History & Now, News & Events

The Smithsonian wants to hear all your 2020 stories

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Jan 11, 2021

Now that 2020 is behind us (finally), the National Museum of American History is looking for first-person accounts of your year. If you still need to vent about it, you can now direct your anger productively. The aim is to create a time capsule for posterity about the historic whirlwind of a year, outside of news cycles and historical events, in the form of human experiences.


Though it was a year we all wish we could forget, the museum wants to know how everyone coped on an individual level to maintain sanity and a sense of normalcy. Anyone over the age of 18 is encouraged to share stories and memories from 2020 to be preserved in the digital archives of the museum.


In a statement, museum representatives share:


Historians will remember 2020—a time of pandemic, economic crisis, police violence, and protest. But how does it feel to be part of history? We want to gather an inclusive, wide-ranging, and personal record of this moment—a digital time capsule for future generations and a place for conversation right now. Here’s your chance to be heard—by your national museum, by your fellow Americans, and by the future.”


The Smithsonian created an online submission form that anyone can access, with some questions to guide your entries:

  • How did you experience protests in your town?
  • How was your daily life changed by the pandemic?
  • What does the “new normal” at work look like?
  • What memory of quarantining with your family will most stay with you?
  • How did the events of this year lead you to see your community differently?
  • What object will always make you think of these times?
  • What do you think will happen next?

You can submit up to five photos and one video. Head over to the submission form if you would like to share how your 2020 went.


Photo via National Museum of American History