A New Jersey congressman has donated the suit he wore in a viral photo of him cleaning up after a mob attacked the U.S. Capitol to the Smithsonian.
Democratic Rep. Andy Kim says the Smithsonian Institute reached out to him in the following days after the Jan. 6 mob backing President Donald Trump ransacked the building. The American History Museum confirmed it has received the suit, though a museum spokesperson says there's no immediate plan for the blue suit to be put on display.
The suit became part of what the future historians will get to study after the congressman was photographed cleaning up the debris left behind by the insurrectionists.
At the time, the 39-year-old said he didn't think anything of his actions, only that he simply wanted to "right the wrong." Kim says he originally bought the J.Crew suit on sale to wear to President Joe Biden's inauguration, but it has now taken on a new meaning.
"This suit meant a lot of different things for me. It was originally a suit that I purchased in a celebratory way…excited to have a new suit to wear for such a big occasion. The suit then took on a different meaning where I couldn’t help but see the tragedy of January 6th and then it became a suit that I started to see reflected in people around this country. They see in it a sense of hope and resilience from that day," Kim told NBC News.
Kim, a second-term Democrat from a district Trump won twice, wasn’t looking for publicity, according to one colleague who came upon him and didn’t recognize him at first.
“I think it was 1 in the morning,” said fellow New Jersey Democratic Rep. Tom Malinowski. “There were a couple National Guardsman and I noticed somebody on his hands and knees leaning under a bench to pick something up and it was Andy all by himself, just quietly removing debris and putting it in a plastic bag. He was clearly not doing it for an audience.
“It was for me the most poignant moment of the long night.”
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Kim “represents the very best of New Jersey and our nation.”