Thursday, September 8, 2011

American Red Cross founder Clara Barton’s Missing Soldier’s office on 7th Street discovered by accident by GSA worker.

American Red Cross founder Clara Barton’s Missing Soldier’s office on 7th Street discovered by accident by GSA worker.
Over a decade ago, a GSA worker Richard Lyons accidentally discovered lists of missing soldiers from the civil war and found it was the actual office used my Miss Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross on 7th Street. Clara Barton’s office (room #9 at 437 7th Street in Washington DC) is across the street from restaurant Jaleo and the Shakespeare Theater. GSA workers discovered the papers in the ceiling boards.

Early in the civil war, Clara Barton raced to the Manassas battlefield and set up a small ad hoc aid station on the grounds of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fairfax Station on Rte 123. She was called the “angel of the battlefield” and as the war dragged on, her self-appointed duties increased from not only providing water, food and bandages, but also to help frantic families to find out the fate of their fathers, sons and brothers.

She did all this as a volunteer in the beginning. President Lincoln later commissioned her to help families find their missing soldiers. She and her assistants sent 21,000 letters to families and this helped reunite families and discover the fate of missing soldiers, esp. at the horrific Andersonville concentration camp.

To this day, the American Red Cross principles maintain an ethos of volunteerism, impartiality, neutrality and the International Committee of the Red Cross also has a tracing service in combat zones to find the fate of missing soldiers.

The little apartment on the 3rd floor on 7th Street is available for tours by appointment and will be renovated and administrated by the National Civil War Medical Museum in Fredrick, MD as soon as they raise enough money.

Call for an appointment, (301) 695-1864. Then go to Jaleo!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ladies Dancing Again on New York Ave.: National Museum of Women in the Arts

These beautiful, playful sculptures are back again on New York Avenue in front of the Museum of Women in the Arts. They were removed, much to my chagrin, probably for winter.


Dancing in the Streets!

Beginning March 26, 2011, Niki de Saint Phalle’s larger-than-life sculptures return to New York Avenue, N.W. between 12th and 13th streets. Come experience the first and only major outdoor sculpture corridor in our nation’s capital by women. Her colorful and joyous works of art will remain on view through the end of October 2011." (from the National Museum of Women in the Arts website. Pictures from my iPhone.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Indiana Boilermaker tells his daughters of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire 100 years later and why unions still matter

I drove a Boilermaker and his Indiana family with two girls, 5th and 7th grade, past the FrancEs Perkins Dept. of Labor Building yesterday. Frances E. Perkins was Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt's Sec. of Labor for 12 years and helped during the last Depression to create Social Security, minimum wage and other worker's rights.

As a young social worker in 1911 she happened to be nearby and was shocked when young Italian and other immigrant women jumped out of the burning Triangle Shirtwaist Factory building several floors to their death because management had chained the escape doors shut. The union father told the story of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire beautifully. These stories need to be told and re-told. We all forget.

The Washington Post has an editorial that ends today, the 100th anniversary of this fire where 146 women were burned or jumped to their death, with refutation of worker's rights rollbacks, "Such complaints, of course, are with us still. We hear them from mine operators after fatal explosions, from bankers after they’ve crashed the economy, from energy moguls after their rig explodes or their plant starts leaking radiation. We hear them from politicians who take their money. We hear them from Republican members of Congress and from some Democrats, too. A century after Triangle, greed encased in libertarianism remains a fixture of — and danger to — American life. " 

The Indiana Boilermaker was here to try to educate Congress. He told the story passionately, perhaps because he feels he is reliving it?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Australiam Prime Minister honors Vietnam veterans

It was a cold and windy morning yesterday at the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial when Australia's female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, promised $3.3 million to build an Education Center for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Retired US Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey and US Navy CNO Adm. Mike McMullen also spoke with Jan Scruggs of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

