National Air and Space Museum Prepares for 40th Anniversary Celebration

"All Night at the Museum" will be held on July 1 to commemorate the iconic museum's anniversary

For the first time ever, the most visited museum in the country will stay open for an entire night to celebrate a special occasion.

The National Air and Space Museum is having "All Night at the Museum" on Friday, July 1 to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Visitors will get the chance to take special tours of the newly renovated Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall, enjoy music played by the United States Air Force band, demonstrations and activities. 

The free event also includes a film festival featuring aviation and space-related films and "special treat giveaways."

A 21-and-over reception will be held with discussions from special guests, cocktails and a chance to mingle throughout the galleries. This portion of the evening will require tickets, which go on sale May 27.

In 1976, the museum opened as a gift to the nation during America's bicentennial year and has drawn more than 8 million visitors every year since.

"Every artifact, every airplane and every space craft in here has a specific reason. It either broke a record, flew farther, faster, higher - whatever it might have been - or did it first," said Gen. John Dailey, the director of the museum.


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All Night at the Museum will start at 8:30 p.m. and end at 8 a.m. the following Saturday.

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