Home Tag "James Polk"

Happy Birthday to the Smithsonian

Today is the 162nd birthday of the Smithsonian Institute.  On August 10, 1846, President James Polk signed an Act passed by Congress establishing the Smithsonian as a trust, to be administered by a Board of Trustees and a Secretary of the Institution.  The impetus for this Act was a bequest by a British scientist, James Smithson, who left his estate to his nephew, unless his nephew died without heirs in which case the estate went to the United States of America to “found at Washington, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.”