During our last day in DC, we visited some of the sights we only glanced at during our first four days.
We backtracked to Ford’s Theatre where we signed up for a talk with a National Park Service Ranger. He went into great detail about John Wilkes Booth’s background and how that drove him to assassinate President Lincoln, who Booth saw as a race traitor and a threat to the South. He also walked us through the series of events on the night of April 14th, 1865, Lincoln’s subsequent passing on April 15th, and Booth’s capture on April 26th.
Just like the Capitol Building, the exterior walls are original, but much of the interior is a reproduction. In the photo below, the booth in the top right-hand corner looks just like it would have 154 years ago.
You’ll remember from yesterday’s post that Lincoln was carried to a boarding house across the street where he passed away early the next morning. It was in the talk we found out why. Lincoln attended a play on Good Friday. In those days, actors were perceived as a sketchy bunch, making the theatre a less than desirable place for a president to die. As such, he was carried to the Petersen House where he spent his final hours.
The Ranger commented that Lincoln struggled through the Civil War to preserve the Union, lived long enough to see it maintained, but not long enough to help in healing the wounds left by the war.
He also very matter of factly stated that though Lincoln’s contributions were great and many, his decision to end slavery was driven by economics. I knew this from high school history, but it was refreshing to see the National Park Service does not gloss over this important detail.
We all got to chat briefly with the Ranger afterward.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Ford’s Theatre, make sure you allow sufficient time for the Ranger presentation. It is approximately 45 minutes, and suitable for little ears.
Boy Scout Memorial
After waiting patiently for several days, Stinky finally got to visit the Boy Scout Memorial. We’d seen it all week from the distance, but this time, we’d get up close and personal.
There are three figures. The male figure symbolizes physical, mental, and moral fitness, love of country, good citizenship, loyalty, honor, courage, and clean living. The female figure symbolizes enlightenment with the light of faith, love of God, high ideals, liberty, justice, freedom, democracy, and love of fellow man. The Boy Scout represents the hopes of all part, present, and future scouts around the world and the hopes of every home, church, and school and all that is great and noble in the nation’s past and present will continue to live in scouts and through them for many generations to come.
Our next stop was the Washington Monument. Built to honor the nation’s first president, this 555-foot marble obelisk towers over Washington, DC. Here’s a fun fact, all of the stones are held together by gravity and friction. Absolutely no mortar was used in the construction.
As you ponder that, look closely. You’ll notice the monument is two different colors. This is because it was constructed in two phases due to funding issues. Stones for the second phase came from a new quarry. Though it appeared to be similar, environmental elements aged the stones differently.
As we were waiting for our turn to enter, we couldn’t help but admire this view of the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool.
The viewing deck is 500 feet high…
…and offers excellent 360-degree views. How many landmarks can you spot?
The elevator ride down features a short video about the 193 commemorative stones lining the interior walls of the monument. Collectively, this visit was our favorite of the entire trip!
Sakina Halal Grill
Our final stop in DC was to Sakina Halal Grill. You may have seen a news story about this little Pakistani restaurant that generously feeds the homeless in the area. Though not adventurous eaters, we explained to Stinky and Blinky why we wanted to patronize this business and they agreed. The DH and I feasted on a buffet of curry and stews. Stinky and Blinky tried a little but much enjoyed the naan and lamb burgers made especially for them. The staff was kind and the food was excellent!
So ends our Thanksgiving visit to Washington, DC. It was educational and exhilarating, and certainly one we’ll never forget.
To read more about our trip, see below.
- Thanksgiving in Washington, DC Day One: Arlington National Cemetery, National Portrait Gallery
- Thanksgiving in Washington, DC Day Two: White House Visitor’s Center, African American Museum of History and Culture, Smithsonian Castle, National Air and Space Museum, United States Botanic Garden, Monuments By Moonlight
- Thanksgiving in Washington, DC Day Three: Museum of Natural History, Museum of the American Indian
- Thanksgiving in Washington, DC Day Four: Capitol Building, Library of Congress, Supreme Court, Petersen House, Enchant DC
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