Archive for the ‘Tom’ Category

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FL to OH – Reconstruction Era NM, Camden Battlefield (SC), and Camp Nelson NM (KY)

February 13, 2019

2/1 F – 7hr drive to Karen’s house in Beaumont SC, arrived 5pm, a short-rib dinner was waiting with a beautiful view of high tide on the Beaufort River (Intercoastal Waterway)

2/2 Sat – Karen drove us to the Camp Saxton unit of the Reconstruction Era National Monument in Port Royal SC, but we were not permitted on the grounds of the Naval Hospital without a military ID. So, we went to the nearby Port Royal Farm Market where we bought, She-Crab Soup, Crab Cakes, and Crab Mac and Cheese for dinner. Karen also recruited Bob, a retired marine, to accompany us back to the Naval Hospital grounds where we were then able to gain access to the site of Camp Saxton! Our first stop was near the site of the “Emancipation Oak.”

Camp Saxton was located here during the Civil War

 

Fenced-off at the edge of the Beaufort River is Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve

Fort Prince Frederick was a tabby fort built by the British (1730-36) to defend against possible attack from the Spanish at St Augustine FL

Tabby is a type of concrete made by burning oyster shells to create lime, and then mixing it with water, sand, ash, and broken oyster shells. Fort Frederick is on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Our next stop was downtown Beaufort and the Old Beaufort Firehouse, which will become the Visitor Center for Reconstruction Era National Monument. According to the NPS, the Reconstruction Era, as represented in this monument, was 1861-1898. The period when the U.S. grappled with how to integrate millions of newly freed African Americans into social, political, economic, and labor systems. The people, places, and events in Beaufort County, SC, reflect on the most important issues of this tumultuous time period.

“Reconstruction began when the first United States soldiers arrived in slaveholding territories and enslaved people escaped from plantations and farms; some of them fled into free states, and others found safety with U.S. forces. During the period, Congress passed three constitutional amendments that permanently abolished slavery, defined birthright citizenship and guaranteed due process and equal protection under the law and granted all males the ability to vote by prohibiting voter discrimination based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude (Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth amendments). Congress also passed a series of Reconstruction Acts that divided the former Confederacy into five military districts and laid out requirements for re-admittance to the Union (except Tennessee). The experience of Reconstruction, and the rebuilding of the Union following the Civil War, played out across America and resulted in changes that fundamentally altered the meaning of citizenship and the relationship between Federal and state governments. Central to this drama was the former Confederacy where social, economic, and political changes dramatically transformed the region and where major activities of and resistance to Reconstruction took place. African Americans – across America – faced steep obstacles as they attempted to claim their newly won rights. Ultimately, the unmet promises of Reconstruction led to the modern civil rights movement 100 years later.”

Abraham Lincoln started planning for the reconstruction of the South during the Civil War as Union soldiers occupied huge areas of the South. According to Wikipedia, there were three visions for Reconstruction: the reconciliation vision, which was rooted in coping with the death and devastation the war had brought; the white supremacist vision, which included terror and violence; and the emancipationist vision, which sought full freedom, citizenship, and Constitutional equality for African Americans.

The Beaufort History Museum in the Arsenal (1852) is located across the street

 

We then drove to St Helena Island and the Penn Center National Historic Landmark District, Darrah Hall and the Brick Baptist Church are located here and are both part of the Reconstruction Era National Monument.

We started at the Welcome Center ($6 adults)

And then saw the film and examined the exhibits in the adjacent Cope Museum

We then walked to Darrah Hall. The original was built in 1882 but burned in 1893 after “The Great Hurricane.” This building was constructed in 1903 and is the oldest building on campus.

Sign along Martin Luther King Highway (Rt 45). MLK stayed at the Gantt Cottage on campus in the 1960s. The Penn Center was one of the few places in the South where bi-racial groups could meet.

The first school for freed slaves in the South was established here in 1862. Classes were first held in the Brick Church, which was built by slaves in 1855 and is now part of the Reconstruction Era National Monument.

 

Just down the road from the Penn Center is the Chapel of Ease – built around 1740, before the Revolutionary War!

 

We then drove about 25 miles NE to the scenic Old Sheldon Church Ruins. This Episcopal Church was also built before the Revolutionary War (1751-57). It was named Sheldon after Gov. William Bull I’s plantation, as he paid for most of the construction.

Governor Bull is buried in the church

 

Another interesting grave stone

Guess what was waiting at Karen’s?       A “Crab” dinner!

 

2/3 Sun – It was a 3hr drive to Historic Camden, a SC Revolutionary War Site which is an Affiliated National Park Unit. This fortified town was occupied by British General Cornwallis’ men from 1780-81. In 1780, Camden was the oldest and largest city in the Carolina backcountry.

Reconstructed Craven and Bradley houses; they contain interesting historical displays

McCaa’s Tavern 1794

Blacksmith Shed

Cornwallis built a palisade wall and six redoubts to protect the town site. He also took over the Kershaw house just east of town as his headquarters. It can be seen in the distance.

The tents, etc. when we visited were related to a reenactment of the Treaty of Ghent. It was signed in Ghent Netherlands on December 24, 1814 ending the War of 1812 between the US and Great Britain. It took a month for the news to reach the US, during which American forces under Andrew Jackson won the Battle of New Orleans (1/8/1815).

Bubble model of Kershaw-Cornwallis House and its’ separate palisade wall

Reconstructed Kershaw-Cornwallis House

Scribes – when letters/documents were written!

Lady Kershaw – as you can see, she was in morning

Interacting with actors and merchants

The Treaty reenactment was very interesting but IS NOT what the Camden Historic Site is noted for – namely the Revolutionary War Battles that took place nearby in 1780 and 1781. The first battle of Camden took place on August 16, 1780 nine miles north of town. General Horatio Gates was in charge of the American forces and historians blame him for a significant loss to the British. With fewer troops, the British under Lt. General Lord Cornwallis won the battle with far fewer casualties. Captured Patriots were held, and some were executed, at the fortified town of Camden. The location is called Camden Battlefield and Longleaf Pine Preserve and is a National Historic Landmark.

Death of German born Major General Johann de Kalb, second in command of the American forces

de Kalb is buried in the Bethesda Presbyterian church in Camden

The second Battle of Camden took place April 25, 1781. General Nathanael Greene had been put in charge of the Southern Continental Army after Gates’ disastrous defeat the previous year. He had a good battle plan – enticing the British to attack him on Hobkirk’s Hill just north of the fortified town of Camden.

By all accounts this was a fierce battle with similar casualties on both sides; however, the British prevailed. Hobkirk’s Hill is now an upscale part of north Camden.

