Governor’s PalaceVirginia’s Governor’sPalace was completed in1772 and instantly becameone of the most elegantand impressive buildingsin Colonial America. Thepalace was a statement ofpower, with impressivegates , gardens andweaponry hung on thewalls. Governors wholived in the palaceincluded ThomasJefferson, Patrick Henry,Alexander Spotswood andothers.
Gardens and grounds were designed to impress.The back garden evencontains a maze.
Weaponry Displayed in Entry• Demonstrates wealth• Impressive to colonists• Actually used in battle
Coffee ShopAt the colonial coffee shop, the reenactments by the volunteers werevery humorous and informative. The manager of the coffee shoptalked a lot about the people who came there and who it served. Mybrothers were told to sit in the corner because he couldn’t waste achair on them.
Children would not be served and would, to put it nicely, bequickly ushered from the building. Women never came to thecoffee shop because it was just not dignified. The managerexplained if they did, he most definitely serve them as long asthey could pay. Money, after all, was all that mattered; any manwho could pay for a cup of Joe would certainly be welcomed intothe shop. However, the average person usually couldn’t afford tostay at the coffee shop and pay for the expensive non-necessity, somost of the people there tended to be quite well off. Most of the businesses had signs that were pictures, like the coffee shop shown here, to show what their business was because many colonists couldn’t read.
Clothier The colonial clothier was a very different place than where we purchase our clothes today. The lady working at the colonial clothes shop was appalled to hear how we nowadays go to a large building, searching through endless racks of clothes, trying to find something we like and that fits.She was completely baffled that we would do this. She explained to us howpeople in her time ordered their clothes. A long fitting was the first step in theprocess, followed by picking the fabrics out, choosing exactly the style and coloryou wanted. Then there was obviously a long wait while the seamstress createdyour uniquely styled and colored dress.
StaysAnother interesting fact explained by theclothier was the idea of stays. Stays were atype of corset for children, hoping to givethem good posture. Boys wore stays fromthe time they began walking, up to 8 yearsold when they changed from wearingdresses to pants. Girls continued to wearthem. The clothier insisted that they werenot uncomfortable.
Boarding HouseOne of the most interesting facts I learned at the boarding house was aboutfixed rates. No boarding house had the right to decide how much a room orfloor space cost. The *government* decided every price set at boarding houses,from food to a place for your horse. Because of this, the house would havemany men share one room (all paying the designated rate). Two men wouldsleep in a twin bed like the one above and as many as 16 men would sleep in aroom with just two beds and a fireplace, many sleeping on the ground.
Apothecary In colonial times the apothecary did much more than simply sell drugs.An apothecary:• Provided medications• Prescribed medicine• Trained apprentices• Performed surgery• Served as mid-wives
Revolutionary CityIn the Revolutionary City, actors portrayed different characters and actedout different scenes from history. When we visited, we watched aconversation between slaves and saw a visit by Martha Washington. WhenMartha arrived, an angry townsperson came forward and complained to herabout wounded soldiers not getting their due compensation. Martha listenedand told him she would most definitely be checking into the situation.
Jamestown Settlement is a few miles from theoriginal Jamestown. It is a living history re-creation of the original settlement.
The Godspeed, The Discovery, and The Susan Constant werethe first three ships who voyaged their way to Virginia withEnglish colonists riding along. The boats are recreations ofthe original three colonial ships.
The original ships sailed from London on December 20,1606, headed for Virginia. The ships carried 105passengers and 39 crew members. There were 71 peopleaboard the Susan Constant, 52 on the Godspeed, and 21on the Discovery. All three ships were extremely hot andcrowded. They not only had all the people aboard butanimals, luggage and materials for building their newhome in Virginia.
Indians living near Jamestown played a huge role inthe lives of the colonists. It is true that, at first, thenatives were not the friendliest of neighbors to the newsettlers but after awhile they began to warm upto them. The Indians’ way of life helped the colonistsimmensely, to live better lives.
Native Americans had a very intricate way of making their houseswith branches and twigs. The colonist never used this technique forbuilding because they already had their own way of building stronglog cabins. The Indians taught colonists to skin animals and topreserve an animal, putting everything to good use. Seashells wereused to skin the fur off the hide of an animal such as a deer or elk.Another animal that was used quite regularly was fish. Fish were usedfor fertilizer and were one of the main reasons the natives could growsuch good crops. The colonists from England were very lucky to havethe Native Americans to help them survive in this new land.
