The date of James Smithson's birth has been calculated to be 1765, but there are no known records of his date or place of birth.
Paul H. Oehser, editor, Knowledge Among Men: Eleven Essays on Science, Culture, and Society Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of James Smithson, Washington, D.C.: Simon and Schuster in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution, 1966.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 142, Records of the Smithson Bicentennial, Office of the Secretary, 1964-1966.
To commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of James Smithson, the founding donor of the Smithsonian Institution, Secretary S. Dillon Ripley organized a three day celebration and symposium with scholars from around the world. The event included an academic procession, addresses by Chief Justice Earl Warren and Thomas Boylston Adams, concerts and a parade by the United States Marine Corps, a banquet, presentation of the Hodgkins Medal and Smithson Medal, and lectures by distinguished scholars. The James Smithson Medal was newly created to honor those who made a substantial contribution to Smithson's institution. New flags were designed for each Smithsonian museums and research center.
A book, "Knowledge Among Men: Eleven Essays on Science, Culture, and Society Commemorating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of James Smithson," was published in 1966 from the symposium. It contained essays by Jerome S. Bruner, Herbert Butterfield, Sir Kenneth Mackenzie Clark, Ian McTaggart Cowan, G. Evelyn Hutchinson, Arthur Koestler, Claude Levi-Strauss, Lewis Mumford, Robert Oppenheimer, Stephen E. Toulmin, and Fred L. Whipple.