Today, we arrived at the Musuem of American History about five minutes before it opened and heard "The Star Spangled Banner" being broadcast over loudspeakers outside before the doors were opened to the public. The first thing we did inside was visit the flag that inspired the song. It is an enormous 30' x 34'. It was once 8' longer, but fragments were taken off and given as souveniers up until 1912.
One of my favorite areas of the museum is "Thanks for the Memories," which is entertainment and sports memorabilia, like one pair of Dorothy's ruby slippers from Wizard of Oz (several pairs were used in the movie),and Apollo Anton Ono's ice skates.
We spent quite a bit of time in "The Price of Freedom" section, which surveys the history of U.S. Military. I loved this part of the Vietnam War display. The console televisions and plastic slipcovered furniture took me back to my youth.
It was amazing to be able to touch a fragment of the Berlin Wall,
and it was moving to see this twisted steel column assembly from the 70th floor of the World Trade Center's South Tower. Pipsqueak finally said, "Can we leave war? It's getting depressing." That statement can be taken in more than one way.
We also enjoyed "American Presidency" where we saw Abe Lincoln's hat,
and Sydney's favorite, "First Ladies," where we got to gaze upon all the inaugural ball gowns.
Since the sun had returned, we felt like spending a little time outside. We walked around the perimeter of the White House started with the South lawn,
and the First Lady's vegetable garden.
Then we walked around to the North to see the front entrance.
On our way back, we had a beautiful view of the sunlit capitol looking up Pennsylvania Avenue.