Tag Archives: best DC walking tours

Petersen House is a must stop for Lincoln fans

For many years, I’ve walked past Petersen House en route to Ford Theatre. I should have detoured across the street years earlier. President Abraham Lincoln died at Petersen House on April 14, 1865 after shot the night before at Ford’s … Continue reading

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Henry Rathbone’s house – the man next to Lincoln

The White House isn’t the only house to walk by the front door around Lafayette Park. A famous bystander to history is a few doors down. Major Henry Rathbone was in Abraham Lincoln’s box when murdered by John Wilkes Booth. … Continue reading

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The lady in white

It’s not often a statue gets center stage – twice. The Statue of Freedom lies atop the U.S. Capitol dome, but also inside the Capitol Visitors Center underneath. The statue shows the “Lady Freedom” with her right hand on a … Continue reading

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Seabees Monument stands ready for action

The toughest men of World War II might have been the Navy Seabees. Created in March 1942 to construct whatever was needed in World War II, the “Construction Builders” were known as “CBs” and hence Seabees. These guys could build … Continue reading

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Mary Surratt boarding house now Chinese restaurant

Mary Surratt was one of four people hanged in the aftermath of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination on April 14, 1865. She was the first woman in U.S. history to be executed despite cries of mercy for such an old woman. Uh, … Continue reading

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Hahnemann: Hero of Homeopathy

No way you know what this monument is unless you’re a pharmacist. Wandering in Scott Circle where Massachusetts Ave. and 16th St. N.W. meet is one of the widest monuments away from the mall. Four bas relief panels each four … Continue reading

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Reagan welcomes you to National airport

I still think it should be called (George) Washington National Airport. Indeed, there’s a sign on the north side that still says so. But lawmakers renamed it Reagan-Washington National Airport in 1998. That name lasted five minutes as many now … Continue reading

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Sometimes attractions are in the bank

You can’t miss the gigantic vault door in the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott Washington Convention Center on 9th and F Sts. N.W. The one-time home of Riggs Bank was built in 1891. It was quite the place with vaulted … Continue reading

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Boy Scout Memorial combines past and present

The Boy Scout represents the aspirations of all past, present, and future Scouts throughout the world. He carries a staff that has been taken from the male figure’s branch of peace. The scout wears the traditional uniform of the group … Continue reading

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Cuban Friendship Urn – we’re friends again

Now that the U.S. has restored relations with Cuba after a half century of the Cold War, the Cuban Friendship Urn reminds us of a time when we were friends. Actually, U.S.-Cuban relations are a little complicated. The USS Maine … Continue reading

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The man behind the grave marker

It’s not often you see who’s lying underground, but former U.S. Secretary of War William Worth Belknap’s image adorns a large bronze medallion on his marker at Arlington National Cemetery that’s worth a look. Located near the Pan Am 103 … Continue reading

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San Martin rides tall among Latin American memorials

  When researching the story of Gen. Jose de San Martin, it sounded so much like the nearby statue of Gen. Simon Bolivar that I had to double check I was looking at the latter. No wonder their statues are … Continue reading

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Bladensburg-D.C. boundary marker at Ft. Lincoln Cemetery

Long before it was a staging area for Civil War troops met by president Abe Lincoln or where blood was shed during the Battle of 1812 as British troops marched into Washington or even when it became a cemetery, Fort … Continue reading

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Russian markers in Rock Creek Cemetery

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The Maine Lobsterman along the waterfront

There are no lobsters in Washington aside the ones in restaurants. Plenty of crabs from nearby Maryland, but the seven-foot statue on Sixth and Water Sts. SW along the waterfront shows a Maine waterman “pegging” lobsters by tying their claws. … Continue reading

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Gold thieves — beware the griffins

Plenty of treasure hunters come to Washington looking for riches, but the guardians are always there to protect our gold. Two Acacia Griffins protect the Acacia Mutual Life Insurance Building at 51 Louisiana Ave. N.W. in the shadow of the … Continue reading

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Handscaping U.S. Capitol grounds was visionary

Give Frederick Law Olmsted credit — he didn’t miss a thing. When landscaping the U.S. Capitol grounds in 1874, Olmstead wanted to create things that were both aesthetic and functional. The walls were low so the public could see over … Continue reading

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Baa baa Black Sheep – Pappy Boyington

You know who Gregory “Pappy” Boyington was even if you weren’t alive during World War II. The popular 1970s TV show “Black Sheep Squadron” remembered the Marine pilot who shot down 28 enemy planes before down himself and spending the … Continue reading

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Righting a wrong in American history

Our country has plenty of ugly moments. Slavery and the American Indian wars were the 19th century blunders that we thought were behind us. And then World War II came with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Suddenly, 112,000 Japanese-American … Continue reading

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Plenty of grief has come from Adams Memorial

This is a story that can feel personal. Of death and despair. Mark Twain and mistakes. When you find the statue made by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in the middle of Section E of Rock Creek Cemetery, hidden within a tall square … Continue reading

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