International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum Welcome to the International Spy Museum....we've been expecting you! The International Spy Museum is a private non-profit museum dedicated to the tradecraft, history and contemporary role of espionage, featuring the largest collection of international espionage artifacts currently on public display.

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The International Spy Museum (SPY) launches a new mini exhibit, "Codes, Ciphers, & Mysteries: NSA Treasures Tell Their S...
04/01/2021
Spy Museum Launches Limited-Run Mini Exhibit of Extraordinary Codebreaking Artifacts

The International Spy Museum (SPY) launches a new mini exhibit, "Codes, Ciphers, & Mysteries: NSA Treasures Tell Their Secrets," from April 5 through May 31 showcasing a treasure trove of extraordinary codebreaking artifacts from the NSA’s National Cryptologic Museum.

The 13 historic objects are first-of-their-kind, one-of-a-kind, and breakthrough pieces, some of which have played a key role in shaping world history.

The artifacts will be on special display in the Briefing Center where guests begin their visit and will expand upon the Museum’s permanent exhibit on Codes. The remarkable items are on loan from the National Cryptologic Museum (NCM), which collects, preserves, and showcases unique cryptologic treasures and serves as the NSA - National Security Agency’s principal gateway to the public.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/2QZxGC8

First of their kind, One-of-a-kind, Breakthrough Items on Loan from NSA’s National Cryptologic Museum

04/01/2021

It's April Fools' Day, agents. Believe nothing. Trust No One.

A ragtag colonial army faced the mighty British Empire in 1776. Could American ingenuity turn the tide? Inventor David B...
03/31/2021

A ragtag colonial army faced the mighty British Empire in 1776. Could American ingenuity turn the tide? Inventor David Bushnell hoped so.

Bushnell built America’s first combat submarine, the pedal-powered #BushnellTurtle (pictured). Its covert mission? Slip into New York Harbor and attach explosives to a British warship. It almost worked. The pilot submerged beneath the ship undetected, but had to abort as his air ran low.

Historical recreators Handshouse Studio in partnership with United States Naval Academy led effort to re-create the building of this Bushnell Turtle replica now on display in the lobby of the Spy Museum. https://bit.ly/3m6g17j

#SPYArtifact: M138-A cipher device, US, 1940.The US Army widely used portable and secure strip cipher systems like this ...
03/30/2021

#SPYArtifact: M138-A cipher device, US, 1940.

The US Army widely used portable and secure strip cipher systems like this during WWII. A flat version of the M-94, it allowed soldiers to easily arrange alphabet strips to cipher and decipher medium security messages at low cost.

The Spy Museum in partnership Embassy of the State of Qatar is pleased to offer a virtual version of our annual #Accesst...
03/30/2021

The Spy Museum in partnership Embassy of the State of Qatar is pleased to offer a virtual version of our annual #AccesstoSPY event for autistic people & their families on Saturday, April 10, 11:30AM-1PM EST.

Join us for an exciting day of intrigue and family fun! https://bit.ly/3fsAxNW

As we pass the one-year mark of coronavirus in our region, several museums in the District and beyond are slowly reopeni...
03/30/2021
Get Out There: Museums Are Reopening | WAMU

As we pass the one-year mark of coronavirus in our region, several museums in the District and beyond are slowly reopening — albeit with restrictions like timed tickets and mask requirements. In it's weekly arts chat, Get Out There, WAMU discusses the museums they’ve got their eyes on this spring.

In our weekly arts chat, we discussed the exhibits we're hoping to check out this spring.

When the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook was closed to visitors by the pandemic, the curators took advantage of the lu...
03/29/2021
Spying history: Newly unearthed letter sheds light on LI espionage ring

When the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook was closed to visitors by the pandemic, the curators took advantage of the lull to organize its archives.

Curator Jonathan Olly discovered something startling: an uncatalogued letter written by the head the Culper Spy Ring — which operated on Long Island and in Manhattan during the American Revolution to supply intelligence on British military activity to Gen. George Washington — to his chief agent in the city.
https://www.newsday.com/long-island/li-museum-unearths-letter-in-culper-spy-ring-1.50196648

When the Long Island Museum in Stony Brook was closed to visitors by the pandemic, the curators took advantage of the lull to organize its archives, some 220 linear feet of materials documenting New Y

Today in #SpyHistory: In one of the most sensational trials in American history, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicte...
03/29/2021

Today in #SpyHistory: In one of the most sensational trials in American history, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted of espionage for their role in passing atomic secrets to the Soviets, 1951. The husband and wife were later sentenced to death.

