Smithsonian displays ‘souvenirs’ of history

WASHINGTON — The old American tradition of keeping souvenirs as historical mementos is the focus of a new exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution.

The National Museum of American History has opened the new exhibit, “Souvenir Nation,” at the Smithsonian Castle. Some items on view date back to times when souvenirs were taken, not purchased.

It includes a brick from President George Washington’s childhood home, a fragment of Plymouth Rock chiseled off by a 19th-century tourist, pieces of the Berlin Wall and even locks of hair from former U.S. presidents.

Curator William Bird Jr. wrote the new book, “Souvenir Nation,” to accompany the exhibit and showcase some of the Smithsonian’s most eccentric artifacts.

The history museum is currently renovating its west exhibition wing. This exhibit will be on view through August 2014.

AP presidential photo exhibit opens in Dallas

DALLAS — More than 70 Associated Press photographs of presidents taken over a 100-year span are part of a new exhibit at The Sixth Floor Museum.

The “The American President: Photographs from the Archives of The Associated Press” runs through Oct. 27.

The downtown Dallas museum is dedicated to the Nov. 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy and his legacy. It’s located along the route traveled by JFK before he was fatally shot.

The exhibit, meant to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Kennedy’s death, has an introduction with comments by former President George H.W. Bush of Houston.

“Through their lenses, succeeding generations of AP ‘photodogs’ have captured both the ecstasy and agony of the American Presidency, and contributed in important ways to the historical record of each administration,” according to Bush.

The exhibit has been touring museums, universities and libraries since early 2012.

National Zoo getting 3 new elephants

WASHINGTON — A $2 million gift from businessman David Rubenstein will allow the Smithsonian’s National Zoo to nearly double the size of its Asian elephant herd.

The zoo will receive three female elephants in an open-ended loan from the Calgary Zoo in Canada, which is relocating its elephants to more suitable habitats.

The move will be funded entirely by Rubenstein, a co-founder of the Washington-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group. In 2011, Rubenstein gave $4.5 million to the zoo’s giant panda program. He has sat on the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents since 2009.

The new elephants will arrive sometime in spring 2014, the zoo announced.

‘The Lorax’ exhibition opening in Omaha

— An exhibition of original art for Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax” is scheduled to open Saturday at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha.

Theodore Geisel’s hand-drawn artwork is on loan from the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.

The exhibition runs through Nov. 3. Admission is free.

Associated Press