Thaddeus Kosciusko (Polish military engineer) was with Greene and made this map of the fortifications after the battle. Thaddeus Kosciusko National Memorial is the smallest National Park Unit and is located in Philadelphia (see this Blog August 2016).

Greene lost the battle; however, his efforts were successful in that the battle forced the depleted British forces to withdraw to Charleston leaving the “backcountry” in American control.

 

2/4 M – It was a 6hr drive to Camp Nelson National Monument outside of Nicholasville KY. At this time, it is the newest (#418) National Park Unit. It was designated in 2018.

The Oliver Perry “White House” is the only existing Civil War Structure on the property – it is a restored antebellum house that served as officers’ quarters

 

Interesting water pump

Eight earthen “Fort” batteries were built to protect the 4,000-acre camp. The camp, which was organized around an 800-acre core, included more than 300 buildings and tents that housed a quartermaster commissary depot, ordnance depot, recruitment center, prison, and a hospital. Our first hike was on the 0.5-mile Fort Jackson trail.

We then did the 0.5-mile Depot trail, which passes by the locations of the prison, bakery, warehouses, government shops, and the commercial district, including the Post Sutler store. Camp Nelson’s location on the Kentucky River made it a major supply depot during the Civil War.

The trail also passed the Officer’s Spring

View back toward the White House and Visitor Center

We then examined a re-creation of a barracks building

Read the signs to learn about the enlistment of African-Americans and the 13th Amendment. Camp Nelson was one of the Army’s largest enlistment centers for African-American soldiers as well as a refugee camp for African-American civilians. It has been named part of the National Underground Railroad Network.

It was raining, so Helen decided to go to the car while I did the Fort Putnam trail

Numerous civilian refugees are buried nearby (Graveyard #1). Soldiers that were buried here were re-interned in the adjacent Camp Nelson National Cemetery on the west side of Camp Nelson.

 

 

There was more rain as we drove 3hrs to Springfield, arriving at 5pm

 

 

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OH to FL – Lincoln Birthplace NHP, Medgar Evers NM, National Lynching Memorial

January 31, 2019

12/31/2018 M – New Year’s Eve! Four hours of driving through heavy rain brought us to Hodgenville KY and Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.

A President Trump imposed partial government shutdown again, just like last January, prevented us from going inside the Memorial and Visitor Center

However, we were able to tour the park. The “First Lincoln Memorial” was dedicated by President William Howard Taft on 11/9/1911.

A wood cabin, originally thought to be the home of the Lincoln family, is inside the Memorial. Abraham Lincoln was born on 2/12/1809 in a log cabin here at Sinking Springs Farm.

Sinking Springs is located just to the left of the steps leading up to the Memorial

Hiked the Boundary Oak Trail to the Visitor Center

We then drove 10 miles north to the Lincoln Knob Creek Farm where Abe lived from age 2 to 7.

The Lincoln Tavern was built as a tourist destination in 1933

Recreated Lincoln family log cabin (1811-1816)

The Lincoln family then moved again in 1816 crossing the Ohio River into IN. The Lincoln Boyhood Home National Memorial tells the story of Lincoln’s life from age 7 until 21 (1830), when the family moved to IL.

An additional 3hrs driving took us to Peter and Heather’s home in Franklin TN. We ate home-made chili and watched the ball drop in NYC on TV (ET). Then these two old folks went to bed at 11pm CT!!!

 

1/1/2019 Tu – Happy New Year! Walked the dogs with Peter, watched football (e.g. Ohio State 28, Washington 23, in the Rose Bowl), had BBQ ribs, and P & H did a Pre-Birthday Birthday celebration for Helen (cake, presents, etc.).

 

1/2 W – Long drive to Money MS and Bryant’s Grocery – the dilapidated building center-right

The Story of the torture and killing of Emmett Till

The children of unrepentant juror Ray Tribble own it and obtained a MS state historic-preservation grant for civil rights-related projects but used the money instead to restore a 1950s service station next door, which was basically empty during our visit.

One-hour north is Sumner MS and the Tallahatchie County Courthouse where the 1955 trial of Emmett Till’s killers took place – note the Confederate monument

Hopefully, this site will become part of a NPS Civil Rights National Historic Park

Across the street from the Courthouse is the Emmett Till Interpretive Center, which was not open during our visit

Inside the window was a bullet riddled sign that had recently been removed from the spot on the Tallahatchie River where Till’s body was found. The new sign outside of Glendora MS already has bullet holes in it!

 

We then drove into Jackson MS to the newly authorized Medgar Evers National Monument. Medgar Evers’s home, the site of his assassination in 1963, is owned by Tougaloo College. It is in the process of being transferred to the NPS.

Medgar Evers Bio

Window and signs under carport

“Site of Tragedy”

National Historic Landmark

I called a few weeks in advance and arranged for a personal 1.5hr tour from Minnie Watson who oversees the house museum

The assassination bullet went through Evers body, the front window, and inside wall (this photo), ricocheted off the refrigerator and ended up in a watermelon that was sitting on the kitchen counter

One room of the house is devoted to the life of Medgar Evers

The side window in the children’s room was purposely raised and beds were kept on the floor to guard against a drive by shooting

Evers statue at library a few blocks away

It continued raining and was dark when we arrived in Selma AL. We then continued to Montgomery AL along the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail

 

1/3 Th – We arrived at the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, also known as the National Lynching Memorial, just after it opened at 9am. This is a memorial to the more than 4400 African American men, women, and children who were hanged, burned alive, shot, drowned, and beaten to death by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. Mind you, there were many, many, more – these are the ones that have been documented! AND the number does not include those killed since 1950.

“The Raw Truth” – which, in general, has not been recognized

The structure contains over 800 steel monuments, one for each county in the U.S. where one or more racially related killings took place. The name(s) of the victim(s) is/are “engraved,” i.e. cut-through the steel. As you enter, the first side of the rectangle has the steel monuments hanging with the bottom just off the floor.

Proceeding down the next side of the rectangle (width) you descend an incline and now the hanging monuments become more representative of lynchings

The descent continues down the third side of the rectangle and now the state and county names engraved under the monuments become more obvious

Here are just a few of the many short statements that are found along the walls

There is no hint of retribution in this memorial. This history, these facts, are to educate and move the observer to consider his/her moral compass. This is a slice of American History – America, the “Home of the Free and the Brave.”

Water cascades down the outside wall of the last side of the rectangle, while the steel monuments seem to be lifted toward the sky

There is an opening at the end leading into the center courtyard of the memorial

Just outside the memorial are duplicate steel monuments that can be taken and erected in the states/counties where these tragedies occurred.

