James Smithson, a British subject, died in Genoa, Italy, in 1829. He bequeathed his fortune to the United States, a country he had never visited. Children can learn more about him at: James Smithson. The Smithsonian Institute, established in 1846, was created from his money and personal possessions. Today the Smithsonian has nineteen museums and nine research centers. The Smithsonian houses 137 million artifacts, and 30 million people visit it every year. Children can visit its website at: http://www.si.edu.
Smithsonian Institute was created by Congressional law in 1846. The money was given to the United States by James Smithson in 1836, but the government needed ten years to decide how best to use the donation. Today the Smithsonian has 19 museums and galleries, and 30 million people visit various parts of the Smithsonian yearly. Children could chart all the various parts of the Smithsonian. They could visit the kid portion of the Smithsonian website at: http://www.si.edu/Kids.
John Bull locomotive operated for the first time in 1831 for the Camden and Amboy Railroad in New Jersey. Built in Great Britain, the train engine was used until 1885 when it was purchased by the Smithsonian Institute. On September 15, 1981, celebrating its 150 year anniversary, the John Bull became the oldest working locomotive when it traveled several miles on train tracks on its own power. Later in 1985 it became the oldest locomotive to travel by air when it took a plane ride to Dallas, Texas, to be part of an exhibit. Today it is on static display at the National Museum of American History in Washington, DC.