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Laughter in the Vaults

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Laughter in the Vaults

Short | 06:13

Phyllis Diller was the first American woman to have a successful career as a stand-up comic, and the secrets to her success are now a part of the National Museum of American History's collection.

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Tom takes us back to the origins of the Smithsonian's collections. He explores Teddy Roosevelt's hunting trophies, John Steinbeck's sea urchins, and Phyllis Diller's joke file. Add these to the roughly fifty thousand items donated annually, and you get a sense of the immense number of artifacts the Smithsonian holds in its museums.

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