Image: Naturalization Ceremony, National Archives
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. – – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
— The Declaration of Independence, 1776
Inspired by the new permanent exhibition at the National Museum of American History, Voices and Votes: Democracy in America is an exhibition from Museum on Main Street traveling to rural America from 2020-2015. Voices and Votes is based on the exhibition American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith at the National Museum of American History, which explores the history of citizen participation, debate, and compromise from the nation’s formation to today.
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith explores America’s bold experiment in a government “of, by, and for the people.” SITES’ traveling exhibition will be the centerpiece of a high-profile initiative on democracy and civics education. The exhibition features engaging multimedia experiences, immersive design, and artifacts from the Smithsonian collections and state historical organizations. American Democracy will demonstrate the critical importance of active participation in our quest to form a “more perfect union.”
In this important election year, and in honor of the traveling exhibitions American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith and Voices and Votes: Democracy in America SITES and Smithsonian Affiliations are highlighting a diverse array of the Smithsonian’s digital resources that engage audiences around voting, elections, civic engagement, and citizenship.
Please look at these digital resources from the Smithsonian Institution: