While calls for budget cuts and voluntary resignations might still be all the talk around the Smithsonian, the organization can rest easy in the knowledge that they’ve finally put at least one pressing issue to bed this week. Although overshadowed by the National Portrait Gallery/David Wojnarowicz debacle, you might recall back to this past March when Capitol Hill demanded that the Smithsonian start selling more American-made products in their gift shops…or else (feel free to imagine a representative of the government shaking their fist right here). There was even a bill called the “Buy American at the Smithsonian Act,” which was introduced by West Virginia Representative Nick Rahall. The mighty power of the government was apparently felt and now all seems right at the Smithsonian again, as the Washington Post reports that Virginia Representative Bernard Sanders toured the National Museum of American History‘s gift shop and found he liked what he saw: lots of American-made products. They report that the fella even bought himself a new t-shirt. Here’s a bit:
Escorting Sanders was Brent D. Glass, the director of the museum, who had promised to work on the store’s items. “Now 100 percent of the products in this store — the books, the puzzles, the throw rugs are all made in America,” Glass said.
The museum reported that the business unit that oversees the stores has added 90 vendors since March 1, with 19 of those furnishing U.S.-made merchandise. More than 12,000 items are sold throughout all the museum stores, according to the Smithsonian, one-third of them U.S.-made.