President Lincoln's Cottage
President Lincoln's Cottage is a national monument on the grounds of the Soldiers' Home, known today as the Armed Forces Retirement Home. It is located near the Petworth and Park View neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.. President Lincoln's Cottage was formerly known as Anderson Cottage.
President Abraham Lincoln and family resided seasonally on the grounds of the Soldiers' Home to escape the heat and political pressure of downtown Washington, as did President James Buchanan (1857–1861) before him. President Lincoln's Cottage also served as the Summer White House for Presidents Rutherford B. Hayes (1877–1881) and Chester A. Arthur (1881–1885)
The historic Cottage, built in the Gothic revival style, was constructed from 1842 to 1843 as the home of George Washington Riggs, who went on to establish the Riggs National Bank in Washington, D.C. Lincoln lived in the cottage June to November 1862 through 1864 and during the first summer living there, Lincoln drafted the preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. Mary Todd Lincoln fondly recalled the campus; in 1865, she wrote, "How dearly I loved the Soldiers' Home."
The Soldiers' Home stands on 251 acres (1.02 km2) atop the third highest point in Washington. The Home was designated a National Historic Landmark on November 7, 1973, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 11, 1974. In 2000, the cottage was placed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered list. Then about 2.3 acres (9,300 m2) of the Home was proclaimed a National Monument by President Bill Clinton on July 7, 2000. The National Trust took on the restoration which was completed in 2007. The Cottage exterior was restored to the period of Lincoln’s occupancy in the 1860s by the Philadelphia firm J. S. Cornell & Son, according to the standards of the National Park Service. Today it is managed through a cooperative agreement between the Armed Forces Retirement Home and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The adjacent Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center features exhibits about the Soldiers' Home, wartime Washington, D.C., Lincoln as Commander-in-Chief during the Civil War, and a special exhibit gallery. President Lincoln's Cottage and Visitor Education Center is open to the public for tours seven days a week.
Rappahannock Railway Workers Museum
Every Saturday morning from 9am-12pm the National Railway Historical Society opens its Railroad and Railway Workers Museum to vsitors who enjoy the days of olde. See everything from tools and equipment used by railway workers of the past century and the many other train related items, Railway Express Baggage car, restored cabooses, and the grounds containing various signalling and Maintenance of Way equipment. Members are on hand to provide more detailed explanations of railroad equipment. operations and safety. Weather and other conditions permitting board the restored crew cars used by the workers in the early to mid twentieth century and take a liesurely excursion along the Spotsylvania County tracks along Deep Run.
S. Dillon Ripley Smithsonian Gallery
The International Gallery is home to a revolving and exciting array of visiting exhibitions. Check at the information desk in the Castle for show information. Enter at the copper-domed kiosk on Jefferson Drive next to the Castle.
American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music (July 11, 2011-Oct. 9, 2011). One of the first interactive museum exhibitions to tell the story of the profound influence and impact of Latinos in American popular music, including jazz, R&B, rock 'n' roll and hip-hop.
Artists At Work (June 23, 2011-Oct. 2, 2011) Ripley Center Concourse. Works in all media—painting, sculpture, photography and video—by Smithsonian staff.
The Discovery Theater
The Discovery Theater offers the best in live performing arts for young people. Each season more than 30 performances feature puppets, music, theater, storytelling, dance and cutting-edge science for groups and families. Visit DiscoveryTheater.org or call 202-633-8700.
Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES) showcases 40 to 50 exhibitions in cities across the nation every year. Look for a Smithsonian traveling exhibition scheduled to visit your community at sites.si.edu.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum includes paintings, sculpture, photographs, folk art, and decorative arts from the colonial period to today—offer an unparalleled record of the American experience.
Highlights Lunder Conservation Center; Luce Foundation Center for American Art, a public study center with more than 3,300 artworks to explore; Kogod Courtyard with free, public Wi-Fi internet access
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (on the building itself called the John F. Kennedy Memorial Center for the Performing Arts, and commonly referred to as the Kennedy Center) is a performing arts center located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. The Center, which opened on September 8, 1971, produces and presents theater, dance, ballet, orchestral, chamber, jazz, popular, and folk music, in addition to multi-media performances for all ages.
It is the busiest performing arts facility in the United States and annually hosts approximately 2,000 performances for audiences totaling nearly two million; Center-related touring productions, television, and radio broadcasts welcome 20 million more. Now in its 41st season, the Center presents the greatest examples of music, dance and theater; supports artists in the creation of new work; and serves the nation as a leader in arts education. With its artistic affiliate, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Center's achievements as a commissioner, producer, and nurturer of developing artists have resulted in over 200 theatrical productions, dozens of new ballets, operas, and musical works.
It represents a public-private partnership, since it is both the nation's living memorial to President John F. Kennedy and the "national center for the performing arts," which includes educational and outreach initiatives, almost entirely paid for through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.
Designed by architect Edward Durell Stone, it was built by Philadelphia contractor John McShain and is administered by a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution. It receives federal funding each year to pay for the maintenance and operation of the building.
The National Civil War Life Museum
The National Civil War Life Museum is a step back in time to the days of the Civil War. With more than 2,000 exhibits on display, anyone visiting the museum will feel what it was really like to have not only fought in the war, but to have lived during the time of the war.
Theodore Roosevelt Island
In the 1930s landscape architects transformed Mason’s Island from neglected, overgrown farmland into Theodore Roosevelt Island, a memorial to America’s 26th president. They conceived a “real forest” designed to mimic the natural forest that once covered the island. Today miles of trails through wooded uplands and swampy bottomlands honor the legacy of a great outdoorsman and conservationist
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, is also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and has never been officially named. The Tomb of the Unknowns stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.
The white marble sarcophagus has a flat-faced form and is relieved at the corners and along the sides by neo-classic pilasters, or columns, set into the surface. Sculpted into the east panel which faces Washington, D.C., are three Greek figures representing Peace, Victory, and Valor. The six wreaths, three sculpted on each side, represent the six major campaigns of World War I. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words:
Tudor Place House & Garden
Tudor Place is a Federal-style mansion in Washington, D.C. that was originally the home of Thomas Peter and his wife, Martha Parke Custis Peter, a granddaughter of Martha Washington. Step-grandfather George Washington left her the $8,000 in his will that was used to purchase the property in 1805. The property, comprising one city block on the crest of Georgetown Heights, had an excellent view of the Potomac River.
U.S. Capitol Historical Society
The United States Capitol Historical Society is a nonprofit and nonpartisan educational organization created in 1962 to promote the history of the Capitol and Congress, USCHS serves as an informational and educational resource for its members and the general public.
The Society was established in 1962 as a private non-profit organization. Founded through a bipartisan effort by Congress, the society's creation was spearheaded by its first president, Representative Fred Schwengel of Iowa. The group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. They have an Oral History collection at the Library of Congress.