HIUS 221 – Museum or National Park Visit

Museum or National Park Visit Proposal

Submit a brief proposal requesting instructor permission to either physically visit a suitable location or a website pertaining to the upcoming Museum or National Park Assignment. Submission should include a discussion on the site proposal as well as the general interest or reason behind the visit. If a student decides to utilize a website, such as a “walking
tour” link or a quality YouTube site of a historical museum or location, they will need to include the website address in their assignment submission.

Choose one of the following types of sites/locations

  • Local museum. 2. A
  • National Park. 3.
  • A befitting video website walking video tour or suitable YouTube link of a Museum or National Park.

The sites must be related to U.S. historical events between the 1500s-1865. Why? Your historical focus for the final Museum or National Park writing assignment has to fall within the area of the United States and the aforementioned historical time frame.

Sample Museum Visit Proposal

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is a foremost collector and preserver of the United States’ rich heritage. My proposal, therefore, seeks to request permission to visit the museum’s website in relation to the forthcoming Module 7 Museum or National Park Assignment. The museum is an ideal choice for this assignment primarily because it is a rich repository of significant historical events that took place in the United States between the 1500s and 1865. Its primary purpose is to preserve and display a comprehensive depiction of the social, political, and military history of the United States (National Museum of American History, 2012). Events stretching as far back as the Puritans’ arrival at Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 and the Southern Army’s 1864 march towards Washington, D.C are all displayed in the museum.

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The museum features three large exhibition floors showing perfectly preserved sections of American history, which are displayed on its website through a virtual tour. Through this platform, it is possible to undertake a room by room tour of the exhibitions on display in addition to reviewing supplementary information regarding specific eras in American history (National Museum of American History, 2019). The tour panoramas are user-friendly, allowing visitors to toggle from one room to the next throughout the presentation. Furthermore, high-resolution images provide a close-up viewing which allows one to zoom in on specific objects on display. Unseen archives are also presented on the website allowing visitors to develop an accurate understanding of the history of the United States and critical events that determined its current trajectory. The website’s functionality accommodates visitors and bound to improve their experience of history through an American perspective.

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HIUS 221 – Smithsonian’s National Museum Visit Paper 

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History was the most appropriate historical site to visit for this particular assignment. It is known nationally for collecting and preserving historical artifacts related to the United States, which is also why it is relevant to events within 1500-1865. Furthermore, I was impressed by the options that were made available by the museum, chief among them being a virtual guided taken remotely through its web facilities. The website offers a room by room tour of all artifacts on display, which is ideal for individuals interested in the history of the United States but unable to physically visit the museum.

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 As a lover of history, I was excited by the prospect of visiting the museum’s website for a virtual tour taking me back in time when epic historical events took place in the United States. I was particularly enthralled by the website’s high-resolution images, which made it possible to have a close-up viewing experience of specific historical items. It is commendable that the museum’s websites provide a guide during this tour, responsible for providing clear information and elucidation concerning the items on display.

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            I believe that digital technology is one of the most important innovations ever created by man. Through a simple click of a button, I was able to start my tour of the facility, which would have been impossible if I was not present in Washington, D.C. Furthermore, it is inexpensive. One can visit the website at any time and from anywhere, with an internet connection (Smithsonian.com, 2019). It saves time and money while still enabling one to have a similar experience to that of an individual on the actual site. The user-friendly tour panoramas also made it possible to move swiftly from one room to another during the presentation.

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            My guided tour began at Flag Hall. I had always heard my classmates speak positively regarding their experience at this section of the museum which ignited a fire of enthusiasm in me. The star attraction at this section was the wool Star-Spangled Banner, which flew above Fort McHenry, Baltimore in 1814. It is memorialized in the United States national anthem, which was also part of the reason why I awaited my review assiduously. The flag was encased behind a window for protection from visitors, given its fabric is close to 205 years old. Additionally, it was also in a surreal environment, which served as a representative depiction of life during this period in American history.  The chamber was particularly an essential feature of the exhibition since it brought the flag to life inside the dimly-lit environment.  Such moments remind one of the United States’ rich history and the debacles that had to be surmounted during its formative years.

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            From this point on, the guided tour proceeded to several locations in quick succession to ensure that most of the artifacts on display were viewed. The section titled American Stories was a window into the past at a time when the nation was still in infancy.  One of the most exceptional items on display was Thomas Jefferson’s portable desk and regarded as an essential piece of artifact. From my virtual remote viewing standpoint, I was utterly stunned by the quality of images that were on display. The desk appeared real, a historical relic from the past that had remained etched in the American psyche. Next was America on the Move exhibition. It contained life-size locomotives and automobiles, signifying the progress made in the transportation sector over the centuries. The experience was further enhanced by the movement of individuals in addition to intermittent sound and motion.

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            The most exciting segment of the exhibition was a display of the museum’s collection of cultural and geographic history. It is praiseworthy that the museum’s curator took this section of American history since it is largely ignored by others. Here, Native Americans were displayed in full splendor at a time when they roamed free as original landowners and continuing with their way of life. This brazen display of culture is an authentic display by the museum, which paints Amerindians in a new light as a people living a free and independent life before contact with Europeans. Furthermore, this section also documents the arrival of European colonialists and the clash of cultures that followed soon after. Settlers are also depicted moving westwards, expanding their territory, and the large-scale agricultural practices that followed. In essence, this section was an accurate depiction of the American story from two dissimilar perspectives. The Within These Walls exhibition was also quite striking. It transplanted the architecture of colonial America to the 21st century and, allowing a virtual visitor to experience life as it was during a period that is rarely spoken about.  

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History helped me appreciate the United States’ past through a virtual tour back through. Through ultra-realistic depictions, I toured the museum’s expanse and gained a renewed insight on relevant to events within 1500-1865. I would, therefore, recommend it to history enthusiasts seeking to refresh their knowledge of American history.

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