HISTORY & POLITICS
Arlington National Cemetery
America’s largest national burial ground which was built during the Civil War. Among the thousands of white headstones are the graves of President John F Kennedy and the Tomb of the Unknowns. The site still averages 5,000 funerals a year and attracts four million visitors.
Ford’s Theatre Museum
The Ford’s Theatre is where President Lincoln was shot whilst watching the comedy ‘Our American Cousin’. The theatre is decorated in the style of that day and the museum’s permanent exhibit highlights Lincoln’s role in preserving America’s pioneering effort in self-government. Exhibits include a 5-minute film, letters from the period, and artefact’s which trace his path to presidential election.
Monticello (Jefferson’s House)
This domed hilltop mansion was the home of the third president Thomas Jefferson. Monticello is the autobiographical masterpiece of Thomas Jefferson, designed and redesigned and built and rebuilt for more than forty years. Jefferson, who died 50 years to the day after his Declaration of Independence was adopted, is buried in the nearby family cemetery.
Mount Vernon (George Washington’s Home)
Mount Vernon was the beloved home of George and Martha Washington from the time of their marriage in 1759 until General Washington’s death in 1799. Stretching over 500 open acres overlooking the Potomac River, just 16 miles from Washington D.C the mansion houses the tomb of George Washington, two museums, a gift shop & gardens.
Gettysburg National Military Park
The Battle of Gettysburg was fought between the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. President Lincoln used the dedication ceremony for the Gettysburg National Cemetery to honour the fallen Union soldiers and redefine the purpose of the war in his historic Gettysburg Address.
Woodrow Wilson House
Washington DC’s only presidential museum. The former home of President Woodrow Wilson and Edith Wilson following their White House years features original furnishings, presidential memorabilia and changing special exhibits.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
This sombre and moving museum tells the story of the Holocaust through artefacts, films, photos and oral histories. There is also a Hall of Remembrance, Wall of Remembrance and special exhibits.
National Archives Experience
A vast collection of America’s important documents, maps, photos, recordings, films and objects. Famous items include the gun that shot JFK, the Watergate Tapes and the Declaration of Independence.
The home of the ultimate judicial and constitutional authority where the nine court justices hear around 100 of the 7,000 cases submitted to the court each year. When the court is in session from October to April, visitors can see cases being argued on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10am– 3pm. Students can either listen to the whole argument or can go to one of the three‐minute slots, which gives a quick glimpse of the court in action.
The headquarters to the Department of Defence, the Pentagon is virtually a city in itself. Approximately 23,000 employees, both military and civilian, contribute to the planning and execution of the defence of the USA.
The United States Capitol house is the meeting chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives. Since 1793, it has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended and restored. Today, it stands as a monument not only to its builders but also to the American people and their government.
White House Visitor Centre
Foreign nationals can visit the White House. Schools must apply via the embassy. The White House visitor centre contains photos, costumes and artefacts which depict the history of the presidential residence.
National Museum of African American History & Culture
The museum aims to place themes of American history within the context of the African American experience, exploring the richness and diversity of the culture and how it has shaped the nation. Collections will cover the Revolutionary era to the present with a focus on the history of the Civil Rights Movement.
A 7.5-acre site near the Jefferson Memorial, this memorial depicts the 12 pivotal years of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s presidency through a series of four outdoor gallery rooms. The rooms feature ten bronze sculptures depicting President Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt and events from the Great Depression and World War II.
The Lincoln Memorial was built to honour the 16th President of the United States. In front is the Reflecting Pool which is part of the iconic image of Washington and was the site of Martin Luther King’s speech ‘I Had a Dream’ which was attended by 250,000 people.
Martin Luther King Memorial
Located on one of the most prestigious sites remaining on the National Mall, the memorial to Dr Martin Luther King is the first major memorial to be dedicated to an African‐American, and to a person whom was not a preseident. The memorial conveys three themes that were central throughout Dr King’s life – democracy, justice, and hope. The centrepiece is a 10-metre statue of Dr King, gazing into the horizon.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a national memorial in Washington, D.C. It honours U.S. service members of the U.S. armed forces who fought in the Vietnam War, service members who died in service in Vietnam/South East Asia, and those service members who were missing in action during the War.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Built by the Korean War Veterans Memorial Advisory at a cost of 18 million dollars, this site features a sculptured column of 6 metre-high soldiers arrayed for combat with the American flag as their symbolic objective. A 50-metre mural wall inscribed with the words “Freedom is Not Free”.
US Marine Corps Memorial
The memorial is dedicated to all personnel of the United States Marine Corps who have died in the defence of the United States since 1775.
ART & DESIGN
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art is a world‐class art museum that displays one of the largest collections of masterpieces in the world including paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 13th century to the present.
National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery tells the stories of America through the individuals who established American culture. Through the visual arts, performing arts, and new media, the Portrait Gallery portrays poets and presidents, visionaries and villains, actors and activists. The museum’s collection of nearly 20,000 works ranges from paintings and sculpture to photographs and drawings
Smithsonian American Art Museum
The Smithsonian American Art Museum is the home of the largest collection of American art in the world including more than 41,000 artworks, spanning more than three centuries.
America’s first museum of modern art was opened as a gallery in the 1920s. It features Renoir’s ‘Luncheon of the Boating Party’ which is the keystone of the works here but also exhibited are works by Cezanne, Braque, Monet, Matisse, O’Keeffe and Picasso.
Freer Gallery of Art
An outstanding collection of Asian art, plus works by 19th and 20th century American artists. The opulent Peacock Room is the only surviving example of American expatriate James McNeill Whistler’s interior design.
Sightseeing Tour of Washington
A sightseeing tour of Washington will offer your students the opportunity to see the city’s main attractions. A professional, experienced, guide will give an insight into the history and culture of the city and will be able to answer any questions students may have.
The Smithsonian Institute was established in 1846 and is a group of museums and research centres. It includes the Air and Space Museum, Freer Gallery of Art, American History Museum and the American Art Museum.
National Air & Space Museum
The world’s most visited museum houses the Wright Brother’s 1903 Flyer, Lindbergh’s Spirit of St Louis, Apollo 11 lunar command module and an incredible collection of aviation and space technology treasures. You can even buy freeze-dried space food in the gift shop.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
As the U.S. Government’s security printer, the BEP is responsible for the design, engraving and printing of all U.S. paper currency. A world leader in printing technology, the Bureau also produces postage stamps, White House invitations, Treasury obligations and other U.S. securities. During a tour of the BEP, students will see millions of dollars being printed.
The Newseum is a six‐level, high‐tech and interactive museum tracing the history of news reporting from the 16th century to the present day. It houses 15 theatres, 14 major galleries, two state‐of‐the‐art broadcast studios and a 4‐D time‐travel experience. The exhibition galleries explore news history, electronic news, photojournalism, world news and how the media have covered major historical events.
Madame Tussauds Washington D.C
Madame Tussauds opened its doors in October 2007 hosting many exciting new experiences. The fully interactive attraction features exhibits such as ‘Behind the scenes’, where visitors can learn about the trade secrets used to create the wax figures. It pays homage to some of the most influential political figures in U.S. history from Presidents and First Ladies to activists and assassins.
Union Station Historic Tour
One of Washington’s busiest and best-known places is visited by 40 million people each year. Tours can be customised to cover the great history of the building, it’s architecture and how it has been restored to preserve it as a national treasure.