OHIO – Richard Dixon, third name from the bottom, was lynched in Clark County OH on March 7, 1904 – that is where we live!

There is a generic monument to the thousands of victims whose names will never be known. In a way, it is like the monument to the Unknown Soldier(s) in Arlington Cemetery VA

Importance of black women during the initial phases of the Civil Rights Movement –

“Hands Up – Don’t Shot”

A Peace and Justice Memorial Center across the street from the Memorial is near completion and will open in early 2019

We walked 0.7mi into downtown Montgomery passing the Rosa Parks Museum at Troy University

Court Square Fountain, state capitol in background center at the end of Dexter Ave, one of several locations in Montgomery where thousands of slaves were bought and sold

Frank, a 55-year-old diabetic ex-marine, said he wanted to work but couldn’t find a job. He selected chicken wings, a salad, and hot tea for lunch.

The Selma to Montgomery Voting Rights March (54 miles) took place March 21-25, 1965. It began at Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma and ended at the AL State Capitol. The first March attempt took place on March 7th and became known as “Bloody Sunday.” When the marchers reached the end of the Edmund Pettus bridge over the Alabama River in Selma, they were met by a wall of state troopers blocking US 80. The marchers stopped and asked to speak to their leader. They were given two minutes to return to their homes or church. When they did not move, troopers advanced with nightsticks, horses, tear gas, whips, and rubber tubes driving the marchers back through the streets of Selma. Enraged onlookers called for retaliation – the principle of nonviolence was being tested. Leaders convinced them that retaliation would only hurt the movement. US and international news outlets showed the troopers attacking and beating unresisting marchers blinded and gagging from the tear gas.

The Legacy Museum is in downtown Montgomery midway between a slave market and the river dock and train station where tens of thousands of enslaved people were trafficked during our Domestic Slave Trade. It utilizes the latest technology in telling the story of racial injustice in the US. A combined senior ticket for the National Memorial for Peace and Justice and the Legacy Museum is $7.

Montgomery was the capitol of the Confederate States of America from 2/4 to 5/29/1861 before it was moved to Richmond VA

 

Had a bowl of Cream of Crab Soup at Wintzell’s Oyster House and headed to Tallahassee FL for the night

 

1/4/19 F – It took about 2hrs to get to Crystal River State Park on the Gulf Coast. We happened upon a Friends of Crystal River State Park 10am pontoon boat tour at the Visitor Center and signed up.

This is Temple Mound the biggest of six pre-Columbian burial mounds in Crystal River Archaeological State Park

Crystal River is one of the world’s rare spring-fed estuaries

We powered out to the Gulf of Mexico with our volunteer guide pointing out various birds along the way

Kayakers fishing on Shell Island

Manatees are one of the big draws to Crystal River, however, they were still out in the Gulf of Mexico. They come into shore as the Gulf cools in the winter.

Another 2hrs got us to our River Strand condo in Bradenton FL – our home away from home for four weeks. Our friend Nancy allowed us to use her condo for the month of January.

Our brakes were grinding and getting progressively worse to the point that I felt I should not drive the Sequoia. The good news was that there was a Toyota dealer 1.5-miles from our condo. The bad news was that I couldn’t get an appointment until Monday. That meant we were “stranded” for our first weekend. But it was OK because it was only a 3-mile roundtrip walk to Walmart, which allowed us to get provisions for our stay!

 

1/5 Sat – 1/6 Sun – explored the River Strand condo complex, which is on the Manatee River. It is big, about 1 x 2 miles. There are three nine-hole golf courses, club house, two fitness centers, many tennis/pickle ball courts, two large pools as well as our own heated local pool a short walk away. There is a concrete golf cart path that also provides for miles of comfortable/scenic walking around the complex. Our condo is at ground level overlooking one of numerous large ponds. Lots of wildlife out there, a variety of birds, jumping fish and a family of small furry animals we have not yet identified.

 

1/7 M – Serbian Christmas, got our wheels back ($500 for rear brakes)! Did further shopping so we could prepare our own meals in the condo. Relaxing at the condo –

Don’t go in the pond!

 

1/8 Tu – It took about 45min to drive to Bean Point on the northern tip of Anna Maria Island. Walked for 1.5hrs on the beach with Helen collecting shells as usual.

This place is for the birds! Actually, we really liked it. There were relatively few people and it was a laid-back atmosphere. Had a good fish lunch on the Rod and Reel Pier and bought some veggies at the Farmers Market at the Anna Maria City Pier. We will return –

 

1/9 W – Checked out Cortez Beach, too many people; then drove a short distance to Coquina Beach for a 1.5mi walk and more shells. We browsed the tent craft market that is there every Wednesday.

Drove Rt 789 down the length of Longboat Key (east side of Sarasota Bay) to Lido Key and then returned home

 

1/10 Th – Condo day, walking, swimming, and fitness center

 

1/11 F – 44 degrees this morning! Drove a half-hour to De Soto National Memorial, which was closed due to the government shutdown. However, we were able to walk through the grounds and hike about a mile on the trails around the memorial and along the Manatee River. We came prepared to pick up trash, but others had already done a good job. I toured this National Park Unit in 2009 but this was Helen’s first visit. The following pics tell the story –

 

1/12 Sat – First stop Red Barn Flea Mkt in Bradenton. Next stop Siesta Key.

This guy is for the birds –

Bay Watch meets Golden Girls

 

1/13 Sun – 9am mass at St Joseph’s, changed and did the Riverwalk in Bradenton

Nice 3mi round-trip walk, thus far, these are the only manatees we have seen

Bradenton is the Spring training site for the Pittsburgh Pirates

Then drove to Emerson Point Preserve on the north side of the Manatee River where we hiked over the Point Replica Mound and then along the beach/mangroves for another mile – trail obstacle

 

1/14 M – Drove back to Emerson Point Preserve to hike the 1mi Portavant Temple Mound Trail.

Description of early inhabitants

We then did part of the North Restoration Trail, the Observation Tower Trail, part of the Terra Ceia Trail, and the South Restoration Trail for an additional 2mi

 

1/15 Tu – Spent the day at the John and Mable Ringling Art and Circus Museums, Gardens, and Ca’D’Zan (Ringling home).

