Jan
25

Today in Smithsonian History: January 25, 1904

On January 25, 1904, a military procession brings the remains of James Smithson (c.1765-1829) whose bequest created the Smithsonian, to the Smithsonian Institution Building. Photo by E.L. Springer, published in Harper's Weekly, Feb. 27, 1904

On January 25, 1904, a military procession brings the remains of James Smithson (c.1765-1829) whose bequest created the Smithsonian, to the Smithsonian Institution Building. His remains had been transported by Alexander Graham Bell, a member of the Board of Regents, from Genoa, Italy, after the Italian cemetery where Smithson was interred had fallen into neglect. Photo by E.L. Springer, published in Harper’s Weekly, Feb. 27, 1904

January 25, 1904 Alexander Graham Bell, a Smithsonian Regent, brings James Smithson’s remains from Genoa, Italy, to the United States. After a procession from the Navy Yard to the Smithsonian Institution Building, Bell hands over Smithson’s remains with the words, “And now…my mission is ended and I deliver into your hands…the remains of this great benefactor of the United States.” The remains are temporarily situated in the Regents Room accompanied by Smithson’s few remaining personal relics. In 1905 the crypt containing Smithson’s remains is built at the north entrance of the Smithsonian Building.


Posted: 25 January 2017
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