Tag Archives: best DC walking tours

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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Finding Boss Shepherd’s tomb

Alexander Shepherd was one of the key people responsible for Washington being what it is today, but few know who “Boss” Shepherd was even if his statue is to the right of City Hall’s steps. Indeed, Shepherd is known as … Continue reading

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The general of them all – Alexander Macomb

It’s not often you’ll see a monument with Greek, Roman and Egyptian markings, but Gen. Alexander Macomb’s 14-foot marker at Congressional Cemetery has them all. The general is surrounded by four lions paws. A sword for his military career, cross … Continue reading

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Religious symbols at Arlington National Cemetery

I often stop during tours at Arlington National Cemetery to point out different grave stones. Over the years, there are many different tales to tell. The Latin cross on the headstone is easy to decipher. The person was a Christian. … Continue reading

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Wood’s career as big as his grave marker

Sometimes I just wander through Arlington National Cemetery without any agenda and see what I see. I came across the biggest grave marker I’ve ever encountered that wasn’t some sort of monument. Turns out it was the appropriate size. Leonard … Continue reading

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