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Things to do in Clinton

    Mary Surratt House Museum Mary Surratt House Museum Clinton, Maryland
    The Mary Surratt House, which is often referred to as merely the Surratt House, because of its infamy, is located on Brandywine Road in Clinton, Prince George's County, Maryland, originally constructed as a plantation house in 1852. The two story wood frame building has clapboard siding, rectangular in shape, with a wrap around hip roofed porch, interior chimneys, a gabled roof and center entrance with transom and lights. On the southeast side, a one and a half story wing was constructed onto the structure in the 1980s to replace the earlier one that had been destroyed. Built as a middle-class plantation house, it would eventually be donated to the state in the late 1960s, by long-time local residents, Mr. and Mrs. B. K. Miller; and restored in 1976 by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). The house was owned by Mary Surratt, the woman convicted and hung for the allegation of helping in the plot to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln; as well as being the location of supplies, weapons and ammunition for the assassin, John Wilkes Booth, when he fled from the Ford Theater in Washington after shooting the president. The Surratt House Museum can be seen here, run by the Surratt Society, dedicated to the presentation of the mid-19th century Maryland lifestyles and the Lincoln assassination; with special attention paid to the numerous conspiracy theories that abounded. The James O. Hall research center is also located on the premises, and in 1973, the house would be added to the National Register of Historic Places. The house had been used as a tavern, hostelry, polling station and post office during the decade before the Civil War, and when it began, it would be used as a safehouse for the Confederate underground that blossomed in southern Maryland. Mary Surratt would become the first woman to ever have been executed by the United States government, after she had been declared guilty in the complicity of the assassination with Booth. The story is of course, one of the most interesting and intriguing cases in the history of the nation, and will be told when you visit this house and actually see the hard evidence and information that was gathered at the time. There is quite a bit of information about the families involved, the period and more, as well as current events that pertain to the historical assassin, with much commendation and other information that may or may not be relevant to the events and subsequent trial. It is a very strange case, one that involved Mary Surratt because it happened at her house, during a Civil War, at a time when she was in the transition of having sold the house and business to one John M. Lloyd, who would be the person that owned the house at the time of the murder, who would become a state's witness just before the trial began, which meant that he had been involved and wanted to escape any punishment by telling the authorities whatever story would be necessary to save his own life. Lloyd had been a policeman, which would have given some extra power to his story, but as we have come to realize today, just because the witness is a police officer doesn't mean it is the truth. Mary had been living in Washington City; with Lloyd running the tavern and hotel, and had obviously been involved in some way since he became a witness for the state. Another questionable detail was that it would be Lloyd's testimony and his alone that would put the noose around Mary's neck; and the trial was not held in a civil courtroom, but in a military court that would also be quite different than a civil court, with less opportunities for the defendant to bring in outside witnesses that could have substantiated her story. In truth, it has as much controversy as the Kennedy assassination that happened in Dallas did and still is questionable today. When you visit the house, perhaps you will discover more information about the events that transpired and who was involved and why. It is such a controversial case, that it still continues to this day to invade the minds of many people in this country today; in fact, there is a Steven Spielberg movie in the works that will begin this year and should be out in 2012.

    Clinton-His Lordship's Kindness
    His Lordship's Kindness Clinton, MarylandHis Lord's Kindness is a Georgian mansion constructed in the 1780s for Prince Georges County planter, Robert Darnall, that is situated close to Clinton, Maryland and known also as Poplar Hill. Currently, there are a number of subsidiary structures which include a dovecote and slave's hospital, with the dovecote being a house or small structure for the housing of doves or pigeons. In 1703, Colonel Henry Darnall would be granted 7000 acres of land that was located in Prince George's County, by the 3rd Baron Baltimore, Charles Calvert; and Darnall would name it in recognition of the generous gift. Darnall would construct a house for his family on some land that was close to his property, and call it the Woodyard, during the period between 1683 and 1711, although Henry would pass on that same year, with the property being inherited by his son, Henry II, that would have to sell much of the 35,000 acres that had been accumulated, to pay off the debts that had been left as well. Henry II would then leave the country, and his son, Henry III would get the last 1300 acres that included the mansion and 300 acres of the original grant. By the 1740s, the mansion would become Poplar Hill, but Henry III would be discovered embezzling money in 1761 and a bond had to be forfeited, as well as fines levied that would be paid for by Henry's brother, John and Charles Carroll of Annapolis. Henry's other brother, Robert, would find funds so that he could purchase the original grant and reconstructed the mansion in 1786. Robert Darnall would die childless in 1803, and leave the property to his nephew, Robert Sewall, who would leave the estate to his son, Robert Darnall Sewall. After that, Sewall would leave the estate to his two nieces, Ellen and Susan Daingerfield of Alexandria, Virginia in 1853. Susan would then marry the future Senator John Strode Barbour in 1865, and for the next century, the property would be passed along to others that included the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington and David K. E. Bruce. The mansion is actually a five-part blending of structures that include a hipped roof central block that is 56 feet wide by 48 feet deep and two and a half stories high with dormers in the back of the house. That element is connected to two half story end pavilions which are connected by what is related to Georgian structures a hyphens, that are just like a short covered hallway. The eastern structure houses the kitchen, with a chapel set in the other end, and the kitchen restored in the 1920s keeping its interior balcony.  The Sara R. and John M. Walton Foundation is the current owner and run the estate as a historic house museum with guided tours of it given March through December, and it is available for many types of events.

