What do you think of when you hear the word “spy?” You might picture James Bond or even the fedora-clad platypus Agent P of Disney Channel’s Phineas and Ferb. But, for many people, there aren’t many real-life examples that easily come to mind. The International Spy Museum aims to change that, teaching visitors about the tools and tricks that make up the world of espionage.
Visitors can test their own skills on a secret undercover mission through the museum, starting at the fifth-floor briefing center. Other exhibits, meanwhile, interpret the gadgets, codes, and covert moments that make a spy effective.
And, of course, the museum delves into historical spies in their “Spying that Shaped History” exhibit. With nearly three centuries of American spies to consider, the museum moves from George Washington himself to the world of modern-day cyber operations. Unexpected spies make up a critical exhibit all their own, bringing even common names—if not well-known as spies per se—like Harriet Tubman and Harpo Marx to light.
Thanks to the International Spy Museum, residents of Newseum Residences and DC tourists alike can take their spy knowledge well beyond Jack Bauer and Secret Squirrel, into the depths of American history.