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It’s peak cherry blossom time
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Visit Captain’s Row
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Trying plant-based hot dogs
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My favorite pizzas worldwide
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Magnolias in Rawlins Park
Church of George Washington and Robert E. Lee
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Start a YouTube Channel with just $10
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Magnolias, then cherry blossoms
Come on my tours
Go take a hike
Ice houses of Alexandria
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Spite House of Alexandria
George Washington’s Purple Hearts
In search of great pizza
The other presidential assassination spot
Everyone goes to Ford’s Theatre to see where Abraham Lincoln died. And, thank goodness because that’s a big chunk of my tours.
But, it’s not the only presidential assassination spot in town. James Garfield (my 10th cousin) was shot at what’s now the National Gallery of Art’s West Building. It was the Baltimore & Potomac Railway Station and the new president was walking through it on July 2, 1881 when shot by a madman named Charles Guiteau. It seems Guiteau was told by God to become the U.S. ambassador to France despite no qualifications. When Guiteau was rebuffed, God said to kill Garfield so Guiteau shot him twice. “My God, what is this?” Garfield exclaimed.
Garfield died on Sept. 19, 1881 more from poor medical care than the bullets themselves. And Guiteau was surprised he wasn’t released from prison by a cheering public right up to the point when he was hanged nearly one year later.
Garfield was only president for four months. He’s best remembered by the black statue on the west side of the U.S. Capitol (where buses drop off) because he was a Congressman for 17 years.
Signs over the assassination were recently installed on the National Mall side of the art gallery and aren’t in the exact spot where Garfield was shot. The train station was demolished in 1908.
Finally, an honest man in Judiciary Square
How many statues are there of Abraham Lincoln around town? That’s a good question. And, I don’t know the answer.
What’s special about this one in front of the D.C. Court of Appeals (Lincoln was a lawyer, after all) is it was the first public monument of Lincoln following his 1865 assassination. It was paid by District residents.
Lincoln stands on a pedestal with a bundle of sticks, which was the symbol of the law in ancient Rome. Sculptor Lee Flannery knew Lincoln so it’s a good likeness. It was dedicated in 1868.
St. Ignatius Church in Southern Maryland
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American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial brings peace
It’s peaceful when entering the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial. It’s just a block off the National Mall near congressional offices at 150 Washington Ave. SW, sandwiched into a one-time medium area that was a short cut exiting town.
There are thousands of people near you, but nobody with you. The recently opened memorial hasn’t been discovered by tourists so it’s a chance to sit and reflect. In fact, sit on benches with handbags for the disabled to use. I haven’t seen those anywhere around town.
The memorial opened in September, 2016 after 12 years in the making as a tribute to those permanently disabled. Water and fire — the elements are staples of our lives so why shouldn’t they be for a memorial for those injured in wars. And glass panels with photos inside photos so show the pain and compassion of what happened on battlefields.
So take a few minutes and stop by one day. You’ll remember why our veterans are special.
Oh angel, why so sad?
I love statues in cemeteries. Angels intrigued me, especially when memorializing someone forever.
Richard Rothwell and his wife Emma lie beneath a sighing angel in Congressional Cemetery. Rothwell was once paid by Congress for creating 20 centographs that remember late Congressmen or Senators. Born in Manchester, England in 1822, Rothwell died in Washington in 1906, 20 years after Emma.