Ford's Theatre, the Smithsonian Castle, and the National Museum of American History

Someone sneezed on me while I was perusing the National Art Gallery yesterday and I ended up catching something (thanks buddy, whoever you are). I spent all day yesterday downing medicine. Today I felt a bit better, enough to venture out but by the end of the day, I think I made myself worse. Don't worry --I didn't sneeze on anyone when I went exploring.

My first stop, the Smithsonian Institution Building (The Castle). I was sorely disappointed. The outside promises exhibits of wonders inside.

Smithsonian Institution Castle

Sadly, that is not the case. The Castle was mostly filled with sweaty tourists sitting around avoiding the heat.

My next stops were much much more interesting: National Museum of American History and Ford's Theatre

I only spent an hour in the National Museum of American History --it was a little too packed to do much perusing/picture taking.

Nancy's Reagan's dress on display at the American History Museum
Nancy Reagan's inaugural ball dress.

japanese internment at the American History Museum

japanese internment at the American History Museum
Thanks FDR!! (sarcasm)

Silver ship gift on display at the American History Museum

Gunboat Philadelphia model at the American History Museum
Model of the Gunboat Philadelphia

Gunboat Philadelphia at the American History Museum
The recovered Gunboat Philadelphia.

In October 1776, American troops in a ragtag collection of newly built boats faced an advancing line of British ships on Lake Champlain in New York. The Americans, under the command of Benedict Arnold, were forced to retreat, but not before they fought the British to a standstill. One of the American vessels, the Philadelphia, sank during the battle and rested on the bottom of the lake until 1935. It was recovered that year with much of its equipment intact and came to the Museum in 1964, complete with the 24-pound ball that sent the gunboat to the bottom.

Gunboat Philadelphia at the American History Museum

Ford's Theatre:


Sanitary Commission Quilt

Constructed to raise money for the Sanitary Commission, this quilt was signed by 56 famous politicians, Northern generals and other public figures during the Civil War period, including President Abraham Lincoln, General Ulysses S. Grant and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Lincoln's signature on Ford's Theatre quilt
Lincoln's signature on the Sanitary Commission Quilt

Program for Ford's Theatre
Programs

Ford's Theatre, balcony Lincoln was killed/shot
This is the balcony Abraham Lincoln and his wife sat in when he was shot.

Ford's Theatre, balcony Lincoln was killed/shot

Ford's Theatre balcony
The other balcony.

Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre

Address: 511 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004
Fees: (tickets required) varies
Hours: 9am - 4pm
Website: fordstheatre.org

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