Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Arlington Cemetery and the Smithsonian Museum of American History

I got the opportunity to go into Washington DC again, and though it hadn't been in my original plan, I decided to go to Arlington Cemetery right as the metro was pulling up to the train stop. It was so last minute I nearly got hit by the automatic doors as I exited.

I looked at the map and found the location of "the tomb of the unknown soldier." On my way there I saw this amphitheater below. I've never heard of a graveyard with an amphitheater.

The soldiers who guard this tomb are at absolute attention. You can't distract them at all (not that I tried).

There's a beautiful view of the city beyond the tomb.

It's a HUGE cemetery and it took me a long time to get where I wanted to go. Luckily there were lots of pretty things to distract me.

This is the tomb of President and Jackie Kennedy.

I wanted to see the US Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial), and passed the Symbol of Friendship along the way.

And after a LOT of walking, I finally arrived at the thing I most wanted to see. This was the entire reason I decided to get off early on the metro instead of going into downtown DC.

It's really awe inspiring to be see.

It's considerably larger than it appears in pictures, and it was really neat to look at it from multiple angles.

I finally got too cold to stay outside, so I wandered into some of the different museums downtown, including the Smithsonian.

I really like Asian art. There's always so many interesting creatures and so many bright colors.

Here's the Indian god Ganesha.

This was one page of an epic book. I wish I'd had time to read the whole story. Every page is in the museum.

I liked these wolves.

We weren't allowed to take pictures of it, but the Smithsonian holds the original flag that inspired Francis Scott Key's "The Star Spangled Banner."

I wandered through the museum (quickly since I didn't have much time before it closed) to the nautical wing,

the train wing,

and the currency wing. It was interesting to see all the old coins and currency from colonial days.

I also got to see the recently built Julia Child's kitchen. Julie and her husband go to visit it at the end of the movie "Julie and Julia."

They even had a wing dedicated to first ladies' dresses.

This display is dedicated to the hard working washer women of the 19th and 20th centuries.

This is a preserved section of the Greensboro NC Woolworth's. It's from the civil rights movement where black people would "sit in" the "white only section" in order to protest against racial discrimination.

These puppet shows were parodies of the British taxation on American colonists that ultimately led to the Boston Tea Party. They even had a digital puppet show that I got to watch.

These were the outfits that the Lincolns wore on the fatal night that they attended Ford's theater.

And lastly, there was one of the original dumbo cars from the World's Fair when Walt Disney exhibited his ideas for a future Disneyland.

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