Smithsonian democracy exhibit coming to Fort Dodge

It presents an opportunity no one should miss

Most Fort Dodge residents know that the Smithsonian – sometimes called the Nation’s Attic – is a collection of museums in Washington, D.C., that houses everything from Archie Bunker’s chair to an Apollo space capsule. But not all local people have been there.

Soon, the Smithsonian will be coming to them.

A traveling exhibit on democracy from the Smithsonian Museum of American History will be on display in the Fort Dodge Public Library from March 28 to May 10.

Fort Dodge will be the first stop for the exhibit.

In preparation for the exhibit, a number of local residents were interviewed about their thoughts on democracy. Those recorded Voices to Votes interviews will be a key piece of the exhibit.

The 650-square foot exhibit will contain campaign souvenirs, voter memorabilia and materials related to protest movements. It will explore themes such as the definition of democracy, the meaning of votes, how the voting body in the United States has diversified and women’s suffrage. Some of the lesser known founders of the American democracy will also be introduced.

Securing a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian is a big win for the community. The fact that Fort Dodge is the very first stop on the exhibit’s itinerary makes it an even bigger win.

A lot of work had to be done to get the exhibit here. Much of that work was done by the fine folks at Main Street Fort Dodge and the Fort Dodge Public Library. We thank them, and every other individual and group that labored behind the scenes, for bringing a little bit of the Smithsonian to our community.

When the exhibit gets here, we urge everyone to go and see it. This will be a unique opportunity no one should miss.