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WE WILL REMEMBER: The Cold Morning of the Day After (January 6, 2021)

by Frank Blazich in The Smithsonian Voices

On January 6, my wife and I watched the live news broadcasts in disbelief at the scenes unfolding on television, as a violent mob stormed the U.S. Capitol and interrupted the constitutionally mandated joint session of Congress presided over by the vice president to ratify the 2020 election results. Often curators like to hold off on collecting about an event until the weight of history can sift and settle; other times, we have to move quickly, or we’ll miss our chance.

Knowing that many objects from the day’s rally and attack on the U.S. Capitol would quickly be discarded, I volunteered to go down to the National Mall and see what I could find. With approval secured an hour later, I pulled together the usual COVID-era curatorial “field kit” for the morning’s work: tote bags, gloves, face mask, business cards, identification badge, and a mental list of imagery and objects I had seen in news footage the day prior. CLICK FOR MORE

Director of the National Museum of American History Reflects on the Challenges of Our Historic Times


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