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    Surratt Tavern Confederate Safe House J. W. Booth- Escape of an AssassinEscape of an Assassin Maryland
    Escape of an Assassin: Following the Trail of John Wilkes Booth is more than just a simple story about the assassination of one of America's most beloved Presidents; it is the story of a nation that had just finished the most intensive and bloody war that it would ever be involved in, with more Americans killed than any other war in its history, with men, brothers, fathers, sons and other relations fighting for an idea that would have destroyed this country before it ever reached a hundred years old. On the night in question, the nation was reeling in a sense of relief that the battles and bloody deaths were over, since Lee had just surrendered to Grant five days before at Appomattox, so the President and Mrs. Lincoln would go to see a popular play of the period, "Our American Cousin", that was showing at Ford's Theater. Lincoln had asked Grant and his wife to attend the play with them that evening, but since the wives didn't particularly get along, it would be cordially declined. Booth was a well known stage actor and southern sympathizer that was always vocal about his stand, often having performed at Ford's so he knew the building very well and when to do his murderous act; even being able to have his gunshot coincide with a place in the play that would evoke a loud ovation that would cover the sound of his derringer shot. Booth and his group of conspirators had planned on kidnapping the President and bring him to the capital of the Confederacy in Richmond; which was now moot since the war was over. Booth decided that the only recourse left to him and his group would be to exact an act of revenge by assassinating the President and then escape through the southern parts of Maryland and head south where he would be considered a hero. It would not go as he had planned, in any way, as he leapt from the stage, he broke his leg, while the audience watched in stunned horror and amazement, and since no one really understood the gravity of the event, he would able to get to the back of the theater where he already had a horse waiting to take him away. Next, he would give his real name to a sentry as he passed into southern Maryland, believing that he would be able to get safely away and found a safe place to hideout; but instead he would leave a trail for the cavalry to follow. And the last, but most unfavorable event of all this was the fact that he had just murdered the one man in this country that could have made the reconstruction period easier since he was more sympathetic to the south, even after the war, than any other American. Maryland would establish the John Wilkes Booth Civil War Trail to show his escape route, which had been through the southern area of the state that had been more southern than Union, with Lincoln getting just one vote from Charles county during the election. A majority of the landowners in this area of the state were slave owners, so Lincoln realized that if he let the state secede, the capitol would be almost surrounded by southerners so he would instigate many bills and laws to force the state to remain in the Union. These acts would of course, infuriate the southerners and make them hate Lincoln even more than ever. Booth, knowing the situation of the southern Marylanders, honestly believed that he would have no problems finding help in that area, stopping first at the Surratt Hostelry in Clinton to get his guns, ammo and supplies, supposedly put there by one Mary Surratt, whose story is mentioned above. Then, the duo, since Herold was now riding with him, stopped at Dr. Samuel A. Mudd's house to have him set the broken leg at 4 AM in the morning. Mudd said that he had met Booth previously, but said that the man that came to him to have his broken leg fixed was not Booth, who was still wearing a disguise of beard and makeup. Mudd's testimony would save his life, but not his time as he would be given a life sentence to Fort Jefferson, in the Dry Tortugas off the coast of Florida. However, President Andrew Johnson would pardon the doctor in 1869, after having heard that Mudd had saved many prisoners from dying of yellow fever at the prison; with many of Mudd's descendants still trying to clear his name today. By now, the US cavalry was hot on his trail, so the two would have to hide out in the swampy Pine Thicket for a number of days, until they could cross the Potomac by a small boat in the dead of night, to Virginia. Close to Bowling Green, the pair would be cornered in a barn on Garrett's farm, so Herold surrenders, but not Booth; which then causes the troops to set the barn afire and Booth would be fatally shot by a sharpshooter. Here again is another intriguing story about the escape of Booth and the events that led to his capture and death.

    Thrift School
    Thrift School Clinton, MarylandThe Thrift School in Prince George's County, Maryland is one of the oldest surviving one-room schoolhouses in the county and region, constructed in 1884 to replace an earlier structure that had been the school from 1869, and situated on the same plot of land. The school commission acquired the one acre plot from the Bryan family in 1854, and contracted one J. B. Townsend to rebuild it for $495; with the first two modern alterations being completed in 1905 which consisted of a water closet and typewriter. In 1909 it would be closed since the community wanted a new school to be constructed in a more accessible area, so the plot was sold and the building converted to be used as a dwelling, although the exterior still remained the same. The school and 500 acres of land would be conveyed to the M-NCPPC in 1962, and is now part of the Cosca Regional Park.

