What I learned in Washington, DC–Part Two


Riding Amtrak, heading for the Midwest. Outside my window are the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia. So, I know you’ve been anxiously waiting what else I learned in Washington, DC. (Rather presumptuous of me, I know!)

On our second day, we visited the National Archives and the Newseum. The Archives are free but the Newseum is not, but it is very worth the price. Since my daughter is studying American Government this semester, I decided the Archives were a necessary stop to see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. She made fun of me for always being the homeschool mom and fitting in education during a vacation. She’s right, and it’ll forever be ingrained in me!

Here are some interesting things I learned at the Archives:

  • Elegant handwriting was a sign of high social standing. The more curls and flourishes the higher the standing. Looking at those documents, I thought about the person who handwrote them with such impeccable penmanship. What an honor, but also hard work.
  • There is one misspelling in the Constitution. Do you know what it is?
  • The Declaration of Independence hasn’t always been as well taken care of as it is now – in a humidity- and light-controlled glass case. It is extremely faded because it has been placed in sunlight and even once was carried around on a horse-drawn cart.
  • Want to find out about a UFO investigation, the case logs are housed in the Archives.

At the Newseum, there is a large selection of memorabilia from newspapers and other media over the years. They even have newspapers from the 1600s. A little trivia for you:

  • President Ulysses S. Grant coined the term “lobbyist.”
  • When King Charles II’s spaniel was stolen, a “lost dog” ad was placed in a London news book.
  • The first instance of Pennsylvania Ave. being called by that name was by Thomas Jefferson, but no one knows exactly why the street was given that name.
  • It is 1.2 miles from the Capitol to the White House on Pennsylvania Ave. Think about that the next time you see a President and First Lady walking it on inauguration day.
  • No journalists died in the 9/11 tragedy. However, one photographer died as he was shooting the events when the second tower came down and he was under an overhead walkway. They found his camera and were able to salvage his photos. Six engineers from local New York television and radio stations died. The radio tower from on top of one of the towers is on display at the Newseum.

There you have it. My lesson for today from Washington, DC. It is a great place to visit. Oh, the misspelling in the Constitution is “Pensylvania.”

Those are my thoughts for today


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