The Museum's "Top Secret" exhibit covers the story of the trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, and the classified VENONA decryption program which didn’t become public until forty years after their death. #ManhattanProject

03/29/2021

The spy game is a serious business, and throughout history, the tools and technologies developed for it have mattered just as much as the spies.

Now streaming Netflix's docuseries #Spycraft featuring Keith Melton and Robert Wallace (CIA's gadget-master "Q"). https://bit.ly/3itcJcz

Spring is in the air in the nation's capital...🌸 Cheers to a blooming weekend, agents! #SpyGnome | https://bit.ly/3d7JVD...
03/26/2021

Spring is in the air in the nation's capital...🌸 Cheers to a blooming weekend, agents!

#SpyGnome | https://bit.ly/3d7JVDX

Agents, did you crack yesterday’s code? Many of you did! To solve, you simply applied a Morse code translation. Here’s t...
03/26/2021

Agents, did you crack yesterday’s code? Many of you did! To solve, you simply applied a Morse code translation. Here’s the answer COSMOS with a little spy history.

Charles Alexander Sheldon from the Office of Naval Intelligence and Sylvanus Morley, an archaeologist, had a quiet meeting at the Cosmos Club (Washington, DC), 1917. Under the cover of research, Morley would subsequently survey 2,000 miles of coastline in Central America to acquire information on German submarine operations leading up to WWI.

#SPYArtifact: Hotplate, US (CIA), ca. 1956. This is the CIA’s “model 1” hotplate, used to melt seals and open envelopes ...
03/25/2021

#SPYArtifact: Hotplate, US (CIA), ca. 1956. This is the CIA’s “model 1” hotplate, used to melt seals and open envelopes and packages. It heats to as high as 160°F.

Agents, test your spy skills from home! Can you crack the listed code? We’ll post the correct answer tomorrow. #Crackthe...
03/25/2021

Agents, test your spy skills from home! Can you crack the listed code? We’ll post the correct answer tomorrow. #CracktheCode

In 1996, the CIA recognized that Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, were deadly enemies of the US. It created a t...
03/24/2021

In 1996, the CIA recognized that Al Qaeda and its leader, Osama bin Laden, were deadly enemies of the US. It created a taskforce dedicated to analyzing intel and plan operations against bin Laden.

Cindy Storer (pictured), Susan Hasler, Nada Bakos, Gina Bennett and Barbara Sude, were part of a majority female team of CIA intelligence analysts — dubbed "The Sisterhood" — who contributed to the effort to locate Osama bin Laden.

Their work was instrumental in tracking the leader of one of the most well-established terrorist groups in the world.

Experience the Museum’s “Analysis” Exhibit and try your hand at the brainstorming method called Starbursting, an accelerated version of the analysts’ 10-year search.
#WomensHistoryMonth

Happy Birthday Harry Houdini! On this day in 1874, Ehrich Weisz, or as we know him – Houdini, was born.Did you know the ...
03/23/2021

Happy Birthday Harry Houdini! On this day in 1874, Ehrich Weisz, or as we know him – Houdini, was born.

Did you know the iconic magician and escape artist was also a covert agent for Scotland Yard? If he had managed to escape death, he'd be 147 today!

📷: Wikipedia

Today in #SpyHistory: OSS heroine and Baltimore native, Virginia Hall landed in France to join the resistance, 1944. Dis...
03/21/2021

Today in #SpyHistory: OSS heroine and Baltimore native, Virginia Hall landed in France to join the resistance, 1944. Disguised as a French milkmaid, Hall wreaked havoc on German soldiers, orchestrating sabotage and guerilla warfare. The Gestapo considered her "the most dangerous of all Allied spies”.

View her original identification documents, MBE medal and suitcase radio on display! https://bit.ly/3lMKMy5

"An optimist is the human personification of spring." ~ Susan Bissonette 🌺 Happy first day of Spring from all of us at S...
03/20/2021

"An optimist is the human personification of spring." ~ Susan Bissonette 🌺

Happy first day of Spring from all of us at SPY!
#SpyGnome https://bit.ly/3vKo5iA

Local museums are starting to welcome back visitors this spring. Most with a spate of new health and safety measures in ...
03/19/2021
These D.C.-Area Museums Are Reopening This Spring | DCist

Local museums are starting to welcome back visitors this spring. Most with a spate of new health and safety measures in place, including capacity limits, reduced hours, and mask requirements for all visitors two years and older.