Historic Jamestowne is the actual site of the first English settlement inAmerica. It is now a National Park.
Unfortunately, the settlers chose to stop and build their settlementright next to a swamp. Swamps were not a very good thing to be livingby. They brought bugs which brought diseases. Theres no fresh waterin a swamp, the land near swamps is extremely hard to grow crops in,and it was hard to move through when traveling and hunting. If thenew settlers of what is now Virginia had only moved a mile fartherinland, they would have found a much better place to build theirhome.
The Jamestown church is the only surviving seventeenth-centurybuilding in Jamestown. The church below is actually the secondchurch built in Jamestown. The first was burned down, thoughthe original foundation remains.
Pocahontas and John Rolfe were married in the second church.This church was not one you would come to once a week like iscommon in our time. It had a congregation present at least twice aday, every day of the week. Men and women were separated todifferent sides during church and sat on straight-backed, woodenpews.
Many battles were fought nearthe fort of Yorktown; and to fightthose battles you needed soldiersand those soldiers needed a placeto sleep, eat, and train. Hencecame army camps. Army campswere not usually the nicest ofplaces. The tents to the right,believe it or not, were shared bysix full grown men! And whenthere weren’t enough tents, moremen squeezed in, sometimesadding up to ten men stuffedinside one tiny tent. The crampedatmosphere wasn’t the onlytough aspect of camp.
The food could be whatever was found that day and/or leftovers from weeks before. Meats, beans, and vegetables were sloshed into pots with some water and no spices for flavor. Hardtack was served on a daily basis, if you could eat it. Hard tack was bread dried out to the point that it didn’t even crumble. It had virtually no taste and could take quite a while to swallow. Beans were served when they had them but were almost never fully cooked. “Can I have some more please?”
In the army camps for the colonialsoldiers, many camps practiceddifferent ways of punishing wrong-doers. One of the most commonpunishments was wearing signsstating what crime or sinful thing youhad done. They would say things like“THIEF”, “LIAR”, “CHEATER”, or,like the picture of my brother to theright, “DESERTER”.
Another popular form of punishment was ‘the horse’. A wooden horse whoseback was about 5 feet from the ground was used as a cruel way ofpunishment. It had a back usually only and inch or two wide which made itvery uncomfortable to straddle. To make it even worse, victims usually hadweights tied to their legs to add to the pain.
A colonial farm house in Yorktown would be quite simple. Therewas usually a bottom and top floor. The top floor was usuallydedicated as the dining room area, bedroom, and sewing andrecreational area. The top floor was usually used as the sleeping areafor the children and a storage area for wood, cloth, food, etc.
The dining table was usually handmade and very simple. Nicer dishes wouldbe made from pewter and less nice made from wood. Forks had not been madeso the family only ate with a spoon or knives.The adult beds were a lot shorter than the ones we have today because peopleslept sitting up with their back against the wall. It was thought that sitting uphelped air flow through your body, not trapping toxins in your lungs. Thefamily toilet was placed downstairs usually by the parents’ bed. This “toilet”was really just a pot that was emptied every morning. The upstairs of thefarmhouse didn’t contain much. The children usually didn’t have beds, but justslept on pallets stuffed with straw. The rest of the space was mostly used forstorage.
In Yorktown we saw a rarebroadside printing of America’sDeclaration of Independence,dating to July 1776.This document was printed afterthe Declaration was adopted butbefore the handwritten versionwas signed by members ofCongress on August 2, 1776. The official printing, with thenames of all of the signers, wasauthorized by Congress severalmonths later, in January 1777.
White House Facts•The white house has approximately6000 visitors a day.• There are 132 rooms, 32 bathroomsand 6 levels.• In various times in history theWhite house has been known as thePresident’s Palace, President’sHouse, and the Executive Mansion.• The White House requires 570gallons of paint to cover the outsidesurface.•The White House wasn’t alwayswhite; they painted it white after theBritish tried to burn it down.•Barack Obama was the firstpresident to have a computer in theOval Office.
We were surprised to learn that the White House was right inthe middle of the city. Pictures always make it looks like it’s offby itself (and larger than it looks in person). This building, underconstruction, is directly to the right of the White House. It wasactually much fancier than the White House. (The “patriotic” hatbelongs to our tour guide who wore it so we wouldn’t lose trackof him in the city.)
Concepción Picciotto has protested nuclear war by living in a tentacross the street from the White House since 1981. I thought ourtour guide was joking when he said she’d been there for 30 years,but he wasn’t. Her husband used to camp with her, but he passedaway. (Note: The lady outside the tent is not Concepcion. She istalking to Concepcion who is quite elderly.)
