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It's easy being green at the Smithsonian

By the CNN Wire Staff
Jane Henson, co-creator of the Muppets, signs some papers at the Smithsonian on Wednesday.
Jane Henson, co-creator of the Muppets, signs some papers at the Smithsonian on Wednesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The original Kermit the Frog puppet has been donated to the Smithsonian
  • Nine other puppets from the 1950s show "Sam and Friends" were also donated
  • The puppets were donated by the family of Jim Henson
  • "Sam and Friends" aired from 1955 to 1961

Washington (CNN) -- Forget red versus blue. The nation's capital is seeing green.

Fifty-five years after debuting on a Washington television station, the original Kermit the Frog puppet was donated Wednesday to the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.

America's favorite amphibian was one of 10 puppets from the 1950s show "Sam and Friends" given to the museum by the family of Muppets creator Jim Henson.

Included in the cast of characters joining Kermit at his new home are Pierre the French Rat, a voracious purple skull named Yorick, and a yellow monster called Mushmellon -- possibly an early ancestor of Oscar the Grouch.

The Museum of American History also has, among other things, a 1969 version of Kermit the Frog, Howdy Doody, and Edgar Bergen's ventriloquist dummy Charlie McCarthy.

"With these puppets we provide insights into American identity, and we also explore entertainment and popular culture throughout our history," said Brent Glass, the museum's director.

"Jim Henson embodied the innovation and ingenuity that are inherent in American culture. Beyond the entertainment value, Henson's creations helped educate and helped inform his audiences, and they continue to influence us today."

"Sam and Friends" ran on Washington's NBC affiliate -- WRC-TV -- from 1955 to 1961. While many of its characters soon faded from public memory, Kermit went on to a starring role in shows such as "Sesame Street," launched in 1969, and "The Muppet Show," which ran from 1976 to 1980.

 
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