We started our visit by doing a self-tour of the first floor of Ca’D’Zan (House of John), the home on Sarasota Bay

Circus Museum – the Ringling and Barnum and Bailey Circuses developed separately and later joined

“Oddities” Billboards

Human Cannon Ball Truck

“Greatest Show on Earth” Mural – 42 x 22 feet, 45 specific performers, 45 animals, and 7 banners

Tibbals Learning Center contains a “HUGE” re-creation of a circus set-up in Knoxville TN – a 42,000-piece circus model, the world’s largest.  This is a partial view from the second floor –

We rushed through the Art Museum,

in order to get back and meet Jan and Dick at the Walmart near our condo

 

1/16 W – Went back to Emerson Point Preserve with Dick and Jan

Hiked about 2 miles

Osprey

Hanging out in the preserve

 

1/17 Th – Lots of thrift stores today. It was a little cool, so Helen bought a coat

Returned to De Soto National Memorial to do the mile hike with Dick and Jan

Then did a short hike to the 40’ observation tower in Robinson Preserve and stopped by the Palma Sola Botanical Park before going to the Rod & Real Pier near Bean Point on Anna Marie Island for lunch

 

1/18 F – 10am kayaking with I Kayak; launched on South Lido Key and did the Mangrove Tunnel guided 2.5hr tour in Sarasota Bay

Helen launching kayak

Cormorants

Jan

Dick entering mangrove tunnel

Jan and Helen

Kayaks allow you to get close to wild life, however, I got water on my lens

Walked around Armand’s Circle, checked out Lido Beach and then searched for sea shells at Turtle Beach on Siesta Key

Jimmy Buffet Condo?

 

 

1/19 Sat – Jan and Helen walked the condo complex and I walked 3 miles in nearby Tom Bennett Manatee County Park. The park along I75 and the Manatee River is quite large and has many ponds. I liked the walk around one of the ponds that had about 15 signs with pages from a children’s book that told the story of bees. Also, I saw a few additional types of birds –

Went to Bayfront Park in Sarasota – there was an interesting project illustrated by a series of large signs

Had dinner at Owen’s Fish Camp

 

1/20 Sun – Church at St. Joseph’s, breakfast at Theresa’s; hung-out at the condo and played games

 

1/21 M – It took a half hour to drive to the north entrance to Myakka River State Park. The river flows through park wetlands, prairies, hammocks, pinelands, and two shallow lakes.  Note alligator on right

The Myakka Outpost, which is in the middle of the park, is a great place for viewing wildlife. You can also rent canoes there. We saw many birds and some alligators. We saw a flock of rosette spoonbills land and two egrets doing a mating dance, but they were too far away to get good photos. Hiked the Boylston Nature Trail through a hammock along the Myakka River.

Then climbed the Canopy Towers (the taller of the two is 74 feet high)

And did the walkway between them

 

1/22 Tu – Dick and Jan left this morning and we stayed at the condo for a nice relaxing day

 

1/23 W – a little food shopping, camera questions answered, sunbathing, walking, . . .

 

1/24 Th – Bev and Mike arrived about 9:30am, brought apple pie and Champaign!  We played Skip-Bo and Farkle, Helen prepared a salmon salad for lunch, did the Bradenton Riverwalk, aces to kings, Scallop dinner at the condo, they left for home at 6:30

 

1/25 F – food shopping and thrift shops

 

1/26 Sat – Helen’s Birthday (74), she did her laps in the heated pool, Tom walked and fitness center, dinner at Edelweiss German restaurant, and “A Star is Born” at the movies

 

1/27 Sun – church, Theresa’s for breakfast.  It rained all day.  We had hors d’oeuvres at Howard (Nancy’s brother) and Linda’s home, then dinner at the “Old Florida” Linger Lodge – alligator, frog legs, fried green tomatoes for appetizer; blackened catfish and crab cake sandwich for dinner.

 

1/28 M – Lake Manatee State Park (not worth it); OK hiking at Rye Preserve, Red and Yellow trail about 2 miles; checked out Fort Hamer Park, it is as launch site on the Manatee River.

 

1/29 Tu – rented a canoe from Ray’s Canoe Hideaway on the Manatee River and paddled upstream for about 5 miles to the dam

We were the only ones on the river today

About 54 degrees when we started at 11:30am and 64 degrees when we returned at 3pm

Lunch stop (Moussaka, baguette, and a coke) on a pristine sand bar – on our 5 mile trip back to the canoe livery

 

1/30 W – President Trump temporarily ended his Government Shutdown for 3 weeks – so, we returned to De Soto National Memorial.  We were now able to go through the Visitor Center and watch the documentary film of De Soto’s 4,000-mile exploration through what is now the Southeastern US.  Helen said I was a “metal head” – go figure

De Soto arrived at this location from Cuba in 1539 with 622 soldiers, 200 horses, a large herd of pigs, and fierce war dogs. He left 100 men at this location (Camp Ucita) and started on his trail of destruction looking for gold.

He died in 1542 and was buried in the Mississippi River. Sixteen months later his second in command was able to get to a Spanish settlement at the Panuco River in Mexico with only half his original men and no animals. De Soto was ruthless and typical of celebrated conquistadores.

Drove to Perico Island Preserve just W of Bradenton for a nice 1.5-mile hike in 57-degree weather

We then did the 0.5-mile hike and tower in the Neal Preserve on the south side of the island across Manatee Ave

I like the contrast of bird, tree, and sky

I saw what I think was an osprey fly in with its catch of the day.  This pic shows it eating it’s lunch!

Helen swam, I exercised in the Fitness Ctr and helped Nathan (15) with his exercise program. He is a bus boy at Theresa’s Restaurant on Sat and Sun. He served our table each of the last three Sundays for breakfast – surprised him with a $50 tip last Sunday.

 

1/31 Th – last day of January, packing day (including Thrift Shop treasures), cleaning condo, and shells!  Also, last day for pool and Fitness Ctr.

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Thanksgiving and Herbert Hoover NHS

November 26, 2018

11/20 Tu –Lunch with Mike, Cathie, and Jim in Downers Grove IL, arrived in Milwaukee in time for Drago, Lena, and Seamus swim lessons

11/21 W – I did Physics Labs with Drago, played catch with Seamus, and read/played with Lena. Helen and I also took the children to Kops Park for kickball and playground activities. Lena, Seamus, and Drago relaxing after a hard day at the park.

 

11/22 Th – Thanksgiving, Mimosas and pre-event snacks

Andy (bartender), who had arrived from Chicago by train, mixed some additional specialty drinks; Sidecar, Brandy Sour, to get us ready for the feast.

The Feast!

Dessert – that’s whipping cream on a huge piece of pumpkin pie

 

11/23 F – Drove Andy to the train station; Chad showed me U of WI/Milwaukee, his office, classrooms, labs, and reviewed his thesis project. In the afternoon, he and Liz decorated the house for Christmas.

 

11/24 Sat – Breakfast at Maxwell’s, Dollar Tree with 3 grandchildren, and 1.5hr drive to Madison, where I was able to watch most of the Ohio State vs. Michigan game (OSU 61-39) with Vera and Bill. Continued for another 3hrs to Cedar Rapids, IA

 

11/25 Sun – 0.5hr to Herbert Hoover National Historic Site; we arrived earlier than originally planned, 7:45am, because a severe Winter Storm had started to blow in.

