Photos: Oprah Exhibit at African-American Museum Includes ‘You Get a Car’ Memorabilia, Pages From Her Diary

If you love Oprah, you'll love the exhibit devoted to her at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

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","id":"510716","thumbnail_url":"https://nbcots.go-vip.co/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Woman_in_Custody_After_Man_Stabbed_to_Death_in_Miami.jpg?fit=1280%2C720","type":"image","focusedSlide":""},{"caption":"These are the chairs from "The Oprah Winfrey Show" set.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture
The exhibit opens by placing Oprah in historical context, with a whole room of photos and artifacts on the civil rights movement, women's movement and the media landscape in Oprah's early days.
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This huge bow was on a car Oprah gave away on the "You get a car!" show in 2004.
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On the day Oprah gave away hundreds of cars, each person in the audience was given a small gift box to open. They thought one person would find car keys inside. But keys like these — with a special Oprah keychain — were in every single box.
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This is the suit Oprah wore for the 2004 car giveaway.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture
Oprah at a Miss Fire Prevention contest in Nashville in 1971. She was the first black contestant to win. She told the judges she wanted to become a TV journalist like Barbara Walters. She later said she hadn't prepared that answer; it came to her in the moment.
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Oprah wrote this journal entry at midnight on Sept. 8, 1986, hours before her show debuted in national syndication. "I keep wondering how my life will change," she wrote.
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An ad for TV news Oprah was on in Nashville in 1975.
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Oprah bought these Stuart Weitzman heels for $750 to wear on her first "Tonight Show" appearance, in 1985.
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Oprah was born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, on Jan. 29, 1954. The exhibit looks at the world as she grew up.
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Oprah wore these size 10 Calvin Klein jeans when she announced on the air in 1988 that she had lost 67 pounds. She pulled out onto the stage a red wagon full of 67 pounds of animal fat. To lose the weight, she ate no solid food for four months.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture
Oprah's childhood diary, circa 1970.
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Oprah's high school student ID card in 1967.
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This is Oprah's high school scrapbook, circa 1971. On this page, she wrote about "My First Jobs" and "The Influentials" in her life.
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Oprah reading the news on WVOL-AM radio in Nashville, circa 1973.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture
An ad for Oprah as evening news anchor in Nashville in 1975.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture
The exhibit seeks to explain and explore what a cultural phenomenon Oprah's show was for decades, said Lonnie G. Bunch III, the museum's founding director. "I thought it was really important to find ways to help people understand how central African-American culture is to all of us. And I thought, who better than Oprah Winfrey? Here is somebody that all American listen to and find fascinating. The issues that she's raised really shaped us as a country," he said.
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This tote bag promoted Oprah's show in 1980.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture
This room of the exhibit pays tribute to black women who Oprah said paved the way for her.
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The exhibit tracks Oprah's development into a national star.
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This is the desk Oprah used at Harpo Studios in Chicago. If you look closely, you can see a photo of her longtime partner Stedman Graham.
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Here's another view of Oprah's desk. On the right are notecards that simply say "OPRAH" at the top in capital letters.
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National Museum of African American History and Culture
Here are on the chairs on Oprah's set.
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Oprah started her own company and became a billionaire.
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On the left are some of the chairs Oprah's audience sat in.
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Oprah for vice president? Here's a novelty pin with the suggestion.
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Oprah wore this Vera Wang gown at the Legends Ball in 2005.
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Oprah used this card to prepare for an interview with Tom Cruise in 2008 at his home in Telluride, Colorado.
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Oprah began donating to humanitarian causes in South Africa in 1980. This was a uniform at the boarding school for girls that she opened in 2007.
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A wall in the exhibit lists every episode of Oprah's show. It ran for 25 seasons, from Sept. 8, 1986 to May 25, 2011. They made 4,561 episodes.
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President Barack Obama awarded Oprah the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013. "In her story, we are reminded that no dream can be deferred when we refuse to let life's obstacles keep us down," he said.
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This was Oprah's script for the finale of her show. <a href="https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Oprah-Exhibit-Opening-at-DC-Museum_Washington-DC-484773811.html">Go here to see video from inside the exhibit</a>.
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