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When British scientist and visionary James Smithson left his estate to the United States, he hoped that it would one day become “an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Smithson got his wish, and then some. His generous gift transformed into The Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex.
Since its founding in 1846, The Smithsonian has blossomed into exactly what Smithson envisioned: a place where knowledge is celebrated, advanced, and shared with new generations. Anchored on the National Mall, the Institution’s many branches explore the worlds of art, science, history, and culture, inviting guests to discover their origins and see what the future might have in store.
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