Sunday, July 26, 2009

Washington DC (Part 2)

Day 2

The day was beautiful. Warm but not humid, sunny but not blazing hot and kids were all rested and excited to see the dinosaurs and everything animal and natural at the Museum of Natural History. Talk about resources, the Museums along the Mall are world class places of everything and only here, you feel that your tax dollars have been rightly spent, so to speak! Entrance is free and the varieties of man made products artifacts and natural phenomenon of living species well preserved for today's generation curiosity and learning are all for you to explore, study and admire.

Our first stop was the Museum of American History. The crowd was smaller and everything that America has pioneered, developed, produced and the whole facts and proof of its history are all stored in the vast 3 floors of this Museum. Compared to England and the rest of Europe, American History is considered young but yet despite its inception was only slightly past the two century mark, America's growth as a country politically, economically and socially was indeed impressive and to be able to see its progress as a nation through exhibits and notations of historical documents in one place is pretty neat!

The original Star & Spangle Banner, sewn in 1813 by Mary Pickersgill and her helpers at home was on display and I was amazed on the size of that flag! Imagine those days when there was no sewing machines let alone proper lighting. Rightfully placed in a dark room with dimmed light to avoid further damage to an old piece of material, the worn down flag with torn edges and parts here and there still exhibits its glory and greatness. The other section which was very popular was the First Ladies gallery which housed all the old gowns, jewelleries, photos and memorabilia of the Presidents' Women. The fashions were not as opulent nor extravagant as those of European women in those ages and eras but emphasis were more on one colored tone dress with minimal jewelleries accents. Along the way, there was a section specially dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President whose legacy of equality among races attracted a new light of attention recently due to President Obama being elected the first black President of America. From my casual reading of the Presidents, I too admire Lincoln for his determination to read and educate himself even under hardships of life in his younger days and for advancing the idea of abolishing slavery in the Southern states which eventually led to the Civil War, and it is also this idea that eventually propounded the hatred of slavery supporters that resulted in the assassination of him. Other than that, besides domestically successful in pioneering inventions for the betterment of its people, America was involved in alot of Wars after the World war II and the displays of photos, reports, replicas and war antiques were endless!

After lunch We walked over to the next Museum, which was expectedly packed and crowded. Museum of Natural History is always a magnet for kids with the over publicized lives of dinosaurs, mammoths and whatever species that existed before us the homo sapiens. Luckily we fed the kids first as cries and winding of everyone else's kids were a bit annoying when we tried to maneouvre across the many exhibits. My favorite part was the sea world part with skeletons and bones of whales, fishes and marine life all painstakingly put together and beautifully displayed. It is very easy to get lost in this museum as it is architecturely round in shape and lots of archways leading to somewhere.

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