The SmithsonianThe Smithsonian Institution is a museum and research complex of 19museums and galleries. There are more than 30 million visitors tothe Smithsonian every year. The total number of objects , works ofart, and specimens at the Smithsonian is estimated at 137 million.We had a VERY brief stop at the Museum of American History andthe Museum of Natural History.
Lincoln Memorial Located at the Western end of the National Mall in Washington DC, The Lincoln Memorialcommemorates the 16th president ofthe Unites States, Abraham Lincoln.The writing behind the statue says; “IN THIS TEMPLE AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION, THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN IS ENSHRINED FOREVER.” The north wall of the memorialshows writings of Lincoln’s second inaugural speech. The south wall has the complete GettysburgAddress on it. Above that is a muralshowing the angel of truth freeing a slave.
The Lincoln Memorial is huge! You can either enter on the bottom side and take an elevator up, or walk up the stairs at the front.You have a great view of theNational Mall from the LincolnMemorial, but it was dark bythe time we got there. To theright is the WashingtonMemorial at night.
FDR Memorial Dedicated in May 1997, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial honors the man who served nearly four terms as president of the United States and has been called one of America’s greatest leaders. Sculptures of FDR show him sitting with his dog Fala in a wheelchair (though its hard to tell its not a regular chair unless you look at the back). The FDR memorial is the only presidential memorial with the president’s wife in it.
A timeline of dates showing important events inRoosevelts life can be found in the plaza area. Famousquotes by the president cover the walls. Sculpturesdepict a Depression-era breadline, a man listening to oneof Roosevelts famous fireside radio chats, and a ruralAmerican couple.
The memorial is huge and covers 7.5 acres. Each term of Roosevelt’spresidency is represented by an outdoor “room”. The memorial is accessibleto handicapped people since FDR was handicapped. The picture above showsa tactile relief wall with braille writing. However, it was criticized becausethe dots weren’t spaced properly and the reliefs are too high for a person toactually feel.Each “room” has a waterfall, growing from smaller to larger. The waterfallsdepict how FDR’s presidency grew more complex over time.
Martin Luther King’s memorial was definitely my favorite memorial because of the meaning of everything in it. At the entryway, two stones are parted and a single stone wedge is pushed forward toward the water; the missing piece of what was once a single boulder as you can see from the picture below.MLK MEMORIAL
On one side of the stone, thetheme of hope is written, withthe writing from Kings famous1963 speech written into thestone: "Out of the mountain ofdespair a stone of hope." On theother side are inscribed thewords: "I was a drum major forjustice, peace and righteousness”, astatement said by Dr. Kingwhen describing how he wouldlike to be remembered. Thememorial’s meaning shows thatthe boulder is the Mountain ofDespair, through which everyvisitor will enter, movingthrough the struggle as Dr. Kingdid during his life, and then bereleased into the open freedomof the plaza.
The stone is the Stone of Hope, from which Dr. King’s image sits, gazing over thewater toward the horizon, seeing a future society of justice and equality for whichhe encouraged all citizens to strive. Many beautiful trees and quotes line the wallsaround the memorial.I was interested to learn that Maya Lin, who designed the Vietnam Memorial, wasasked to bid on the MLK Memorial as well, but declined because of all thecriticism she got about the Vietnam Memorial.
Vietnam MemorialWith the addition of 6 names in 2010 thereare a total of 58, 272 names listed.Approximately 1200 of these names arelisted as a missing person. The namesarranged on the wall are in chronologicalorder by the date of causality and namesare in alphabetical order for the the datethey were reported missing. The statue of three soldiers across from the wall were dedicated after the wall was. Many people had a problem with the layout of the wall and they said it was a disgrace. More about the Vietnam design on the next page.
The Memorial Wall is made up of two walls. The highest tip is 10.1 ft. andthe taper to 8” at each end. When a visitor looks at the wall they can seetheir reflection along with the engraved names. This symbolizes the pastand present together. Each wall lists names of those who were KIA orMIA, in chronological order. Visitors can walk along the wall and takepencil rubbings of the names. The wall also symbolized a wound that ishealing.Maya Lin, a 21 year old, Harvard student, won a blind competition todesign the wall. She felt that, had the competition not been “blind”, shewouldn’t have won. Her design was criticized for being underground andtoo plain. It was even called “a black gash of shame”. The Secretary of theInterior even refused to issue a building permit for it! Now, however, it’sbecome a well-loved tribute.In 1984, The Three Soldiers statue was placed across from the MemorialWall. The statue shows three soldiers; Caucasian, African American andHispanic. The statue is arranged so that the soldiers appear to be lookingat the wall.
