The National Museum of American History

Trip Start Mar 22, 2013
Trip End Mar 30, 2013

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Flag of United States  , District of Columbia
Friday, March 29, 2013

I slept in.  Sandy and Kevin went down to the corner cafe and brought back donuts!  And a Diet Coke for me...excellent breakfast!!!

I suggested the Smithsonian National Museum of American History for today.  It is on the Mall and only about 5-6 blocks.  Great idea.  Headed there about 10:45.  Not much of a line to get in.  (We have noticed that the longer lines tend to form in the afternoons rather than the mornings, so if you can get to places in the mornings...fewer crowds.)  

I wanted to see several things.  They have the original flag which flew over Fort McHenry during the war of 1812 which inspired Francis Scott Key to write The Star Spangled Banner.  What a great historic and inspiring story.  The flag used to fly in the middle of the museum until they realized the sun was making it deteriorate.  It's now in a cool dark room.  But interestingly it was sent on display to different cities in the past.  Some people even took parts of the flag and even a star as a souvenir.  It's a great tribute to our nation's colors.  Very well done!

Then we went into an area in the museum which could be called Americana, but is entitled American Stories.  It has artifacts from great and small events in American history.  Let me give you a no particular order:

*  A piece of Plymouth Rock
*  Ben Franklin's walking stick (which he willed to George Washington when he died)
*  Dorothy's Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of OZ
*  Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hat
*  Bell's telephone
*  George Washington's Uniform
*  Jefferson's Bible
*  Mohammed Ali's Boxing Gloves
*  FDR's fireside chat microphone
*  R-2 D-2 and C3PO.......just to name a few.  Great museum!

We visited an exhibit on the American Presidency.  Extremely well done!  It reinforced my opinion that Washington was the greatest president...he was willing to give up his office to the next man (Adams) elected President.  I am not sure any other King or Queen had ever done that.  It helped shape our country to this very day.  I often ask myself what type of man it took to do that?  I don't know the answer, but it has something to do with being a man who was selfless and caring more for the country he loved than his own personal well-being.  Seems to me we need more people like that!    

We met Laura and had lunch.  Laura and Kevin did simulator rides after lunch.   Then we headed toward our hotel to relax...well, Kevin and Laura went back to the Mall and played football.  And a good time was had by all.  

This evening we went to dinner at PF Changs.  I usually stay away from chain restaurants, but we can't get PF Changs in BMI, so we headed there.  Great dinner.  

Headed back and saw the great monuments at night.  Iwo Jima, Jefferson, Lincoln, etc...very stirring by night.  

It was a great last night in Washington DC.  Hope Kevin remembers it!  On our way home tomorrow to Philly - Atlanta and home.  It's been a good vacation!  

Take care my friends and relatives!!!


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