocalists in the history of the music. To close out this year’s concert season, the SJMO, the museum’s big band orchestra in residence, will feature singer Sharón Clark performing selections that may include “After You've Gone,” “It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got That Swing)” and “The Lady's in Love with You.”

Ticket Information:
Members $25; Nonmembers $30

Saxaphone players
Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra Smithsonian


“Innovative Lives: Dawn Scott”
Wednesday, June 13, 6 – 8:30 p.m.

Wallace H. Coulter Plaza, First Floor West
Free registration here

In conjunction with the recently opened exhibition “Change Your Game/Cambia tu juego,” the museum’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation will present a conversation with Dawn Scott, Vice President of Performance, Medical and Innovation with the Washington Spirit where she plays a key role in preparing the players both physically and mentally to compete at the highest level of women's soccer. Her individualized approach to performance training is especially innovative within women's soccer, and involves tailoring training to physiological, hormonal, nutritional, and sometimes social differences to optimize performance, maximizing potential and lowering their risk for injuries. Originally from Newcastle, England, Scott, she joined the Washington Spirit in 2022.

Thursday, June 24, 1 – 4 p.m.
Wallace H. Coulter Plaza, First Floor West

This annual program showcases printing history and its hand-in-hand historic associations with protest for change in America, going back to the American Revolution. Printed products persist in today’s digital age. This afternoon program will include objects-out-of-storage of artifacts and informal conversations with curators who will discuss various museum collections. Visitors will also be able to try their hand on working printing presses to make their own newly printed works to take home.

Printed Posters
"Print-O-Rama" annual program showcases printing history Smithsonian


What to know:
The museum is open seven days a week, except Dec. 25, between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Admission is free, and passes are not required. For more information, go to

The Eat at America’s Table Cafe is open for complete food and beverage service.

Macaroni and Cheese and BBQ
Summer menu at the Eat at American's Table Cafe features these seasonal favorites. Smithsonian
In June, Chef Kyre and his team will showcase summer BBQ, featuring Hickory Smoked Pork Shoulder with a sticky black peppercorn sauce, BBQ Chicken with an Alabama white BBQ sauce, and Chesapeake Blue Catfish Goujonettes.The Leroy Neiman Jazz Cafe offers light lunch, including sandwiches and pastries such as housemade Beignets, as well as hot and cold beverages. The Jazz Cafe proudly serves Starbucks coffee. For more information, visit the website.

Bottled water is allowed in the museum. We recommend bringing a refillable water bottle for fountains.

Stores: Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum of American History seeks to empower people to create a more just and compassionate future by examining, preserving and sharing the complexity of our past. The museum, located on Constitution Avenue N.W., between 12th and 14th streets, is open daily except Dec. 25 between 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Admission is free. The doors of the museum are always open online and the virtual museum continues to expand its offerings, including online exhibitions, K–12 educational materials and programs. The public can follow the museum on social media via Instagram and Facebook. For more information, go to For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.