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Smithsonian exhibit to highlight U.S. transportation history

Beginning Nov. 19, visitors to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., will be transported back in time 127 years.
No, the museum isn't installing a time machine. The Smithsonian is building a 26,000-square-foot exhibit entitled "America on the Move," which is designed to showcase U.S. transportation from 1876 to the present.
The multi-media exhibit will include more than a dozen vignettes depicting historical moments, such as a railroad coming to a California town in 1876, streetcar's and automobile's role in the evolution of suburbia, and the effect of containerized shipping on U.S. ports.
Once open in fall, the $22 million exhibit also will display a restored 1959 Chicago Transit Authority "L" car, which was donated by ALSTOM Transport, and a 92-foot Southern Railway locomotive.
"[The exhibit will] explore our nation's history by showing how transportation affected how and where people lived, worked and played," said Steven Lubar, America on the Move project director, in a prepared statement.
In 1997, Congress appropriated $3 million (through U.S. Department of Transportation) for the exhibit, which will replace displays in the Smithsonian's former Road Transportation, Railroad and Civil Engineering halls.
Private donations include $10 million from General Motors Corp.; $3 million from State Farms Cos. Foundation; $1 million each from Association of American Railroads and United Parcel Service Foundation; and $250,000 from American Public Transportation Association.

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More News from 1/9/2003