In 1826, James Smithson, a British scientist, drew up his last will and testament, naming his nephew as beneficiary. Smithson stipulated that, should the nephew die without heirs (as he would in 1835), the estate should go “to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men.”
It’s as powerful as the visionary gift by James Smithson – because your generosity enables the Smithsonian to educate, inspire, and bring people together.
Federal appropriations only provide about 65 cents of every dollar needed:
The rest is up to you.
Make a gift to the Smithsonian today. It takes just a few minutes, and helps us bring alive our nation’s history, culture, art and science for people around the world.