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Local Restaurants in Clinton

    Texas Ribs & BBQ
    Entrees; dinners are served with BBQ beans & Texas toast, choice of pit potato, sweet potato or FF; Texas spiced shrimp dinner; grilled tuna steak dinner with 2 6oz. tuna steaks grilled; catfish dinner is lightly breaded & deep fried in canola oil served with tangy tartar sauce; fried shrimp basket is large shrimp butterflied & lightly seasoned with house special recipe with FF & pickle; steak of the day; NY strip 12oz.; NY strip 8oz.; prime rib 12 or 18 oz. cut; pork chops with BBQ beans, Cole slaw & Texas toast; Texas style ribs comes with 2 sets of sides; full rack of baby back ribs & 4 fried shrimp; platter #1 is 2 pit smoked ribs, pit smoked chicken leg & thigh, sliced or pulled beef or pork served with BBQ beans & Texas toast, potato salad or Cole slaw; platter #2 is 2 pit smoked ribs, pit smoked leg & thigh of chicken or pit smoked pork chop with BBQ beans & Texas toast, potato salad or Cole slaw; grilled chicken breast is 2 6oz. marinated breasts; smoked chicken platter with breast, leg & thigh; smoked chicken leg & thigh platter.

    The Fish Market Restaurant & Soup Co.
    Entrees; nautical seafood pasta with shrimp, scallops, & fish in light cream sauce; chicken n pasta is served in classic alfredo sauce; fruit of the sea is clams, mussels, shrimp & calamari in red sauce over linguini; shrimp linguini; linguini & clams in red or white sauce; bayou shrimps & andouille with spicy red linguini & light cream sauce; shrimp & chicken sautéed with fresh veggies over rice; shrimp & scallops New Orleans with Cajun sausage & rice; tropical shrimp & Sweet Island sausage sautéed in coconut cream & fresh pineapple; broiled admiral's platter with shrimp, scallops, petit crab imperial, filet of fish; crab Imperial; broiled sea scallops; shrimp Norfolk; crab Norfolk; fried shrimp; crab cakes; fried oysters; fisherman's platter with shrimp, scallops, crab cakes, oysters & fillet of fish; coconut shrimp; salmon cakes; prime rib of beef au jus; Richmond style ribs; grilled Delmonico steak served with red roasted potatoes & veggie of the day; ribs & catfish; ribs & shrimp served with captain's fries & housemade Cole slaw.

 

Grilled Tuna Texas Ribs & BBQ Clinton, Maryland

 

 

 Fisherman's Platter The Fish Market Restaurant & Soup Co. Clinton, Maryland

 

 

 

 

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    Library of Congress Library of Congress Washington DC
    The Library of Congress, housed in three buildings in Washington, DC is the research library for the nation's Congress, as well as the de facto nationally library of the US and the oldest federal cultural institution in the nation, and the biggest library in the world in terms of shelf space and number of volumes. It would be established by the Congress in 1800 and kept in the capitol for the majority of the 19th century; until it would be destroyed by fire in the War of 1812. Thereafter, Thomas Jefferson would sell his personal collection of books to the library in 1815. The library would go through a period of decline during the mid-19th century, and then begin to grow in size and mass just after the Civil War, ending in the construction of a separate library structure that would receive the transfers of all copyrighted materials to the new library. While this country began a tremendous expansion of the library during the 20th century, it would assume a significant role in the nation, where it would become the library of last resort and increase its mission and goals for the nation's citizens and scholars. Today, its main mission is to research the numerous inquiries of the Congress via the Congressional Research Service and even though it is a public library, only members of the Congress, the Supreme Court justices and various high-ranking officials are able to check books out. Since it is the de facto library of the United States, it promotes literacy and American literature providing numerous projects like the American Folk Center, Poet Laureate, Center for the Book and American Memory. President John Adams would sign the Act of Congress that transferred the seat of the government to Washington DC from Baltimore in April, 1800, and a portion of that legislation provided $5000 for the procurement of books that might be needed by Congress; as well as providing a suitable apartment to house them. So, many books would be ordered from London and that nucleus would consist of 740 books and 3 maps that would be housed in the new capitol. This collection did cover a number of topics, however, the majority were legal in nature, that assuredly reflected the needs and role of Congress as a maker of laws. Thomas Jefferson would play a significant role in the creation of the library, signing into law, in 1802, the first law that established the structure of the new nation's library and the presidential appointment of a Librarian of Congress as well as a Joint Committee on the Library that would oversee and regulate it. It also gave the president and vice-president the opportunity to borrow books. In August 1814, it would be burned after invading British troops set fire to the building and the small library held within; that had grown to 3000 volumes. The former president would then offer his personal library as a replacement in less than a month, after he had spent almost half a century obtaining the volumes including those in foreign languages and outstanding volumes of literature, science and philosophy, as well as other topics that wouldn't ordinarily belong to a library of the Congress, like cookbooks and the like. In January, 1815, Congress would appropriate $23,950 for the 6487 books. There would be much maneuvering during the antebellum period, involving the Smithsonian Institute that wanted to become the Library of Congress and the national library; but after the turmoil, the entire Smithsonian collection of more than 40,000 volumes would be transferred to the Library of Congress that was already de facto. During December, 1851, a fire would destroy more than 35,000 books, which was almost two-thirds of the entire 55,000 volume collection which included two -thirds of Jefferson's collections. Within a year, the Congress would appropriate another $168,700 to replace the destroyed books, but not for acquiring of new books. The library would go through many trying and desperate times, but eventually it would survive all the problems that rose and then fell, until it is now what it is. Today, the collections house over 32 million catalogued books, along with print materials in 470 languages; 33,000 newspapers; over 14.7 million prints and photographic images that include excellent and popular art works and architectural drawings; over 61 million manuscripts; 6 million works of sheet music; a rough draft of the Declaration of Independence; the biggest rare book collection in North America; more than 6000 comic book titles; 3 million sound recordings, the Betts Stradivarius, the Cassavetti Stradivarius, a million issues of world newspapers that span the last three centuries; 5.3 million maps; a Guttenberg Bible that is just one of the four perfect vellum copies in the world known to exist and more than 1 million government publications; 500,000 microfilm reels.

