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Making a Modern Museum
The National Museum of American History opened to the public as the Museum of History and Technology in 1964. The architectural firm McKim, Mead & White designed the building as a contemporary take on surrounding beaux-arts and classical structures. The exterior's repeating bays were meant to evoke Greek columns. Inside, exhibitions highlighted the heritage and accomplishments of the United States and served as reminders of the importance of freedom and democracy during the Cold War.
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