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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Mary Harrison McKee's gown, 1889Mary Harrison McKee's gown, 1889

McKee, the daughter of President Benjamin Harrison, wore this silk brocade gown at her father's inauguration in 1889. A political as well as a fashion statement, the dress—designed and made in the United States—reflected President Harrison's support for American industry. McKee loaned her gown to the Smithsonian in 1915 for the new first ladies exhibition. Thirty years later her children converted the loan to a gift, allowing the dress to remain a permanent part of the collection.

See also: Clothing, First Ladies Collection

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