The site is in West Branch IA, just east of Iowa City

We walked by the restored homes on Downey Street, the blacksmith shop, and schoolhouse

To the birthplace cottage

Hoover was the first U.S. President to be born west of the Mississippi River

We drove to the President Herbert Hoover and Lou Henry Hoover gravesite. We would have normally walked. However, the storm was becoming more severe by the minute.

Herbert and Lou had much in common: roots in IA, love of the outdoor, a sense of adventure, and degrees in Geology from Stanford. Hoover was, by profession, a mining engineer. He was a millionaire by age 40. After serving as Secretary of Commerce for 7 years, he was elected the 31st President of the U.S. He served from 1929 to 1933. The stock market crashed in October 1929 and The Great Depression became the central issue of his presidency. FDR promised a “New Deal” and won by a landslide in 1932. I found it interesting that there was no mention of The Great Depression in the NP brochure for this site.

We did not wait for the Visitor Center to open at 9am because of the storm. After three hours of driving east at 70+mph, we were able to get out in front of the rain/sleet. The remainder of the drive went well; we arrived home at 5pm. It was a 1300-mile trip.

 

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Fall NP Unit Trip VA, MD, and Washington DC

October 27, 2018

Oct 18 Th – left Springfield at 6am and arrived at the Natural Bridge State Park visitor center in VA (an Affiliated NP Unit), at 1pm.

George Washington participated in the survey of this area and Thomas Jefferson once owned the land (1774). It is now a VA State Park with a charge of $8 to walk to and through the Natural Bridge.

Starting on the trail

The Natural Bridge, created by Cedar Creek

We hiked through the bridge and stopped at the recreated Monacan Indian Village on our way to Lace Falls (30′ cascade). We had cool but beautiful weather for the 1.8mi hike.

 

It took 2hrs to drive to Patrick Henry’s Red Hill National Memorial VA (another Affiliated NP Unit) – this was his last home/tobacco plantation outside of Brookneal VA.

We toured the Visitor Center, 15min video and 15min docent presentation in museum ($6 senior), and then walked to the reconstructed house. Note the “State Champion” Osage Orange tree on the left.

Back view of house and Slave Cabin

Patrick Henry has been called the “Orator of Liberty.” In 1765 in the VA House of Burgesses he stated (in opposing the infamous Stamp Act) “If this is treason, make the most of it.” In 1775 he made the clarion call of the American Revolution “I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.” This was his Law Office, very near the house.

Patrick died in 1799 at the age of 63 and is buried beside his second wife, Dorothea Dandridge Henry, who died in 1831. He had 6 children with his first wife Sarah Shelton, who died in 1775 at the age of 21!  He and Dorothea had 11 children!

We stayed the night in Lynchburg VA

 

Oct 19 F – 0.5hr to Appomattox Court House National Historic Park VA. There have been many changes/improvements since our first visit in 1969 when we stopped on our way from U of MD to Mexico.

After the surrender of Petersburg VA on April 3, 1865, General Ulysses S. Grant’s Union forces pursued General Robert E. Lee’s Confederates to the Village of Appomattox Court House

The Confederate railroad supply line escape route was cut on April 8th and Lee surrendered on April 9, 1865 ending the four-year long (1861-1865) Civil War.

The reconstructed Appomattox County Court House now serves as the NHP Visitor Center; NONE of the surrender events took place here.

The surrender took place in the parlor of the nearby McLean House

Some other rooms in the McClean house – the McCleans were Confederates who had downsized here after having to leave Manassas VA when the War began

Indoor Winter Kitchen

Back of McClean house, Slave Cabin to left, Outdoor Kitchen to right

Slave Cabin

Outdoor Summer Kitchen

The Clover Hill Tavern (1819) is the oldest building in the village

Parole passes were printed here so that Confederate troops could return home

Tavern Guesthouse (Horsetel)

Isbell House

Left to right, Meeks Store, Court House, Clover Tavern, Appomattox County Jail, and back of Isbell House

Meeks Store

Peers House – last artillery shot of the Civil War

The Surrender Ceremony

Appomattox County Jail (1867)

 

A 2hr drive took us to Green Springs National Historic Landmark District (an Affiliated NP Unit) in VA’s Piedmont area east of Charlottesville. It is a 14,000 acre “Tapestry of Rural Landscapes and Architecture.” Most farm/plantation buildings and farmsteads predate the Civil War and some the Revolutionary War. We drove the narrow gravel roads searching for ones we could see and photograph. The area is preserved today through easements. The Green Springs Plantation (1772)

St. John’s Chapel (1888)

Ionia Plantation (1770)

Maddox County Store (1900)

Prospect Hill Plantation (1730) – now The Virginia Plantation Inn

Boswells Tavern (1735) – In 1781, while trying to keep British troops from seizing the colonial storehouses in Charlottesville, General Lafayette stayed here with 4000 of his troops camped outside.

 

2hrs to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts (Other NP Unit) in northern VA, 16mi from Washington DC

From May through September, multiple amphitheaters in the park present performances such as musicals, dance, opera, jazz, popular, and country music

We did the Wolf Trap TRACK Trail, 1.5mi winding through the woods and over Wolf Trap Run

We passed the Theatre-In-The-Woods, also called the Children’s Theatre

And hiked around Turtle Pond

 

What should have been a 0.5hr drive to Lillian’s condo in Rockville MD took 1.5hrs because of rush hour traffic on the I495 Bridge over the Potomac River!

 

Oct 20 Sa – Helen and Lillian spent the day together. They drove to Annapolis and had lunch with Lois another of the 1967-68 U of MD female graduate assistants. Meanwhile, I was up and out early arriving at Greenbelt Park MD (Other NP Unit) at 7:45am.

I had planned to do the Azalea Trail, which Helen and I did in 1968, however the Sweetgum parking area was closed until 8am. So, I continued to the Dogwood Trail where parking was available along the Park Central Road.

It was a pleasantly cool morning and an enjoyable 1.4mi loop hike

I then drove to the end of the road where there was a visitor center at the campground check-in and several deer in the nearby woods

 

It only took 20min to drive to Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, which is located on the Anacostia River and is a part of the National Capital Parks-East

As in Greenbelt Park, I was the only one on the trails. I started by hiking around the The Ponds where Water Lilies and Lotuses are planted each year.

The season was over but there were some still blooming behind the Visitor Center

I then did the Boardwalk Trail that takes you into the Kenilworth Marsh. It is a freshwater flood plain of the Anacostia River but is also affected by the tides from the Atlantic Ocean.

