American Democracy:

A Great Leap of Faith

There is no question that we stand at a critical juncture in our nation’s history. Urgent questions face us about our future and ability to move forward as a united country and to take on the big challenges of our time. Doing so will require a strong commitment to a fully functional democracy.

Featuring engaging multimedia experiences, immersive design, and artifacts from the Smithsonian Institution and host organizations, the exhibit will demonstrate that our democracy relies on our active participation in order to form a “more perfect union.” The traveling exhibition also explores the history of American government, and how that system has been tested, improved, damaged, and repaired over time. 
 
American Democracy: A Great Leap of Faith was developed by the National Museum of American History and adapted for travel by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. The exhibition will be on display at Atlanta History Center from November 6, 2021-March 23, 2022. 

Header image: March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963. Courtesy of National Archives and Records Administration
Students in Mott Street Industrial School salute the flag

Students in Mott Street Industrial School salute the flag, New York City, around 1892 by Jacob Riis
Courtesy of Library of Congress

Join or Die by Benjamin Franklin

Join or Die by Benjamin Franklin
Courtesy of Library of Congress

Tintype of Marcher with oil cloth cape

Tintype of Marcher with oil cloth cape, 1860
Courtesy National Museum of American History

The Bloody Massacre

“The Bloody Massacre,” by Paul Revere, 1770
Courtesy Library of Congress.

Suffragists picketing the White House

Suffragists picketing the White House, Feb. 1917
Courtesy Library of Congress

Follow the Pied Piper, Join the United States School Garden Army World War I poster

Follow the Pied Piper, Join the United States School Garden Army World War I poster produced for the Bureau of Education
Courtesy National Museum of American History

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organizing pamphlet

Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organizing pamphlet, 1960s
Courtesy of National Museum of American History

The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor

“The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor,” New York, 1846
Courtesy of Library of Congress