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"Either one of you know where the Smithsonian is? I'm here to pick up a fossil."
Natasha Romanoff to Steve Rogers and Sam Wilson[src]

The Smithsonian Institution, established in 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," is a group of museums and research centers administered by the United States government.

History

Captain America Exhibit

"A symbol to the nation. A hero to the world. The story of Captain America is one of honor, bravery and sacrifice. Denied enlistment due to poor health, Steven Rogers was chosen for a program unique in the annals of American warfare. One that would transform him into the world's first super soldier."
―Smithsonian Narrator[src]

Captain America Exhibit

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. displayed a Captain America exhibit; comprised by several panels and areas about his life before Project Rebirth, his returning ceremony by President Matthew Ellis, his actions during World War II, a section dedicated to the Howling Commandos, and a memorial for Bucky Barnes.

The exhibit also held replicas of Captain America's Motorcycle and uniform, in a series of mannequins that also held replicas of the uniforms worn by the Howling Commandos.[1]

Steve Rogers' Visit

In 2014, Steve Rogers visited the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., where an exhibit dedicated to him as Captain America was being held, in order to remind himself who he was, now that the world had changed too much and it wanted him to change too.

Steve Rogers at the Smithsonian

Going unnoticed and keeping his face hidden under a baseball cap, Rogers walked through the exhibition, entering through the doors with panels regarding the words from President Matthew Ellis to him upon his return, and photographs of his time during World War II. The narration of the exhibition described Captain America as a symbol to the nation and a hero to the world, whose story symbolizes honor, bravery and sacrifice. It explained how Rogers was denied enlistment in the regular army due to his health, and how he was chosen for a program that transformed him into the world's first super soldier.

Steve Rogers tells a boy to keep silent

A boy visiting the museum recognized Rogers, but he silently asked the boy to keep his presence secret putting his finger against his mouth. The boy simply nodded, amazed to see Captain America in person.

Howling Commandos Memorial

Rogers continued visiting the museum, holding replicas of his motorcycle, and film footage of the 1940s, and soon reached the area dedicated to the Howling Commandos, where mannequins dressed with replicas of his own uniform and those of the rest of the commandos where the central display. The walls showed a solemn photograph of Rogers with Bucky Barnes, Dum Dum Dugan, Gabe Jones, James Montgomery Falsworth, Jacques Dernier and Jim Morita, over a motive of the american flag. The narration described that Captain America and his Howling Commandos quickly marked a difference during the war, as they were tasked with defeating the Nazi rogue science division, HYDRA.

Bucky Barnes Memorial

Rogers walked to the display in memorial of his friend Bucky Barnes, described as Rogers' best friend since childhood, who, according to the historical records, was the only Howling commando to give his life in service. Rogers' face showed the regret for being unable to save him.

Steve Rogers watches an interview with Peggy Carter

Rogers entered a projection of an interview made to Strategic Scientific Reserve agent Peggy Carter and recorded in 1953 in New York City. In the interview, Carter described a rescue performed by Captain America, where he was able to rescue a thousand men trapped by a blizzard behind the German line, and how Rogers fought his way through a HYDRA blockade. Carter revealed in the video that one of the men rescued in that operation later became her husband, as Captain Rogers was able to change her life even after his presumed death.

While watching the video, Rogers looked at the photo of Carter he kept in his compass since World War II, and one of the few belongings from his past he managed to preserve.[1]

Theft

Nude mannequin in Captain America's exhibit

"Oh, man! I am so fired!"
Watcher Informant[src]

Later, Steve Rogers returned to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in order to retrieve a replica of the uniform he used during World War II, to use it in the upcoming battle against HYDRA to the stop the Helicarriers connected to Project Insight.

Watcher Informant discovering the burglary

One of the museum's security guards discovered the now empty mannequin and lamented he was going to be fired for that.[1]

Bucky Barnes' Visit

Bucky Barnes sees his memorial at the Smithsonian

"You're Steve. I read about you in a museum."
Bucky Barnes to Steve Rogers[src]

Bucky Barnes disguised himself in civilian clothes, visiting the Captain America exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, following a battle against Captain America in one of the Insight Helicarriers where he started to remember his previous identity as Bucky Barnes. The mannequin displaying a replica of the uniform he wore during World War II had been placed at the center of the Howling Commandos wing of the exhibit, as the replica of Captain America's Uniform had been stolen. While in the museum, Barnes stopped at the memorial panel dedicated to himself, that told data about his own past, and he recognized himself in the photographs of the panel.[2]

Updated Captain America Exhibit

Sam Wilson donates Captain America's shield

In 2024, Sam Wilson went to the Smithsonian Institution for a ceremony where he handed over Captain America's Shield over to the U.S. government. In attendance of the ceremony were James Rhodes and the Government Official, who thanked Wilson for his decision.

Sam Wilson and James Rhodes in the exhibit

Wilson and Rhodes walked together into the updated Captain America exhibit, showing more murals dedicated to Steve Rogers and some of Bucky Barnes. The exhibit now displayed the Attack on Greenwich Village, showing a Q-Ship on a screen, and the events of the Snap. The exhibit also listed which Avengers had gone into hiding following the Sokovia Accords.

Sam Wilson speaking with James Rhodes

Wilson and Rhodes then walked together into the Captain America exhibit, discussing Wilson's decision to give up the mantle, as well as how the world was in chaos from the Blip. They came across the shield now in display by Captain America's motorcycle. Rhodes then told Wilson to keep in touch and left Wilson alone in the exhibit, as he wondered if he had made the right decision.[3]

Isaiah Bradley Exhibit

Isaiah Bradley's exhibit

Once he had taken up the mantle of Captain America, Sam Wilson asked the government to construct a statue and memorial of Isaiah Bradley. Wilson then brought Bradley and his grandson, to the Smithsonian Institution and led them through the Captain America exhibit, to the other side, where a space for Bradley was. Bradley upon seeing his recognition and how caring Wilson was, got emotional and gave Wilson a hug in gratitude.[4]

Trivia

  • Gary Sinise voiced the Smithsonian Narrator for the Captain America exhibit.

References

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