Birds of the marsh

 

My next stop was Fort Dupont, another part of National Capital Parks-East. It is one of the many forts that circled Washington DC during the Civil War.  It was named for Flag Officer Samuel F. Dupont, who commanded the naval victory at Port Royal, SC, in November 1861.

The Park Road was closed so I parked on the perimeter and did a 1.6mi loop hike to the Earthwork Remains of the fort

 

I arrived at Frederick Douglas National Historic Site in East Washington DC for my scheduled 12:15 tour

In 1877 he purchased this notable home in a “whites only” area on Cedar Hill

We had an excellent 1.25hr home/history tour with a park ranger. The front porch provides a great view west to downtown Washington DC.

Frederick Douglas (1818-1895) was the preeminent black personage of the second half of the 19th century. He was born a slave of a black mother and white father. In 1838 he escaped to NY and took the surname Douglass. He married Anna Murray and became active in the abolition movement. In 1845 he published an autobiography which named his owner. This was a mistake as he had to escape again, this time to England. English supporters paid for his freedom and he returned to America in 1847. He served as a Lincoln advisor and issued a “Men of Color, to Arms” proclamation urging free blacks to join the Army. He was an outstanding orator and later in his life became an advocate for women’s rights. Anna and Frederick had five children. She died in 1882 and two years later he married Helen Pitts who was white. The racially mixed marriage sparked much debate to put it mildly. He denounced the government after the Civil War for abandoning African-Americans and spoke out strongly against segregation.

Portrait of Douglas reflected in mirror

Douglass quotes –

Here are some photos from the inside of the Douglass home –

 

I went searching for Oxon Run Parkway administered by National Capital Parks-East. The 126 acres of wetlands and deciduous forest is located in the Washington Highlands neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It is meant to demonstrate how a relatively small wooded and pristine environment can be preserved within a city setting. Before the establishment of the parkway, the parkland was contained within the Camp Simms military installation.

I then drove to Anacostia Park for another view of DC from the East. The administrative offices for the National Capital Parks-East are located here.

I then took the Suitland Parkway, a unit of National Capital Parks-East, to Andrews Air Force Base where I saw one of the two Air Force Ones (President’s 747s) on the very end of a runway close to the Potomac River.

It was then a short distance to Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Hill Farm, another unit of National Capital Parks-East

Opened in 1967, Oxon Hill Farm is a working farm that represents the time when horsepower still came directly from horses.

Dairy Farm

Visitor Center and Farm Museum,

Ranger waiting for me, I arrived just before closing

The park is on the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail

 

My next stop was Fort Foote, another of the Civil War “Circle Forts” administered by National Capital Parks-East. It was constructed in 1863 atop Rozier’s Bluff to strengthen the ring of fortifications that encircled Washington, D.C. Two 15-inch Rodman Cannons protected the Potomac River approach to Washington. DC.

 

Proceeding 10min further down the Potomac River (south), I came to Harmony Hall MD. The 18th century Harmony Hall mansion is located on a 62.5-acre open pasture land estate along the Potomac River.

It was built in 1769 by the wealthy landowner and tobacco merchant Enoch Magruder – front of mansion. Harmony Hall is currently closed and undergoing renovation.

A canal, which still exists, was built from here to a tobacco warehouse as well as several weighing stations on the river. This was the place where all tobacco shipped to England was taxed. The canal may be the earliest man-made canal built in the colonies – back of mansion.

 

Busy day, I traveled 25min further down the Potomac to Piscataway Park (Other NP Unit)

They have created a National Colonial Farm (replica) here – front

Back and garden

 

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail includes this part of the Potomac River

This land/park was developed to protect the view FROM Mt Vernon across the Potomac River

 

Not done yet, drove to the Lyndon Baines Johnson National Memorial Grove along the Potomac River in VA across from the Washington Monument. Parked along Boundary Dr and crossed the bridge into the Memorial.

Approaching memorial

Great location but the Memorial did not seem complete to me. Perhaps because of lack of signs/information, a statue, etc.

There were quotes etched in marble around the stone, however the rose color of the stones made them very hard to read

 

Now I had just enough time to get to the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial before sunset

Some of the 184 that died –

There are 184 illuminated benches, arranged according to the victim’s ages (3-71).

The benches representing the victims that were inside the Pentagon are arranged so those reading the names will face the Pentagon’s south facade, where the plane hit; benches dedicated to victims aboard the plane are arranged so that those reading the engraved name will be facing skyward along the path the plane traveled.  The Air Force Memorial can be seen in the distance.

Each bench is engraved with the name of a victim. A shallow lighted pool of flowing water is positioned under each memorial bench.

 

I drove most of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (NP Unit) today and now took it to the I495 bridge on my way to Lillian’s in Rockville MD.  Again, much traffic and stop and go crossing the bridge.

 

Oct 21 Su –I planned the two tours and opera today (Sunday) to minimize driving time and parking problems. Helen, Lillian, and I arrived at the African American Civil War Memorial on Vermont Ave in DC at 8:30am. African American men wanted to enlist and fight at the start of the Civil War, however, Lincoln was firm; it was a war of Union preservation not abolition. The exception was the Navy where almost 29,000 African Americans served. As the war progressed with neither side clearly winning, Lincoln took the radical step of issuing the Emancipation Proclamation on 1/1/1863. This officially allowed the creation of the US Colored Troops (USCT). From 1863-1865, 180,000 African Americans enlisted in the Army.  Camp Nelson National Monument in KY (NP Unit #418) was created this month to tell the story of the training of these black troops; it opened in 1863.

This is a little known but impressive sculpture across from the African-American Civil War Museum. There are three sides to the sculpture –

“Who would be free themselves must strike the blow. Better even die free than to live slaves.” – Frederick Douglass 1863

The “Spirit of Freedom.”

 

We stopped at a street Farmer’s Market for a cheese Danish on our half mile drive to the Carter G. Woodson National Historical Site. It was a cold morning with high winds and the homeless had taken shelter where they could find it. A regular location for them is sleeping on cardboard around the Carter G. Woodson statue set in a small triangular park around the corner from the Woodson home.

One man had found refuge in a doorway in front of the home. We wanted to get him some hot coffee but there was not a source nearby, so I gave him some money for breakfast whenever he was ready to move.

We arrived before our scheduled 9am tour and waited for the building to open. As 9:30 approached, I started calling various offices of the National Park Service. Finally, I made a connection at the Frederick Douglass NHS and they assured me that they would look into the matter. A short time later the door opened. We were told by the two female rangers that they did not open the door at 9am because of the homeless man in front of the building and had called the police to have him removed. They did not explain why they had not informed us of this action while we waited out in the cold. To our dismay, the police arrived and took the man away.

