Sunday, September 4, 2011


Your Commander was the fortunate recipient of a superb Father’s Day gift subscription to SMITHSONIAN magazine from my Chicago based daughter. I have received the first two issues and can report that I strongly recommend SMITHSONIAN for your reading pleasure and educational enlightenment.

One of the blessings of retirement is that you have some important time to read and expand your knowledge and appreciation of this wonderful planet Earth. The current issue has some well crafted articles such as one on the efforts to save the Taj Mahal, David McCullough on Samuel Morse, Mountain Music Road Trips, Finland’s Remarkable Public Schools, and California’s Threatened Sea Otters.

As you can see, SMITHSONIAN is not confined to articles about the good old USA, but interesting and important stories from all over the world. Make sure to check out this wonderful magazine the next time you visit your public library or your local book store magazine section.

Any trip to our nation’s capitol should include visiting at least one of the Smithsonian’s 19 museums or the National Zoo. The Smithsonian also has nine research centers in Washington as well as sites located in New York City, Virginia, Panama, and elsewhere. The Smithsonian complex is the largest museum in the world.

The Smithsonian was created at the bequest of British scientist James Smithson, who never visited America. In 1835 his estate willed 104,960 gold sovereigns, or $500,000 ($10,100,997 in 2008 dollars adjusted for inflation), to create an “Establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge among men”.

SMITHSONIAN magazine is a wonderful extension of the massive works of its many museums and a worthy and rewarding read.


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