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Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution is a museum complex with most of its facilities in Washington D.C.. It consists of 16 museums, 7 research centers and 142 million items in its collections.

Smithsonian is a monthly magazine published by the Smithsonian Institution.

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The Smithsonian Institution was founded for the promotion and dissemination of knowledge by a bequest to the United States by James Smithson (1765-1829). In James Smithson's will, he stated that should his nephew, Henry James Hungerford[?], die without heirs, the Smithson estate would go to the United States of America for establishing an institution. After the nephew died without heirs in 1835, President Andrew Jackson informed Congress of the bequest, which amounted to 100,000 gold sovereigns[?], or $500,000 U.S. dollars. Eight years later, Congress passed an act establishing the Smithsonian Institution and the act was signed into law on August 10, 1846 by James Polk. The Smithsonian Institution is established as a trust administered by a secretary and board of regents. The nominal head of the institute is the Chancellor, an office which has always been held by the current Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.


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