Check out DCist's roundup of area museums that have already reopened or plan to do so in the coming weeks. https://dcist.com/story/21/03/15/dc-area-museums-reopening-this-spring/

Museums from the Glenstone to the Phillips Collection and International Spy Museum are starting to reopen, with varying restrictions.

Today in #SpyHistory -- The "Bombe", the first decoding machine, was installed at Bletchley Park on March 18, 1940. Alan...
03/18/2021

Today in #SpyHistory -- The "Bombe", the first decoding machine, was installed at Bletchley Park on March 18, 1940. Alan Turing was working on breaking the German naval ENIGMA which had the most complex indicator system used by the Nazis.

By December 1939, he had made an important breakthrough in determining how the indicator system worked.

It's #SubmarineDay! Meet "Sleeping Beauty", the Motorized Submersible Canoe (UK, 1943). Called the word's smallest subma...
03/17/2021

It's #SubmarineDay! Meet "Sleeping Beauty", the Motorized Submersible Canoe (UK, 1943). Called the word's smallest submarine, this one-man craft was built by the British Special Operations Executive (SOE) during WWII as an underwater vehicle to perform clandestine reconnaissance or attacks against enemy vessels.

Underwater, the pilot, wearing an oxygen mask (pictured), operates unseen by enemy ships. America’s OSS bought this one from the British and painted it in North Atlantic camouflage colors. The craft’s design evolved into the vehicles used today by US Navy SEALs.

View the "Sleeping Beauty" Submersible along with its original compass, manual and Diver's rubber head piece on display in the Museum's "Covert Action" exhibit. https://bit.ly/3vzMgjA

Happy #StPatricksDay, agents! Wishing you the luck of the Irish today! ☘️ #SpyvsSpy 📷: Antonio Prohias via MAD Magazine
03/17/2021

Happy #StPatricksDay, agents! Wishing you the luck of the Irish today! ☘️

#SpyvsSpy 📷: Antonio Prohias via MAD Magazine

#SPYArtifact: Concealment Jewelry (Earrings), USSR (KGB), pre–1991.These 20th century concealment devices in the form of...
03/15/2021

#SPYArtifact: Concealment Jewelry (Earrings), USSR (KGB), pre–1991.

These 20th century concealment devices in the form of earrings were designed to be worn, carried in a purse, or left discreetly on a bedroom dresser. The concealment area is below the jeweled area which screws off. #WomenHistoryMonth

Join SPY Historian and Curator Andrew Hammond in conversation with Josh Campbell, former Special Assistant to FBI Direct...
03/15/2021

Join SPY Historian and Curator Andrew Hammond in conversation with Josh Campbell, former Special Assistant to FBI Director James Comey on Wed., March 17; 12PM.

The former special agent has written CROSSFIRE HURRICANE: Inside Donald Trump’s War on the FBI, an illuminating fly-on-the-wall account from the earliest days of the Russia investigation. Register ---> https://bit.ly/2MTJa8q

Museums are safe than any other indoor activity. Researchers at the Berlin Institute of Technology say the risk of COVID...
03/14/2021
Museums Are Safer Than Any Other Indoor Activity, COVID-19 Study Says

Museums are safe than any other indoor activity. Researchers at the Berlin Institute of Technology say the risk of COVID-19 transmission is far lower in museums and theaters than in supermarkets, restaurants, offices, or public transportation.
https://hyperallergic.com/623971/museums-are-safer-than-any-other-indoor-activity-covid-19-study-says/

Researchers at the Berlin Institute of Technology say the risk of COVID-19 transmission is far lower in museums and theaters than in supermarkets, restaurants, offices, or public transportation.

Today in #SpyHistory: The Soviet Union's Ministry for Internal Affairs (MVD) was renamed KGB, 1954.The KGB’s responsibil...
03/13/2021

Today in #SpyHistory: The Soviet Union's Ministry for Internal Affairs (MVD) was renamed KGB, 1954.

The KGB’s responsibilities included the protection of the country’s political leadership, the supervision of border troops, and the general surveillance of the population.

Weekend plans? Embrace your inner spy with an Undercover Mission at the newly reopened SPY! We're open with new hours an...
03/12/2021

Weekend plans? Embrace your inner spy with an Undercover Mission at the newly reopened SPY! We're open with new hours and enhanced safety protocols.

