The Smithsonian and the Enola Gay

Not since 1855 has the Smithsonian been riven by a controversy to equal that precipitated by the proposed Enola Gay exhibit.

Issue: Summer 1995

Not since 1855 has the Smithsonian been riven by a controversy to equal that precipitated by the proposed Enola Gay exhibit. The issue then was whether the Smithsonian should be the national library, as the librarian Charles Coffin Jewett wanted, or a research institute, as Secretary Joseph Henry preferred. Henry won, but not before a congressional investigation led by Jewett's backers on Capitol Hill put Henry's leadership to the test. Today the possibility of a similar congressional investigation hangs threateningly over the Smithsonian.

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