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Landmarks of Washington, D.C.

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Smithsonian Institute

The Smithsonian Institute, also called "the nation's attic," is the largest museum in the world. It is vast, comprising 17 museums and the National Zoo in DC, and two museums in New York City. In 1829, James Smithson of London died and bequeathed his fortune to the people of the United States to create a research and educational institution. The Smithsonian Institute was officially founded in 1846, with the first museum opening that year. Pictured is "The Castle," the first building of the institute and now the Smithsonian Information Center.

Fun Fact: $508,318 is the amount of money Smithson left to the United States in 1829.

Photo source: Carol M. Highsmith

Next: White House


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