Tag Archives: best DC walking tours

National Fire Dog Monument honors arson teams

After looking for the new National Fire Dog Monument every time I drove by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, I walked the area one day. And there it was in plain sight — by the Engine Co. 2 fire … Continue reading

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We cannot tell a lie – GW’s birthplace is cool

Monumental Thoughts has a guest contributor – Megan Johnson. (Hey, we’re all for free labor.) A sprawling stretch of land along Popes Creek, Va., isn’t all that different today from when George Washington entered the world 284 years ago – … Continue reading

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The Hall family and the angel

Mary Ann Hall was a popular madam in Washington, running a bordello where the American Indian Museum now stands. It was said to be the classiest one in Washington during the Civil War. Mary Ann and a sister are buried … Continue reading

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Washington Circle remembers that Washington

It is perhaps the most overlooked statue in plain sight of the man for whom the city is named. Washington Circle by Foggy Bottom that intersects 23rd, K St., New Hampshire Ave. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW has a bronze equestrian … Continue reading

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Lincoln Cottage still a great respite

I have a secret – I’d never been to the Lincoln Cottage before  taking a tour group. And it’s better than expected. Now I’ll leave the nuts and bolts to the website Lincolncottage.org. But a few things hit me during … Continue reading

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Capital One Arena

What was the biggest thing to ever happen where Capital One Arena now lies? The Greene Turtle restaurant area was once home to The National Era, a weekly abolitionist newspaper that published a 43-week series by Harriet Beecher Stowe. It … Continue reading

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Slow down to see Woodrow Wilson medallion

Not often is a memorial meant to be seen at 60 miles per hour. In fact, I went by it for 52 years before discovering it’s not a dime. The Woodrow Wilson Bridge connecting Maryland and Virginia is named after … Continue reading

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Where Bex eagles soar

John “Black Jack” Pershing Park has it all. A statue of the famed World War I general. A waterfall not seen from the street that gives it a hidden oasis feel. And, an American eagle statue on the corner of … Continue reading

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Who’s who at Korean War Memorial

There are 19 soldiers at the Korean War Memorial. They look much alike to the average civilian. For a long time I relied on military members on my tours to teach me who was who largely based on headgear. But … Continue reading

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Down by the old, old, old spring house

  It is a house of mystery. Well, at least a spring house of mystery. In nearly the middle of Ft. Lincoln Cemetery is a spring house believed to be one of the older structural relics of the American colonization … Continue reading

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The memorial FDR really wanted

Name the five greatest U.S. presidents and Franklin Delano Roosevelt should make the list. Ironically, he received the least striking memorial until a second was built in 1997. But that’s the way Roosevelt wanted it. Shortly before his 1945 death … Continue reading

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‘Heros of the Independance’ at DAR

This bronze bas relief hangs at the Daughters of the Revolution in Washington. The ‘Heros of the Independance” is by David D’Angers in 1905. It was donated by his daughter Helene.

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The ‘Price of Freedom’ is never cheap

It doesn’t take long to encounter the first example of Arlington National Cemetery’s reason for being. Steps from the visitors center’s west doors most people use to see the cemetery lies “The Price of Freedom” sculpture. The 12-foot, 1,800-pound bronze … Continue reading

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The Watergate Steps to nowhere along the Potomac

It was supposed to be a staircase to heaven, but turned into a  helluva waste. The Watergate Steps between the Potomac River and the Lincoln Memorial was built in 1932 as part of the Arlington Memorial Bridge complex. According to … Continue reading

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The Warren Court

Sculptor Phillip Ratner once taught school in Washington for 23 years. Now he’s one of the nation’s more respected multimedia artists. Ratner has five sculptures at the Statue of Liberty, 40 at Ellis Island and others at the Smithsonian, Library … Continue reading

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Strike up the band for John Philip Sousa

You may not know the man, but you know his music. John Philip Sousa was known as “The March King” for his snappy marching music like “The Stars and Stripes Forever (official march of the U.S.) and “The Semper Fidelis” … Continue reading

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First U.S. president rests high on the hill

(Reprinting one of our favorite columns.) Leaving the Gaylord National Hotel in Oxon Hill, I point to a lonely tree above the rising MGM Grand casino and parallel to the beltway and say, “That’s where the first president of the … Continue reading

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Washington 101 – Filomena is the best Italian restaurant

(Reprinting one of our favorites.) OK, let’s start a fight over the best Italian restaurant in town. Maggiano’s on Wisconsin Ave. is a contender. Carmine’s on 7th St. N.W. is a fan favorite. But I’m going with Filomena in Georgetown. … Continue reading

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Scott: Best general of whom you’ve probably never heard

The legend says all statues face the White House. It’s not true, though this one does. Gen. Winfield Scott’s statue lies in the three-sided circle of Massachusetts and Rhode Island Aves. and 16th St. N.W. just blocks from the White … Continue reading

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Fort Washington is a forgotten jewel of two centuries

(Reprinting one of our favorite columns) Growing up near the fort just south of town, I remember walking Fort Washington’s steps and hills down to the Potomac River with great joy. Then for some reason, I went 30 years without … Continue reading

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