Korean MemorialThe mural wall consists of 41 panels stretching 165 feet. Over 15,000pictures of the Korean War were collected from the National archives tocreate the mural. Photographs were enhanced by computers to develop auniform lighting effect. When viewed from afar the mural also depicts themountain ranges of Korea.
Next to the wall, are 19 sculptedstatues by Frank Gaylord. Theyare approximately 7’3 and consistof 14 Army soldiers, 3 Marines, 1Navy, and 1 Air Force. Theyrepresent an ethnic cross section ofAmerica, with 12 Caucasian, 3African American, 2 Hispanic, 1oriental, and 1 Native American. The statues are very realistic with ponchos and weapons, men hunched over, creeping through the woods.
Washington MonumentGeorge Washington was electedunanimously as the first presidentof the united states of America in1789, he has been called the“father of our country.” TheWashington monument wascreated as a show of gratitude toGeorge Washington in helping tocreate a new form of governmentand promoting equal treatmentunder the law. The monument canbe seen from all over D.C.•Year started: July 4th 1848 In 1854 construction came to a halt•Year completed: December 6 because of lack of money. 25 years later1884 the government took over and finished• Cost: 1,187, 710 the rest of the monument with marble•Designer: Robert Mills from a different quarry. This is why the•Style: Neo Egyptian marble changes color toward the bottom.
Marine Corps War Memorial Iwo Jima MemorialThe Marine Corps War Memorial is just outside Arlington NationalCemetery. There is an ongoing rumor that the statue has 13 hands insteadof 12 (two for each soldier) and that the 13th hand represents other Marinesor the hand of God. The sculptor denies that there are 13 hands.
Arlington National Cemetery In 1864, US Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton officially designated Arlington Mansion and two hundred surrounding acres as a United States military cemetery. Today over 300,000 thousand are buried there.
The requirements for burialeligibility are:• An active member of theUnited States armed forces.• Any veteran who is a retiredactive military veteran.• Any veteran honorablydischarged prior to October 1,1949 for medical reasons andwho received a rating of 30% orgreater disabled.• The president of formerpresident of the united states• Any veteran who was awardeda prestigious medal such as thePurple Heart or Medal ofHonor.
JFK MemorialPresident John F.Kennedy was buried inArlington NationalCemetery on November25, 1963. Within threeyears, more than 16million people hadvisited his gravesite. Tobetter accommodate thelarge number of visitors,cemetery officials andKennedy familymembers decided tocreate a better site. Thefinal resting place wascompleted on July 20,1967.
The 3.2 acre site is located on the slope below Arlington House. For thegravesite, the family selected Cape Cod granite paving stones, which had beenquarried in 1817 from near the presidents home. Clover and sedum wereplanted around the memorial to look like his old plants that were in his hometown in Massachusetts.At the wish of Mrs. Kennedy, an eternal flame, inspired by the one in Paris,sits at the head of the grave.
Changing of the GuardThe Changing of the Guard takes place every hour or half hour, dependingon the season. It is a very formal and elaborate ritual.The guards keep watch at the Tomb of the Unknowns and it is a greathonor. They honor service members who are “Known But to God”. Thetomb is guarded 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The PentagonHead Quarters for the Department of Defense, the Pentagon, is one of theworld’s largest office buildings. The Pentagon is virtually a city in itself;23,000 workers contribute to the planning of the safety of our country.Daily workers in the pentagon travel 30 miles through access highways ,drive past 200 acres of lawn to park approximately 8, 770 cars in 16different parking lots; climb 131 stairways or ride 19 escalators to theiroffices. The ground was broken for the construction of the pentagon on9/11/41. Exactly 60 years after that, the pentagon was hit by a commercialplane in a terrorist attack on the day most refer to as 9/11.
The Capitol•The Capitol is one of the most visited federal building in the united states• No one is buried in the capitol; a tomb was made for GeorgeWashington, but Washington expressed his wishes to be buried at Mt.Vernon and so he was.•The top of the Capitol is 209 ft lower than the top of the WashingtonMonument.•The building was completed in 1928 after six years of construction.• Since it was completed, the building has overcome three differentearthquakes and cost 120 million dollars for repairs.