May 18, 2006 - On May 18, 2006, The National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian, Washington DC, introduced the very popular exhibit Muppets & Mechanisms: Jim Henson’s Legacy. Thanks to a loan from the Jim Henson Family Collection, and the financial support of The Jane Henson Foundation and The Jim Henson Legacy, the exhibit offered audiences a rare chance to see original puppets used in Sam and Friends, including the original Kermit, as well other beloved characters like Rowlf the Dog and the Swedish Chef. Also featured was a display on animatronics featuring characters from The Dark Crystal and Ma and Emmett Otter. The exhibit kicked off with welcoming remarks by NMAH Director Brent D. Glass, Senior Curator Dwight Bowers, Willard Scott, Jane Henson, Heather Henson, and a performance by the choir from The Jim Henson School of Arts, Media and Communication, an auxiliary of Northwestern High School. Over one million people visited the exhibit before the museum closed for renovation in September.