Visit spymuseum.org for more intel. 💬

Some of us have the blues these days we’d like to shake, but some blues are the subject of desire, intrigue, and passion...
03/11/2021

Some of us have the blues these days we’d like to shake, but some blues are the subject of desire, intrigue, and passion. This is the story of indigo.

Join Catherine E. McKinley, author of "Indigo: In Search of the Color that Seduced the World" on Thurs., March 11; 12 p.m. ET to explore the story of this color and the incredible role it has played globally for centuries.

Register --> https://bit.ly/3brOCc2

Today in #SpyHistory: Harriet Tubman, Abolitionist leader, armed scout and spy for the U.S. Army, died on March 10, 1913...
03/10/2021

Today in #SpyHistory: Harriet Tubman, Abolitionist leader, armed scout and spy for the U.S. Army, died on March 10, 1913. Before her death, she told friends and family surrounding her death bed, “I go to prepare a place for you."

#WomensHistoryMonth | 📷: MPI/Hulton A

It's #FalseTeethDay! Infamous James Bond henchman JAWS' used his steel teeth to bite through steel cable, kill a shark, ...
03/09/2021

It's #FalseTeethDay! Infamous James Bond henchman JAWS' used his steel teeth to bite through steel cable, kill a shark, and battle 007.

The metal teeth were originally created by Peter Thomas, a dental technician who worked near Pinewood Studios. Actor Richard Kiel stated the props were excruciating and could only wear the teeth for a minute or two at most.

Get a closer look at JAWS' iconic teeth (courtesy of Eon Productions) now on display! https://bit.ly/3en4X3W

Here’s to inquisitive women everywhere. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. Happy #InternationalWomensD...
03/08/2021

Here’s to inquisitive women everywhere. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them. Happy #InternationalWomensDay! 👭

“Chess trains the ability to see two or three or even more moves ahead — a skill that proves useful in a variety of spy ...
03/07/2021

“Chess trains the ability to see two or three or even more moves ahead — a skill that proves useful in a variety of spy operations.”

Secretly outfitted chess sets. Hidden maps and compasses. Concealed compartments for sensitive documents. Soviet MOLES at chess tournaments! Chess is certainly a fixture in espionage history.

Uncover the secret history of chess via US Chess - https://bit.ly/2OtGUFB

Chess Life Kids: https://bit.ly/3c8JetN

NOTE: These articles originally appeared in the February 2021 issues of Chess Life and Chess Life Kids and are reposted with permission of US Chess. To receive Chess Life or Chess Life Kids as a membership benefit, you can join the US Chess Federation at https://bit.ly/3qpbkWA

Happy #NationalOreoCookieDay! The best-selling cookie brand was first introduced on March 6, 1912, 109 years ago today!#...
03/06/2021

Happy #NationalOreoCookieDay! The best-selling cookie brand was first introduced on March 6, 1912, 109 years ago today!

#SpyFact: Did you know Oreo's white cream filling is a billion-dollar trade secret? In 2011, FBI agents raided the home of businessman Walter Lian-Heen Liew and found a safe deposit box. Inside the box were details of a plot to steal DuPont’s secret billion-dollar color formula.

A jury convicted Liew of economic espionage in 2014 for stealing trade secrets and other charges. Uncover Cookie Confidential and more tales of economic espionage in the Museum's "Spying in the Market Place" exhibit. https://bit.ly/3oCXboW

📷: OREO

Calling all Girl Scouts! Explore the fascinating history of women in espionage and meet former CIA and FBI female practi...
03/04/2021

Calling all Girl Scouts! Explore the fascinating history of women in espionage and meet former CIA and FBI female practitioners with the Spy Museum!

Join us for the Sisterhood of Spies - A Virtual Girl Scout Event on Saturday, March 6; 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. ET.

Girl scouts will test their spy skills and learn tricks of the trade. Special guests including Jonna Mendez, Sonia Purnell, Liza Mundy and Tracy Walder will share their knowledge about the shadow world of spying and participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.

**Designed for Brownies — Senior Girl Scouts. Tickets available here: https://bit.ly/3rtJtWR

Pssst... be sure to get a Sisterhood of Spies fun patch! On sale at our retail store:
https://bit.ly/2OnCYWA

Address

700 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Washington D.C., DC
20024

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 18:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 18:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 18:00
Thursday 09:00 - 18:00
Friday 08:30 - 20:00
Saturday 08:30 - 20:00
Sunday 09:00 - 20:00

Telephone

+12023937798

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