Jul 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rep. Andy Kim donates suit he wore on Jan. 6 to the Smithsonian

Andy Kim

Photo: Erin Scott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) announced Tuesday that he is donating the blue suit he wore to the Capitol on Jan. 6 to the Smithsonian Institute.

Why it matters: The Smithsonian said in January that its National Museum of American History was working to collect artifacts related to the events of the violent insurrection at the Capitol. Tuesday marks the six-month anniversary of the deadly riot.

Between the lines: A photo of Kim wearing the suit and cleaning the leftover debris in the Capitol rotunda late on Jan. 6 went viral. "It really broke my heart and I just felt compelled to do something. … What else could I do?” Kim said at the time, per AP.

The bottom line: Kim said he decided to donate his suit to the Smithsonian to tell the truth of the events of that day, even as some try to "erase what happened, voting against commissions/committees aimed at documenting history."

  • "Like my suit, what I did on Jan. 6 on its face was unremarkable. I saw a mess and cleaned it. I wanted to right the wrongs of that day as quickly and as tangibly as I could," Kim wrote.
  • "I told the Smithsonian yes to donating the blue suit because the telling of the story of Jan. 6 isn’t optional, it is necessary. There are many stories of Jan. 6. Mine is just one. We cannot heal as a nation unless we have truth. Let truth be truth."
  • "Smithsonian is entrusted to help tell the story of America. It isn’t always a pretty story, but it is an unfinished story with the persistent hope that it will improve and that we can repair our faults."
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