The Wonder Years comes to the Smithsonian The iconic New York Jets jacket worn by actor Fred Savage in the award-winning TV series: "The Wonder Years" has become a part of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History (AP photos)
The Wonder Years comes to the Smithsonian
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Kevin Arnold's green New York Jets jacket that he wore in "The Wonder Years" has became a piece of history. The jacket, along with other items from the popular TV show, was donated to the Smithsonian Institution.

Costumes, studio tapes, scripts and Polaroid photos from the show have been donated to the National Museum of American History. They came from several people. These include Fred Savage, who played Arnold, as well as his mother and other cast members.

"The Wonder Years" ran from 1988 to 1993 on ABC. It was recently released on DVD.

Curator Dwight Blocker Bowers said the show was "meticulously designed" to recall the American experience in a turbulent time of the 1960s. It focused on the simple moments of growing up in a suburban town.

Savage said his mom, Joanne Savage, likes to keep everything. She held onto the green and white letterman style jacket since the show ended. When her children joked she was a hoarder, she would quip that the Smithsonian might want their things one day. So Fred Savage said he was surprised when the museum actually did want his old jacket.

He said "The Wonder Years' was special because it was about everyone.

"The show celebrated the achievements and the heroism of everyday life. Your first day of junior high, the first time you call a girl, your first kiss," Savage said. "That's where the beauty lies ... That's what makes up our memories."

Savage, 38, played the lead character Kevin Arnold. Savage now has two young children and directs TV shows, including "Modern Family." As a child actor from the age of 6, Savage said he was fascinated with the cameras. He always wanted to direct TV shows.

Savage said he sees some parallels between "The Wonder Years" throwback to 1960s suburbia and "Modern Family's" take on life now. Minds have opened, he said, to different ways families come together.

Critical thinking challenge: Is it possible that an experience from your own life could have been depicted on The Wonder Years, which was set in the 1960s? If so, describe it. If not, explain why.

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COMMENTS (18)
  • GF68
    12/15/2014 - 12:20 p.m.

    I think that jacket might cost a lot of money just because an actor wore it. But may be you can get an exact jacket cheaper! The only thing that makes it special is that an actor wore it in a TV show .

  • John0724-YYCA
    12/15/2014 - 09:47 p.m.

    That was weird how the boy's jacket was very special and The Wonder Years jacket ( which the jacket that the boy was wearing) meant everyone and the museum wanted the boy's jacket. But I still do not get it why it is very special because that jacket is just very old and represents us and why didn't they have it in the first time.? Well there are still some unknown stuff in this world.

  • ScarlettR-1
    12/16/2014 - 07:54 p.m.

    I read the article "'The Wonder Years' Comes to the Smithsonian". This article is about a picture along with a jacket from the show "The Wonder Years" is now going to be in the National Museum of American History. "The Wonder Years" was on from 1988 to 1993 on ABC. The person in the picture is Fred Savage. He is now the director for "Modern Family" on ABC. This show sounds super cool. I am going to watch it on Netflix.

  • JonathanAA-4
    12/16/2014 - 10:03 p.m.

    This article is about how Kevin Arnold's green New York Jets jacket that he wore in "Wonder Years" became a piece of history. the jacket along with other items from popular TV shows were donated to the Smithsonian Institute. The jacket is now one of the most famous items from TV shows. I thought this article was interesting because I think that it is cool that one jacket worn by a famous person was so special, it made history.

  • HannahM-3
    1/02/2015 - 11:28 p.m.

    Items from the hit ABC television show "The Wonder Years" are displayed in the Smithsonian. Polaroids, costumes, tapes and scripts are included in the exhibit along with Savage's green and white letterman jacket. All of theses items were collected from the actors, actresses and their famailes. Many people like to visit the exhibit of their favorite show because the show related to many people. I personally haven see the show "The Wonder Years" yet so I do not see the significance of this exhibit. But, I would like to watch the show and possibly see the exhibit one day.

  • ColeF-5
    1/08/2015 - 10:00 p.m.

    Kevin Arnold's green New York Jets jacket that he wore in "The Wonder Years" has became a piece of history. The jacket is now in the Smithsonian museum. At the museum there is also Polaroid photos of the jacket and more collectors items on display. I think this is very cool, and that more things like this should be on display at museums.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    6/03/2015 - 09:19 p.m.

    I think that it is cool for a jacket that says, The Wonder Years, which is now coming to Smithsonian, but I think that they sent the The Wonder Years jacket so that I think that they will know that it might belong to somebody else earlier. Well if the Wonder Years jacket has been sent to Smithsonian, I think that they want to make sure that the jacket does or doesn't belong to somebody else.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    6/24/2015 - 04:24 p.m.

    I think that it is weird to have a jacket in a museum when its worth like $10. I think that having these people do something like this is weird and I hope that the jacket can be returned to the owner because they don't like the jacket anymore. I hope that these people can know that jacket can be rare, but it was someone's and they can't just take something like that with-out the owner's permission. Yes they can be dead, but just leave the jacket with the owner because they really liked that jacket.

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