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National Museum of American History Reopens After Renovation

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Star-Spangled Banner Gallery, Copy of Gettysburg Address Are Highlights in the Reopening of the National Museum of American History

The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History reopens its doors, providing a new look at the almost 200-year-old Star-Spangled Banner and a rare chance to see the White House copy of President Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. The museum is reopening after a two-year, $85 million renovation of the building's core, dramatically transforming the museum's architectural appeal and renewing the presentation of its extensive collections. The museum will unveil new exhibitions and programs throughout the reopening year.

"For people of all ages, a visit to the National Museum of American History can be a defining event -- providing a deep and fundamental understanding of what it has meant to be an American," said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. "Millions of visitors will enjoy new opportunities to explore the American narrative and the core stories of our national experience in an inspiring and memorable setting."

Renovation of the Center Core

Visitors enter a dramatic five-story skylit atrium, surrounded by artifact displays filled with nearly 500 objects showcasing the breadth and depth of the museum's 3 million objects representing the cultural, social, technological and political history of the United States. An architectural representation of a waving flag frames the entrance to the Star-Spangled Banner Gallery. The gallery itself is a climate-controlled state-of-the-art chamber designed to evoke the "dawn's early light."

The renovation project focused on three areas:

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