How did this hoe end up in the collection?

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The museum acquires artifacts in many different ways. Sometimes we go out and really seek things. Sometimes they're given to us anonymously and sometimes we become an attractive target and it's one of the reasons that a museum needs to be public in order to let fortuitous occasions happen. The Smithsonian sponsored a very large exhibition, a traveling exhibition celebrating our own history, our 150 years of existence and as the exhibition traveled the country, it traveled to California and the Chavez family saw the exhibition and thought that it was important that this hoe, this family heirloom and this was something that was really priceless. It was really well respected within the family, that it should be in the Smithsonian with these other treasures of American history, with Jefferson's desk, with the Star Spangled Banner, with those great things. It would important to have the Chavez hoe and so while the Secretary of the Smithsonian was out in California, they contacted us and made the presentation, so it was really-- It was a wonderful thing. The collections became stronger, they got the-- Really the honor that they duly should receive and it was a great occasion.


Interview with Peter Liebhold, National Museum of American History, May 31, 2006.