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Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Announces Plans for 40th Anniversary

Press Release From: National Aeronautic Association
Posted: Friday, May 27, 2016

The National Air and Space Museum will celebrate the 40th anniversary of its flagship building on the National Mall July 1. An evening ceremony and an “All Night at the Museum” event will commemorate the date and officially reopen the Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall. For the first time, the museum will stay open throughout the night with music, tours and activities for all ages.

In 1976, the National Air and Space Museum opened to the public as a gift to the nation during America’s bicentennial year. Since then, more than 320 million visitors have walked through its doors and have seen the milestones of modern aviation and spaceflight firsthand. The Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, the museum’s central gallery space, has looked much the same since the museum opened until its renovation began in 2014. To celebrate the museum’s anniversary, Milestones Hall will be completed with new interpretation and a new digital experience.

An evening ceremony at the entrance on the National Mall, mirroring the opening of the museum in 1976, will kick off the birthday celebration and completion of the Hall. The ceremony will include music by the U.S. Air Force Band, remarks and special birthday greetings by aviation and space heroes and friends of the museum.

Immediately following the ceremony, “All Night at the Museum” will begin and visitors will be invited to explore the new features of Milestones Hall and the entire museum. Some of the night’s activities will include a film festival featuring aviation- and space-related films ranging from blockbusters to enigmatic offerings. Each film will have introductions to give insight and cultural context. The evening will also include tours of Milestones Hall, demonstrations by museum staff, music by the Air Force Band and special treat giveaways. A 21-and-over reception will be held with discussions from special guests, cocktails and a chance to mingle throughout the galleries. This portion of “All Night” will require tickets. Tickets will go on sale at the end of May, the exact date is to be announced.

Those who cannot attend “All Night at the Museum” will be able to tune-in to the live webcasts with museum staff and guests on the museum’s website.

To learn more about “All Night at the Museum,” visit the National Air and Space Museum’s website. Follow updates on social media using #airandspace40.

The National Air and Space Museum building on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., is located at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.

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