The finger in the picture points to the one Australian service member named on the Wall. He was a US Marine Corps Reserve. (From WTOP news,) "more than 500 Australians lost their lives during the conflict.
The planned exhibit space, called The Education Center at the Wall, will be underground and display items that have been placed at the memorial.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which is building the center, says it has raised $26 million of the approximately $85 million needed to build the facility. The group hoped to break ground in 2010 but now says groundbreaking will likely happen in next several years."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Boys hold old Libyan flag at protest at White House

I shot the picture with their innocent faces covered. The technology of repression is well refined and funded. This will not be over in 18 days, I'm afraid.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cherry Blossoms peak bloom time is.....March 29 to April 3!!!

From the Washington Post via Guild listserve:

Cherry Blossoms peak bloom time is.....

By Washington Post editors
National Park Service Chief Horticulturalist Rob DeFeo says Washington's famed cherry trees will be in peak bloom from March 29 to April 3.
It is an announcement closely watched by a tourist industry that reaps $150 million from the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which will run from March 26 through April 10.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Life under President Washington from 3 slave's perspective : lecture at Gadsby's Tavern

"At Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Professor Peter Henriques spoke on  Those Who Labor for Me: A Closer Look at Some of George Washington’s Enslaved Workers.” Professor Peter Henriques, Professor of History Emeritus from George Mason University took a somewhat different approach to the topic of George Washington and slavery. The focus was primarily on a handful of enslaved workers, Charlotte, Sambo Anderson, and Ona Judge, plus a few others, and only tangentially on Washington. With the goal of introducing these fascinating but largely forgotten people to a wider audience, Professor Henriques not only illustrated the horrors of slavery but also revealed a more complicated story than generally known. "

(I cite most of the text above from the Alexandria VA website.)  The lecture will be broadcast on C-SPAN. Some of these slaves, for example, owned a gun and was skillful in its use. Another, such as Washington's chef Hercules, was quite a "dandy" in his sartorial expression. Prof. Henriques spoke illustratively about their relationship and President Washington's duplicity in moving Hercules in and out of Pennsylvania so as to prevent a local law from freeing him. If a slave were in Pa. for six continuous months, he could sue for his freedom. Hercule's pride was hurt when discovering why Washington moved him out of the State of Pa. in that manner.

As Black History Month is almost half over, I hope to learn more about our nation's tarnished legacy of slavery.

Monday, February 14, 2011

CouchSurfers commit Hug-In at Smithsonian Natural History Museum

"Free Hugs" these young people yelled at the steps of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. So I took and gave a few hugs, then asked for a picture. Cool idea Everybody talks about world peace but these folks are waging peace!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Symbolism of Lincoln Memorial's Guerin murals : Art at the Park!

Glad we didn't miss the excellent and enlightening Art at the Park talk given by seasoned NPS Ranger Jan Buerger. She gave a linear and historical exposition of the reasons why the Mall has the architecture it does from Peter (Pierre) L'Enfant to the McMillan Commission and the City Beautiful Movement ending abruptly with the First World War.

" Guerin's "Enchanted Grove" consists of two murals, each with three parts, allegories of "the principles evident in Abraham Lincoln's life." Sometimes it's hard to get too "uncoolly" publicly excited about the ideas of America in this post-modern decadence as the norm ethos we are passing through. I'm not talking about the bellicose or chauvinistic America Love it or Leave It patriotism, but an earlier era that the creators of the Lincoln Memorial envisioned with the American ideals of Freedom but also Tolerance and Education.

The two Angels of Truth, one on each side, are painted in deeply symbolic intent. One raising her arms while the slaves still have their chains on suggest the Emancipation Proclamation was just the beginning, and that we have, in every generation, a long way to go to live up to these noble ideals, to shed their shackles. Freedom is reinforced by Tolerance and Americans are empowered by Education.