We requested our tour and were shown the home, which is in the process of acquiring period furnishing. Dr. Carter G. Woodson (1875-1950) lived in this three-story Victorian rowhouse from 1920 until his death in 1950. He managed the operations of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, published the Negro History Bulletin and the Journal of Negro History. Dr. Woodson established Negro History Week here in 1926, which we celebrate today as Black History Month.

 

We arrived at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in time for our 11am guided tour. It is in a strategic location near the U.S. Capital, Supreme Court, and Hart Senate Office Building.

The first women’s rights convention was held in Seneca Falls NY in 1848 (see Women’s Rights National Historic Park – this Blog August 2014). Alice Paul, a Quaker born in NY in 1885, became involved in the Women’s Movement in England in 1907. When she returned to the U.S. she was instrumental in promoting women’s suffrage. She was an organizer of the Suffrage Parade held in DC the day before Woodrow Wilson’s inauguration in 1913. The National Women’s Party (NWP) was formed in Chicago in 1916 as the “world’s first women’s political party.” In 1917, they began picketing the White House. President Wilson had many arrested. Many of the women were abused in prison – read the following sign:

Helen in The Origins Gallery

After a public outcry, President Wilson asked Congress to pass a suffrage amendment. In 1920, the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote was signed into law.

In 1923, the NWP drafted an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) that was introduced in Congress.

Six years later, Alva Vanderbilt Belmont helped purchase this building on Capitol Hill for the National Women’s Party. The Hall of Portraits – women who contributed to the ongoing struggle for equality.

It was not until 1972 that the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) passed Congress. An Amendment to the Constitution requires the ratification of 38 of the 50 states. Congress set a 1979 deadline for ratification of the ERA. Only 35 states voted to ratify the ERA by this deadline, therefore, it was not ratified. There was a ratification extension granted until 1982, however, no additional states voted for ratification.

WE STILL DO NOT HAVE AN EQUAL RIGHTS AMMENDMENT

There has been on-going debate concerning ratification. In fact, after Phyllis Schlafly, a Right to Life advocate, mobilized conservative women in opposition, five state legislatures (ID, KY, NE, TN, and SD) voted to revoke their ERA ratifications. Schlafly argued that the ERA would disadvantage housewives and cause women to be drafted into the military. It remains a legal question as to whether a state can revoke its ratification of a federal constitutional amendment. At the same time, there continue to be efforts for ratification. In 2017, NV voted for ratification. In 2018, IL voted for ratification.

President Obama designated the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in 2016. This building NWP stills serves as the NWP home today.  It continues to be the epicenter in the struggle for women’s rights. This was a sign on a trash receptacle across the street from the building.

 

I have wanted to attend a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts ever since it opened in 1971 (the year we moved from U of MD to NY) – today was the day! Authorized by the 1958 National Cultural Center Act of Congress, it is the United States National Cultural Center. It is located on the Potomac River adjacent to the Watergate complex. The Act required that programming be sustained through private funds. So, the Kennedy Center is an ongoing public-private partnership.

Some Kennedy quotes on the River Terrace

 

We had lunch in the KC Café and then enjoyed a wonderful matinee performance of Verdi’s La traviata.  We sat in the nose bleed Tier 2 section but first row seats and binoculars brought us up front and personal. Venera Gimadieva was exceptional as Violetta.

This bronze of Poseidon (Gift from Greece) reminded me of Peter and Chad

Bought a dozen jumbo crabs (he gave us 15 for $38!) at Jessie Taylor Seafood on the Wharf in DC, then drove back to Rockville to gorge ourselves on our “catch.”  I could only eat 2 – Helen ate 4!  She stated that she could eat more because she grew-up near the ocean!

 

Oct 22 M – Metro/Subway from Rockville to Metro Station DC, we then walked a couple of blocks to Freedom Plaza, which is two blocks east of the White House

The Plaza, which is composed mostly of stone, is inlaid with dark and light marble. Quotes about the city are carved into the marble surface.

There are brass outlines of the Capitol and White House

The Plaza also contains a metallic plaque of the Great Seal of the United. The Plaza is one of the settings in Dan Brown’s novel The Lost Symbol (2009).

Reverse side of the Great Seal

The plaza is a popular place for civic events and political protests (e.g. “Occupy DC” in 2011)

A bronze statue of Brigadier General, Casimir Pulaski (1741-1779) is located on the east side of the plaza. He was a hero of the Revolutionary War but is shown in the uniform of a Polish Cavalry Commander. He died in the Battle of Savannah in 1779 at the age of 31.

Across 14th St to the west is Pershing Park. It is in the process of being developed as a World War I Memorial. The main monument is a statue of John J. Pershing, General of the Armies in World War I.

Memorial walls and benches describe Pershing’s accomplishments

Workers were in the process of gilding the letters and figures on the monuments.  The Armistice ending World War I was signed on November 11, 1918.  It was specified that it go into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  In 1938, Congress officially designated November 11th Armistice Day, a legal holiday to honor ALL those who have served their country in the Armed Services.  In 1954 it was renamed Veterans Day.  This year is the 100th year anniversary and citizens are asked to ring bells at 11am to commemorate the ending of the “War to End All Wars.”

Veterans Day should not be confused with Memorial Day, which honors those who have died serving our country or Armed Forces Day that honors those who are now serving in the U.S. military.

 

The Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Site (NP Unit) runs from the White House to the Peace Monument at the Capitol. Many government buildings, monuments, and memorials are located along this route. As we walked from Freedom Plaza toward the Capitol, our first stop was the Old Post Office, which is now the Trump International Hotel. The government renovated it in 1983 adding a food court, retail space, and roof skylight in the central atrium. At that time, it became known as the Old Post Office Pavilion. The government gave a Trump holding company a 60-year lease on the building in 2013. The Trump hotel opened in 2016.

Statue of Benjamin Franklin was dedicated in 1889 and moved to this location in 1980

Lillian, who is anti-Trump, refused to enter the building. We could not enter the hotel, however, we were able to go to the top of the clock tower, which is run by the National Park Service. There are a series of displays as you walk to the elevator.  This photo shows the Capitol under construction at the end of Pennsylvania Ave

 

Old Post Office – Trump International Hotel

 

At 315 feet, it is the third-tallest building in Washington DC. The Clock Tower houses the “Bells of Congress” and offers panoramic views of the city.

A two-block walk took us to the United States Navy Memorial with towering masts and signal flags – to “Honor, Recognize and Celebrate the men and women of the Sea Services” (Navy and Coast Guard).

