Tuesday, November 9, 2010

National Museum of American History

We really enjoyed the National Museum of American History. One of my favorite exhibits was about Lincoln. Here is Lincoln's hat! Here's what the sign said: At six feet four inches tall, Lincoln towered over most of his contemporaries. He chose to stand out even more by wearing high top hats. He acquired this hat from J.Y. Davis, a Washington hat maker. Lincoln had the black silk mourning band added in rememberance of his son Willie. The last time he wore this top hat was to go to Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865.

 Here's Alex's hand next to a cast of Lincoln's hand.

 Alex's online history class studied quite a bit about the conspiracy theory in the murder of Abraham Lincoln. These are the masks worn by the 8 people who were executed for Lincoln's murder.

 The original Teddy Bear which got its name from Theodore Roosevelt!

 Kermit the Frog!

The museum has some 'living' times were actors/actresses appear as people from history. This young lady was teaching us about the Greensboro Four Sit In. We, the audience, were new to the passive resistance movement and learning how to act and about what we might expect. It was an amazing lesson! We even learned a song that we could use at a sit-in or other protests.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Washington Monument

Part of our trip included research (sent by the Carolina Homeschool group leader, Dianna) on some of the monuments and memorials we would be seeing. This really helped make our visit special! So, I'm adding some of what we learned beside our photos.
The Washington Monument was designed by Robert Mills. His original plan called for a "large structure, built of columns and housing a number of statues, with a 600-foot obelisk rising from the center." They basically ended up building the obelisk.

Construction was started in 1848 and completed in 1884.

 Construction was suspended for about 18 years because the money 'ran out' and the Civil War.

 The walls are composed of marble and the color changes about one third of the way up. When construction resumed after the Civil War, the marble that they were able to get was a slightly different color.

The monument is 555 feet 5 1/8 inches tall. It is estimated to weigh 90,000 tons.

Along the stairs (which are no longer open to the public) you can view memorial stones contributed by various states, civic groups, private organizations, and others. On the way down the monument, the elevator slows at several places to allow a brief view of some of these amazing memorials. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

DC - The Newseum

The Newseum was an AMAZING museum! We only spent about 4 hours there and I would have gladly went back for another day. It is kind of expensive, but it was one of our favorite stops.

The 1st Amendment is engraved onto the outside of the building. The museum is about news and how news is reported so the 1st Amendment is very important. (I'm thinking about having Alex memorize this!)

Around the outside of the building our front pages from each of the 50 states. We were excited that our very own Houston Chronicle was being featured for Texas! And, the main article was about the air show. The Newseum receives front pages from around the WORLD every day! And, you can access these pages online! Today they received 819 front pages from 78 countries! You can also choose to look at just the top 10. I enjoyed today's political comic front page from "Philadelphia Daily News."

One of the main exhibitions was about Hurricane Katrina. Alex really enjoyed this, too, because she lived through it! No, I don't mean through the hurricane, but most 'history' happened before she was born! And, we live in Houston where so many of the survivors/victims of the hurricane were transported. She remembers this event and took her time looking through this exhibit.

This was a sign explaining the markings that were left on the houses. They even had some of the boards off of the houses that were actually marked.

The Newseum has an amazing view of the capitol building. The street in the picture is Pennsylvania Avenue. Some of the networks use this area to film things happening on Pennsylvania Ave.

There are 15 theaters at the Newseum. Most of the films are between 5-15 minutes. We only watched two entire films - this one called "The Power of the Image." It was amazing! And we watched another movie about September 11th.
The September 11th exhibit mainly consisted of the film, this piece of one of the towers (I think I read it was an antenna, but I could be wrong), and a giant wall filled with front page articles about 9/11.

Another area was all about the 1st amendment. It talks about the 5 freedoms of this amendment: assembly, speech, petition, religion and the press. Alex and I enjoyed a computer game which tested your knowledge of the 1st amendment.

The museum also has one of the guard towers from the Berlin Wall. It is 3 stories tall and stood near Checkpoint Charlie. There are also 8 pieces of the Berlin Wall - the largest collection in the U.S. (I believe I actually read it was the largest collection outside of Germany, but I might not be remembering correctly.)

There was also an Elvis exhibition that was really neat. Alex and I watched part of a movie on a huge screen and looked that the exhibit. Neither of us is that interested in Elvis, but it was still fascinating. And, another exhibit I missed that I wanted to see was the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery. So, I think I'll be asking for this book for Christmas!