Since it was Sunday I set out to Eastern Market. They have the usual things – soap, fresh produce, dips, and random crap. I tried some pickles – even the full sour ones are not that sharp.
I walked back to the Capitol.
The National Archives are worth visiting – free, and have some good exhibits. You have to go through security and it wouldn’t be worth going in the busy season. But in the off season it was great! You can see the actual Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. The guards have revolvers so no vandalising!
They have a decent exhibit on the archives themselves, a video intro that lays it on with a trowel (These documents define who we are!) and some changing exhibits. When I went it was about the government’s role in food. They had a scone recipe from Queen Elizabeth to one of the presidents and Lyndon Johnson’s barbeque apron. Strangest was the photo of 3 men sitting at a table, captioned simply, ‘Digestion experiment’.
From there it was off to the Museum of American History. It’s huge, and full of people. The main exhibit is the remains of the flag flown at Ft McHenry. No wonder they could see it from the harbour – it’s huge! Here they display it in a darkened shrine with the words of the national anthem above it, and some seats so that you can gaze in wonder.
When I went a lot of the museum was shut for renovation. What they did have was quite good.
They have reconstructed the whole thing – including the ultra-efficient shadow boards. There is a 90min documentary playing on a loop and when I went in that voice made me feel very deeply contented and I wanted to go to sleep. Ancient connections, formed in infanthood, I’m sure.
The section on transport is very good and reasonably new. It includes social and political implications of cars through the 20th century.
1. A protest drive is far easier than a protest march
2. Saxon is a wonderful name for a cat.
Next was a section on immigration – this display was a bit older.
Then they had a collection of random crap from 1939.
Then some random crap.
They also had Farrah Fawcett’s swimsuit and Michael Jackson’s hat. Next was the instrument collection.
Then they had a large exhibition about the Presidency.
Then came the main exhibit – war.
I left just before they shut.