E Pluribus Unum–Out of Many, One

This week, in honor of our nation’s birth, the selection of objects from our four public museums is inspired by the phrase E Pluribus Unum – “Out of Many, One.”  Approved as the motto for the new United States in 1776, during the same year as the Declaration was signed, this Latin phrase reflected a determination to assemble a single unified nation from a collection of states.  In recent weeks, we have been reminded of the challenges to realizing the ideal of unity in a country of people from different backgrounds and beliefs, especially in the face of powerful forces working to tear it apart.  But E Pluribus Unum expresses more than an ideal.  It reflects an essential truth about both nature and human society – that we are stronger and more resilient together, embracing all of our diversity, than we are apart.

Tidal Pool Community

diorama of Maine tidal pool community

Janet Taylor's Octant

octant made by janet taylor

Tapa Cloth with Great Seal

tapa bark cloth with great seal of united states

Coin That Connected a World

coin with head of athena; reverse side shows owl