Sunday, November 20, 2011

Smithsonian American History Museum- First Ladies

The Smithsonian American History Museum is probably my favorite of all the museums on the Mall. The first time I visited the museum was in high school. And I really liked the First Ladies exhibit then, and have seen it several times since. The exhibit then simply started with Martha on one end and finished with whoever happened to be in office at the time... and what stood out was how the tiny little sizes of the dresses from the 1700's increasingly grew taller (and in some cases - wider) as time went on. The new First Ladies exhibit just reopened, and today was the perfect day to check it out. It was in the 60's, the tourist traffic was quite low, so it as a great day to take a walk over before the holiday rush. The foot traffice on the Mall was very slow and easy to navigate. The museum is located at the end of the Mall (for us) near the Washington Monument. We entered the place, and went directly up to the third floor. And of course, it probably was the busiest exhibit there. An orderly line had formed at the entrance where a great selection of gowns were on display. So we started at the other end, and worked our way back up to the front, past Dolly Madison, Mary Lincoln, Lady Bird Johnson, and Michelle Obama- to name just a few. I declared history as my major when I entered college, but it changed to nursing (of all things) to ensure that I would actually get a job when I graduated. We visited Washington DC many times over the years, and have seen a lot of historical sites along the way. So I guess you could say I'm living with the history rather than just reading about it. And that is probably a lot more fun.
In front of the Air and Space Museum, transportation awaits- but no takers!

The ever present Park Police

The American History Museum is near the Washington Monument

The entrance to the exhibit

An interesting collection from a variety of periods- including Nancy Reagan's suit

Dolly Madison was always fashionable

I've read a lot about Mary Todd Lincoln

Lady Bird Johnson's simple lines are very elegant

The second Mrs. Wilson?

Even the boys find this collection interesting

"Living" history is the best

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