The Plaza has one of the largest maps of the world, called the “Granite Sea,”

with the iconic Lone Sailor Statue. A matching bronze can be found off the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge (see this blog – March 2013)

There are 22 bronze sculptures depicting Navy history

 

The General Winfield Scott Hancock (1824-1886) Statue is adjacent to the plaza and is one of the many Civil War Monuments of Washington DC. He served in the Mexican-American War and was a Union General in the Civil War. He was regarded as a “Hero” at the Battle of Gettysburg. He ran for President in 1880 but was defeated by Garfield. This is one of the monuments that is featured in the opening of the Netflix series “House of Cards.”

The Grand Army of the Republic Memorial is located across the street at the corner of PA Ave and 7th St. The memorial honors Dr. Benjamin F. Stephenson, founder of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), a fraternal organization for Union Veterans. Dedicated in 1909 by President William Howard Taft, the memorial is one of 18 Civil War monuments in Washington, D.C.  It is a three-sided monument with bronze reliefs on each side depicting the motto of the GAR, “Fraternity, Charity, and Loyalty.” Front of the memorial – “Fraternity”

“Charity” is on the NE side of the memorial

“Loyalty” is on the SE side of the memorial

A few steps north is the Temperance Fountain. It was donated to the city in 1882 by Henry D. Cogswell, a dentist from San Francisco, who was a crusader in the Temperance Movement. This fountain was one of a series of temperance fountains he designed and commissioned in a belief that easy access to cool drinking water (ice was used) would keep people from consuming alcoholic beverages! Canopy sides are inscribed with the words “Faith,” “Hope,” “Charity,” and “Temperance.”

 

The Andrew W. Mellon (1855-1937) Fountain – holds a prominent position at the corner of Pennsylvania Ave and Constitution Ave – apex of the Federal Triangle. A financier/industrialist, Mellon was Secretary of the Treasury 1921-1932, Ambassador to Great Britain 1932-1933, and Founder of the National Gallery of Art (1937), which is across the street. Three small-to-large nested bronze basins empty into a 38-foot diameter granite basin. I especially like the 360-degree laminar flow of water over the three lips (requires perfect leveling).

The 12 zodiac symbols surround the base of the fountain. The Aries symbol faces directly east with the Libra symbol facing west and the Virgo symbol arranged along Pennsylvania Avenue, leading to some believing that Masonic influences were essential in the architecture. On the vernal equinox (Spring) the sun directly hits Aries, which then faces the rising sun a month later.

Can you see the Aquarius symbol? – that is Helen’s

The Newseum is across PA Ave from the Mellon fountain. Its mission is to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment – freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition.

Each day the Newseum displays online the front pages of more than 2,000 newspapers worldwide. These pages are in their original, unedited form. The Newseum states that “some may contain material that is deemed objectionable to some visitors. Discretion is advised.” Every day, around 800 front pages are put on display. A front page from a paper in each state is posted outside so it can be read from the sidewalk. I have now placed the Newseum on my bucket list for further exploration.

 

We continued past the Canadian Embassy to John Marshall Park. John James Marshall (1755-1835) remains the longest-serving chief justice of the Supreme Court in history. Appointed by President John Adams, he served for 34 years (1801-1835). The D.C. Court can be seen in the background.

Just east of the park is the E. Barrett Prettyman U.S. District Court, which has been very active lately! The Meade Memorial to Major General George Gordon Meade sits in front of the courthouse. Meade is best known for defeating General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Gettysburg. This is another of the 18 Civil War monuments in Washington D.C.

There is an interesting bronze statue at the SE corner of the U.S. District Court – that of Sir William Blackstone (1723-1780). “Blackstone, considered to be the Father of English Law, was the author of Commentaries on the Laws of England in 1769 – a foundation of English law. His Commentaries became a basis for American and English legal systems.” This statue of Blackstone was never intended to be placed in Washington, D.C. let alone America. In the 1920s the statue was commissioned by members of the American Bar Association (ABA) as a gift to the English Bar Association, but it was too tall to be placed in the Royal Courts of Justice in London. It was cast in Europe and in 1943 was presented back to the U.S. for placement in D.C., partly because of the bombing of London during World War II. Blackstone is shown in judicial robes, with a ceremonial wig, holding his Commentaries.

Pennsylvania Ave ends at the Peace Monument – also known as the Naval Monument or Civil War Sailors Monument, it stands on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol in Peace Circle. The 44-foot high white marble memorial was erected from 1877-1878 to commemorate the naval deaths at sea during the Civil War.

Ulysses S. Grant Memorial – Grant (18th President) on horseback faces west, overlooking the Capitol Reflecting Pool. The Grant and Lincoln memorials define the eastern and western ends, respectively, of the National Mall, a NP Unit. It is the second-largest equestrian statue in the US and the fourth-largest in the world.

Grant’s statue rests on a pedestal decorated with bronze reliefs of the infantry; flanking pedestals hold statues of protective lions

There is a bronze representation of the Union cavalry on the north side of the Grant statue

1968 – 50 years ago – young and stupid, who would ride a horse in sweater and tie?

Union artillery on the south side – Grant served as President from 1869-1877. Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th US President

It was a beautiful Fall day

1968 – 50 years ago!

James A. Garfield Monument – 20th President, he narrowly defeated General Winfield Scott Hancock in 1870 but was assassinated in 1871 after only 4 months in office. Chester A. Arthur became President. The monument includes three allegorical figures spread around the base representing three significant periods in Garfield’s life. The first is the Student, reminding us of his time as an educator, the next is the Warrior, commemorating his service during the Civil War and the third is the Statesman, pointing to his career as a public servant.

Bartholdi Fountain – Frederic Auguste Bartholdi (1834-1904) is best known for creating the Statue of Liberty. Bartholdi created this cast-iron “Fountain of Light and Water” for the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. The fountain stands 30 feet high and has caryatid figures 11 feet in height. The fountain was purchased by the U.S. Congress for $6,000 at the suggestion of Frederick Law Olmsted, the famous landscape architect who designed the Capitol Grounds. It was moved to Washington, D.C., in 1877. The Department of HHS can be seen in the background.

The gas lamps made the fountain a popular destination in the 1880s as one of the first attractions in the nation’s capital to be brightly illuminated at night. Electric lights replaced the gas lamps in 1915. The Botanic Garden is in background.

To really appreciate the Bartholdi Fountain, you need to see it illuminated at night with the Capitol as a backdrop –

 

The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial, across Washington Ave from the Bartholdi Fountain, is an “unknown” gem.

George Washington and Dwight Eisenhower quotes

There are several glass panels with quotes, figures, etc.

Star shaped fountain with insignia of five military services at points of star