Sunday, December 1, 2013

Washington, D.C. - Day 8: The Smithsonian Museum of American History

Our last day in Washington, D.C. was Thursday, November 7.  We thought we might try yet another day, but by our eighth day in the city, we were getting worn out.
We spent our last day in D.C. at the Smithsonian Museum of American History.
This museum is stuffed with pieces of Americana.  We saw the original Star Spangled Banner – yes, the one for which the national anthem was written at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.  (And it was much larger than I thought it would be!)
We saw pieces of pop culture: Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Kermit the Frog, Archie Bunker’s chair.  And there’s nothing that makes you feel older than seeing items you grew up with in a museum.  Right there in a glass case at the museum was an Apple II computer, just like the ones I learned to use in junior high school!  I’m not that old!
We saw Abraham Lincoln’s death mask, as well as the top hat he was wearing on the night of his assassination.  We saw Julia Child’s kitchen.  We saw the gowns that the First Ladies wore to inaugural balls.  We saw old trains and cars – even an old RV (along with a description of the “Trailer Problem”)!  We saw the counter that the Civil Rights lunch counter sit-in took place.  We saw the Watergate file cabinet that was broken into, which ultimately caused the resignation of President Nixon.
There were so many neat things to see at this museum!  We spent several hours there before heading back home again.  Interestingly enough, while eating lunch in the cafeteria we bumped into the same people who were in line behind us at the White House!  And our 15yo son actually saw someone he knew from Boy Scout camp in Texas!  What a small world!
When we left the city, we bid it farewell.  There were many more things we wanted to see in Washington, D.C., but we could have spent another two weeks there and still not seen it all.  I really like D.C. and hope to return in the future.