The Angel of Truth on the other side from the Gettysburg Address joins the hands of North and South and her wings spread widely to cover Arts & Sciences of Painting, Philosophy, Music and well as Architecture, Chemistry, Sculpture, Literature and a child anticipating Future. Faith, Hope and Charity are on one side of the angel joining hands and Justice and the Rule of Law are on the other. When war ends, Ranger Buerger reasons, art, science and culture can grow and flourish, these murals show.

Ranger Buerger brought alive the American ideals and traced them through movements in art history, landscape, architecture, politics and technology. It was well worth a wait in the cold.

Next Sunday's at 3 pm will be at the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

CSPAN video on Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

VIDEO: Ulysses S. Grant Memorial

CSPAN | February 03, 2011

The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial sits at the West Front of the United States Capitol in Washington, DC. Senate Historian Donald Ritchie talks about the memorial and it's sculptor, Henry M. Shrady.

(kudos to the Guild listsevre, Daniel and C-SPAN!)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Washington elected Feb. 4, 1789

Feb 4, 1789:
Washington unanimously elected by Electoral College to first and second terms

On this day in 1789, George Washington becomes the first and only president to be unanimously elected by the Electoral College. He repeated this notable feat on the same day in 1792.
The peculiarities of early American voting procedure meant that although Washington won unanimous election, he still had a runner-up, John Adams, who served as vice president during both of Washington's terms. Electors in what is now called the Electoral College named two choices for president. They each cast two ballots without noting a distinction between their choice for president and vice president. Washington was chosen by all of the electors and therefore is considered to have been unanimously elected. Of those also named on the electors' ballots, Adams had the most votes and became vice president.
Although Washington's overwhelming popularity prevented problems in 1789 and 1792, this procedure caused great difficulty in the elections of 1796 and 1800. In 1796, Federalist supporters of John Adams cast only one of their two votes in an effort to ensure that Adams would win the presidency without giving votes to any of the other candidates. This led to a situation in which the Federalist Adams won the highest number of votes and became president, but Thomas Jefferson, the opposing Democratic-Republican candidate, came in second and therefore became his opponent's vice president.
In 1800, the system led to a tie between the Democratic-Republican candidates for president and vice president, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. This sent the vote to the House of Representatives, where Federalists voted for Burr instead of Jefferson, whom they despised. As a result, the Congressional vote ended in a tie 35 times before the Federalists decided to hand in blank ballots and concede the White House to Jefferson.
In 1804, the 12th Amendment to the Constitution ended this particular form of electoral chaos by stipulating that separate votes be cast for president and vice president.

(grateful kudos to Peggy L. Posting this on the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC listserve!)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Art at the Park: Guerin's Lincoln Memorial Murals: Free!! Sunday Feb. 6 at 3 pm

Art at the Park: Guerin's Lincoln Memorial Murals

Lincoln MemorialDC

Phone: 202-497-1397
See map: Google Maps
February 6, 2011 - 3:00pm

Remarkable city planners, architects, sculptors and painters, in the midst of political quicksand, created an entire city to remind us of our ideals.  Jules Guerin's Lincoln Memorial Murals, "Freedom" and "Unity" are a "City Beautiful Movement" work.  Meet at the Lincoln Memorial.  Contact Jan Buerger at 202-497-1397.

(Kudos to cultural tourism DC, Daniel and The Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC listserve!)

Friday, January 21, 2011

New US Institute for Peace opening in March, public opening in September.

The new modern building near the Lincoln Memorial of  the United States Institute of Peace opens in March. When I called and spoke with a USIP contractor was told the Official Opening is not until September, according to a USIP contractor. With two public wars ongoing, no wonder there is no time until September for a public opening.

USIP was formed by Congress in 1984 and sponsors research into peace issues. 

What is USIP?

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan, national institution established and funded by the U.S. Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and development, and increase peacebuilding capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by directly engaging in peacebuilding efforts around the globe. | Learn more about our work.

Activities and events are happening at the new building now but the Official Opening is not until September.