Tuesday, 19 November 2013 00:00

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.

The Library's mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.

As Librarian of Congress, I oversee the many thousands of dedicated staff who acquire, catalog, preserve, and make available library collections within our three buildings on Capitol Hill and over the Internet. I am pleased that you are visiting our Web site today, and I invite you return to it often.

Published in Historical Attractions
Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., across from the Washington Monument. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the primary statue – Abraham Lincoln, 1920 – was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin. Dedicated in 1922, it is one of several monuments built to honor an American president.

The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address. The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on August 28, 1963, during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Like other monuments on the National Mall – including the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and National World War II Memorial – the memorial is administered by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks group. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since October 15, 1966. It is open to the public 24 hours a day. In 2007, it was ranked seventh on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects.

"In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever." Beneath these words, the 16th President of the United States sits immortalized in marble as an enduring symbol of unity, strength, and wisdom.

 

Published in Historical Attractions
Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Lincoln Park

Lincoln Park is an urban park located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The largest Capitol Hill Park, Pierre L'Enfant included it in his original 1791 plan for the District of Columbia, intending it for public use. L'Enfant planned it to be the point from which all distances in North America would be measured, although it was not ultimately utilized for this purpose. It was known historically as Lincoln Square.

Laid out in L'Enfant's plan for Washington as a square to hold a monumental column from which point all distances on the continent would be measured, Lincoln Park was slow to develop, and, in fact, was used for years as a dumping ground.  During the Civil War, it was the site of Lincoln Hospital, named after the President, and among the places visited by Walt Whitman, who made rounds to comfort the injured and dying soldiers. The name apparently stuck and, in 1867, Congress authorized it to be called Lincoln Square as a memorial to the martyred leader, the first site to bear his name. Lincoln Park is also the location for the Emancipation Monument

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Manassas National Battlefield

Manassas National Battlefield Park, located north of Manassas, in Prince William County, Virginia, preserves the site of two major American Civil War battles: the First Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, and the Second Battle of Bull Run which was fought between August 28 and August 30, 1862 (also known as the First Battle of Manassas and the Second Battle of Manassas, respectively). The peaceful Virginia countryside bore witness to clashes between the armies of the North (Union) and the South (Confederacy), and it was there that Confederate General Thomas J. Jackson acquired his nickname "Stonewall."

Today the National Battlefield Park provides the opportunity for visitors to explore the historic terrain where men fought and died more than a century ago. More than 900,000 people visit the battlefield each year. (In comparison, roughly 15 million people annually visit nearby Washington, DC.) As a historic area under the National Park Service, the park was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15, 1966.

The Henry Hill Visitor Center, on Sudley Road by the south entrance to the park, offers exhibits and interpretation regarding the First Battle of Bull Run, including civil war era uniforms, weapons, field gear and an electronic battle map. The center offers the orientation film "Manassas: End of Innocence", as well as a bookstore

Published in Historical Attractions
Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Marine Corp War Memorial

The Marine Corps War Memorial (also called the Iwo Jima Memorial) is a United States military monument outside the walls of Arlington National Cemetery and in Arlington Ridge Park, Arlington, Virginia. The memorial is dedicated to all personnel of the United States Marine Corps who have died in the defense of the United States since 1775.

The memorial represents this nation's gratitude to Marines and those who have fought beside them. While the statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II.

"In honor and in memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since November 10, 1775."

 

Published in Historical Attractions
Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00

Marine Corps Museum

The National Museum of the Marine Corps is the historical museum of the United States Marine Corps. Located in Triangle, Virginia near MCB Quantico, the museum opened on November 10, 2006, and is now the top tourist attraction in the state, drawing over 500,000 people annually.

The museum replaces both the Marine Corps Historical Center in the Washington Navy Yard, which closed on July 1, 2005, and the Marine Corps Air-Ground Museum in Quantico, Virginia, which closed on November 15, 2002.

A public-private venture, the museum is a cooperative effort between the United States Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation. The Foundation manages the museum operation, while the museum building will be donated to the Marine Corps.

Designed by Curtis W. Fentress of Fentress Architects, the museum's exterior is meant to "evoke the image of the flag raisers of Iwo Jima," an image that is also preserved by the Marine Corps War Memorial.

The museum is 100,000-square-foot, and is open to the public with free admission.

Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the groundbreaking March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom witnessed the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.  It is fitting that on this date, reminiscent of the defining moment in Dr. King's leadership in the Civil Rights movement; in the form of solid granite, his legacy is further cemented in the tapestry of the American experience.  His leadership in the drive for realization of the freedoms and liberties laid down in the foundation of the United States of America for all of its citizens, without regard to race, color, or creed is what introduced this young southern clergyman to the nation. The delivery of his message of love and tolerance through the means of his powerful gift of speech and eloquent writings inspire to this day, those who yearn for a gentler, kinder world .  His inspiration broke the boundaries of intolerance and even national borders, as he became a symbol, recognized worldwide of the quest for civil rights of the citizens of the world.

Published in Historical Attractions
Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

National Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum maintains the world's largest and  most significant collection of aviation and space artifacts, encompassing all aspects of human flight, as  well as related works of art and archival materials. It operates two landmark  facilities that, together, welcome more than eight million visitors a year, making it the most visited museum in the country. It also is home to the Center for Earth and  Planetary Studies.

The Museum houses thousands of artifacts showcased in exhibitions on  aviation, space exploration, and planetary science. At both of its locations, the Museum presents programs, educational activities, lectures, and performances that reflect the American  spirit, and the innovation, courage, and optimism that have led to triumphs in  the history, science and technology of flight. At the Museum in Washington, DC, which  opened in 1976 and is located in the heart of the Smithsonian complex in Washington, DC, some of the most awe-inspiring icons of flight are on display. 

The National Air and Space Museum is the largest of 19 museums included in the Smithsonian Institution. The Museum's Director is assisted by three Associate Directors, who oversee Research and Curatorial Affairs; Management and Public Programs; and External Affairs. The Smithsonian's aeronautical collection began in 1876 when a group of kites was  acquired from the Chinese Imperial Commission.

Published in Historical Attractions
Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

National Arboretum

The National Arboretum in Washington, DC displays 446 acres of trees, shrubs and plants and is one of the largest arboretums in the country. Visitors enjoy a variety of exhibits from formal landscaped gardens to the Gotelli Dwarf and slow growing Conifer Collection. The National Arboretum is most known for its bonsai collection. Other special displays include seasonal exhibits, aquatic plants, and a National Herb garden. During the early spring, the site is popular spot to see more than 70 varieties of Cherry Trees.

Thursday, 31 October 2013 00:00

National Fallen Firefighters Memorial

National Fallen Firefighters Memorial since 1990 is officially designated by the United States Congress as the National Memorial to career and volunteer fallen firefighters. Located in Emmitsburg, Maryland, it was conceived as a tribute to American fire service. The memorial was constructed in 1981 on the campus of the National Fire Academy. Plaques listing the names of firefighters encircle the plaza from the same year. When a firefighter dies on duty, local fire officials notify the United States Fire Administration and a notice is immediately posted on the Memorial grounds. The flags over the Memorial are flown at half-staff in honor of the fallen firefighter. If some criteria are met, the fallen firefighter is honored at the annual memorial service. The Memorial is open to the public throughout the year.

On October 16, 2001, President George W. Bush approved legislation requiring the United States flag to be lowered to half-staff on all Federal buildings to memorialize fallen firefighters. Public Law 107-51 requires this action to occur annually in conjunction with observance of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service. The date of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Service is traditionally the first Sunday in October. The service is held at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial.

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