Celebrating American History with Federal Apps

Cake with American flag frosting and sparkling candles

Summer is here, which means it is time for the biggest holiday of the summer—Fourth of July! Independence Day is a happy time of year: BBQs, picnics, pools, sunshine and fireworks. Of course, the foundation of our celebration is American history, and there are plenty of excellent federal apps focused on this area.

The American Battle Monuments Commission maintains 25 overseas military cemeteries that honor the service and sacrifices of U.S.armed forces service members. There are three apps they have posted in the USA.gov Federal Mobile Apps Directory:

Home screen of the National Archives' Android app for Today's Document
The National Archives and Records Administration offers the Today’s Document app (iOS, Android), an interactive gallery that displays a significant historical document or photo each day of the year. For those who are looking for a self-guided experience, the DocsTeach app (iOS) allows users to choose a historical topic and challenge themselves with an activity provided by the app.

The Smithsonian Institution is a curator of history in many forms, and apps are one way they reach the public. They offer numerous apps, but here are two that you may not have heard of:

  • The National Postal Museum’s MagnifAR app (iOS) adds to the experience of both in-person and faraway visitors. Those who come in-person can point their phones at selected objects to get an enhanced experience; from the comfort of home, users can point their mobile devices at the NPM website on their computer screen.
  • If you want to get a sneak peek of the new National Museum of African American History and Culture before it is completed, check out the NMAAHC app (iOS, Android). This app provides you with a 360 degree rendering of the new museum.
National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) app's home screen as seen on an Android phone

No matter where you celebrate the 4th, you can check out these federal apps that highlight American history from a variety of angles.You can download these and other government apps through the USA.gov Federal Mobile Apps Directory. Do you have a federal app that is not listed on the Directory? Take part in the Great Federal Mobile Product Hunt.

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