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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Today, the National Museum of Natural History is the most visited museum in the world. Its exhibitions opened to the public exactly one century ago—before construction on the building was even completed in 1911. Later that year, the Museum added Sunday hours to allow working adults to visit on their one day off.

From the beginning, the Museum has reached out and encouraged visits from school groups and provided opportunities for visitors of all ages to interact with our collections and scientists. Through the years, the Museum has inspired future scientists and stewards of the natural world.

Photo from the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Photo from the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Visitors entering the Museum during Easter week, 1931.
Photo by James DiLoreto, Smithsonian Institution
Photo by James DiLoreto, Smithsonian Institution
Young visitors exploring live bugs with docent Mark Henderson in the O. Orkin Insect Zoo, 2003.
The average visitor to the Museum is 36 years old and spends 2 to 4 hours here.

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