I don’t know who is in charge of estimating the amount of time needed to visit different sights in the Frommers guides to cities but whoever it is must also be a speed-reader and speed-walker. While we were riding the train into Washington D.C. I was reading the Frommers guide. It says it will take approximately an hour to do a tour of the National Museum of American History (part of the Smithsonian). I knew better from past experiences with these types of guides. I was feeling poorly this morning and so we waited until I was feeling better to head in. We were on the train by 1:00 pm and made it into the city by 1:30. We stood in line outside the museum waiting to go through bag check. We got into the museum shortly before 2 pm and started out. This is the museum that houses all types of things from American History. Not just things most people consider history (war artifacts and president’s under ware) it also houses things from what most people consider Pop Culture.
We started out walking through by seeing THE Stars and Stripes. This is the flag that was actually flying over Fort McHenry in the War of 1812 that inspired Frances Scott Key to write the National Anthem. It is falling apart but then again I would be too if I was 300+ years old. It was neat to see the flag. Next we headed toward the document room and on the way passed the Lunch Counter from Greensboro, North Carolina from the F.W. Woolworth where the African American teenagers held their sit-in to fight for their Civil Rights. Talk about taking a moment to reflect. We have spent the last few months learning all about the Civil War and knowing it still took another 100 years after the Emancipation Proclamation for blacks and whites to be able to sit and have lunch together is often a staggering thing for me.
We spent time wandering the different halls. They have everything from the original Kermit the Frog to a collection of Edison’s light bulbs. They have Julia Child’s kitchen where I again needed to stop and reflect on how Food Television has changed my life and taught me to cook in ways nothing else could. Bill was particularly taken by some of the original computers.
I have taken on a quest to learn more about the past U.S. Presidents. It is something that was not truly covered when I was in High School or Middle School or well any school. We have been reading about different presidents and learning about them through the National Parks. I have discovered I have a few that have begun to really stand out in my mind. Lincoln is so far up on my list that none other can even begin to compare. Talk about a man with principals. Someone told me once that the presidents that die in office are only famous because of their deaths. In the case of Lincoln I have to call foul on that statement. Here we have a man that was voted into office without a single Electoral vote from the “South”. The only president to have an assassination attempt on his life before he could be inaugurated. A man that was thrown head first into a war for the freedom of slaves. He was so noble. In a time where slavery was accepted he didn’t accept it for he believed no man should own another. This was not a common belief in his time. Okay this is not a post about Lincoln I need to move on. Anyway one of my favorite items we saw today was Lincoln’s hat. Very cool.
Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt is closing in on my top 5 favorites. He was a Rough Rider and fought to make sure that the West stayed Wild. He was a conservationist even if for odd reasons. He is the reason we have “Teddy” bears. I was also tickled to see his riding chaps on display.
There is nearly half a floor devoted to what they call, “Freedom isn’t Free” which covers all of the American Wars. It is sad and patriotic at the same time. It does rile up the pacifist in me. I come from a family of soldiers but at my core I wish the fighting could stop. I don’t agree with war but I do understand that at times it is necessary. If someone tries to kill me or mine I will defend them I just wish the bullies that instigated would disappear so we could all live in my peaceful harmonious world where cats and dogs love each other. So after visiting the “war” room I had to skip over and spend a little time in reflection of Julie Child’s kitchen. Ahh lots of butter and salt and tasty things. Too bad the cafeteria isn’t located next door so you could get some smells to go with the kitchen. Grin.
Over FIVE HOURS later we were finally content that we had completed our visit to the museum… Frommers I think you need to do some re-calculations you are a LITTLE off. LMAO