Unusual Museums

Unusual Museums

By Jerilyn Watson

The United States has thousands of museums. Some museums show large collections of art. Some show objects about science or history. Other museums show collections of unusual things. I'm Sarah Long.

And I'm Steve Ember. We visit some unusual museums on the VOA Special English program THIS IS AMERICA.

Some museums in the United States have huge collections of interesting things. The museums of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., are a good example. But the United States also has some very different museums.
Smaller places throughout the country collect and show one kind of object. For example, some museums exhibit only medical instruments or different kinds of soap. Or, they present information about just one subject. Many Americans visit these unusual museums every year.

A new exhibit explores the connections -- historic and modern -- between the illegal drug trade and terrorism.
One such place is the Drug Enforcement Administration museum. It is in Arlington, Virginia, near Washington, D-C. Its subject is a history of illegal drugs in America. People of all ages visit the museum. But it is especially popular with school groups. The museum's exhibits begin with the nineteenth century Opium Wars. And, they continue to the illegal drug operations in South America today.
One area of the museum shows a collection of objects used by people who take illegal drugs. Visitors also can see a gun with diamonds on it. It belonged to a drug criminal.
There are pictures of famous people who used illegal drugs. These include musicians Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Both died after taking too much of the drug heroin.
Retired Drug Enforcement Administration agents often show visitors around the museum. They talk about anti-drug operations. They tell exciting stories of arrests they made.

A very different but equally interesting place is the Museum of Bad Art. It is in Dedham, Massachusetts, near Boston. The museum has more than...

Similar Essays