    Folger Shakespeare Library
    Folger Shakespeare Library Washington, DCThe Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC is the independent research library on Capitol Hill that houses the world's biggest collection of printed works by William Shakespeare; as well as being the main repository for any rare materials that have been preserved from the early modern ages which span the years 1500 to 1750, and established by Henry Clay Folger, along with his wife, Emily Jordan Folger; that opened only two years after he passed away in 1932. This marvelous library provides advanced scholarly programs like the national outreach to K-12 classroom teachers on Shakespeare education that includes; poetry, plays, music, family programs, exhibits and lectures. It has evolved into a world leader in preserving rare materials and produces numerous publications. It is also privately endowed and run by the Trustees of Amherst College and the building is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The chairman of the board and president of Standard Oil of New York, Henry Clay Folger, was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Amherst College, as well as an enthusiastic collector of Shakespeareana, and after the end of WWI, he and his wife, Emily Jordan Folger, started looking for a place to preserve his magnificent Shakespeare library; finally choosing a plot of land adjacent to the Library of Congress in Washington, which was then occupied by townhouses. Henry would spend a number of years purchasing the buildings and lots; although it had been already picked by the Library of Congress for its future expansion. However, in 1928, and no doubt because of his immense wealth and power, the Congress passed a resolution that would allow Folger to construct his library there. In 1930, the cornerstone would be laid, however, Folger passed away shortly afterwards and the majority of his estate would be held in trust, with Amherst College becoming the administrator of the future library. The stock market crash of 1929 had depleted his fortune, but he had amassed such huge riches that it would still be large, so Emily, who had been working with her husband on the project, gave the extra funding to finish the project. It opened in April 23, 1932, believed by many to have been the day of Shakespeare's birth, with Emily still remaining in the operation of the library until just before she passed in 1936. The main structure would be designed by Paul Philippe Cret, with white marble exterior that contains street-level bas-reliefs of numerous scenes from Shakespeare's plays that were created by sculptor John Gregory, and a large statue of Puck by Brenda Putnam; along with many inscriptions that had been chosen by Henry. The big art deco window and door grilles were constructed of aluminum, and in the interior, which is designed in a Tudor style, there is beautiful oak paneling and plastered ceilings; with two reading rooms reserved for scholars that have been given advance permission. There is also a huge public space, the Elizabethan theater and a gift shop. In 2000, right across the street from the library, the Haskell Center opened which houses the library's public programs staff and it educational staff. Outside as well is the Elizabethan garden of plantings from many of Shakespeare's plays or those varieties of plants that had been popular during his era. This fantastic library contains 250,000 playbills, over 250,000 books, with 55,000 manuscripts from Elizabeth I and John Donne to Mark Twain and Walt Whitman, with numerous paintings and sculptures that pertain to Shakespeare or his plays and 50,000 works on paper that contains many photographs and prints.

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    Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism
    Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism Washington DC.The Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism is housed in a historic mansion in Alexandria, Virginia filled with many thousands of books and relics that pertain to the history of this nation; once part of George Washington's River Farm, the excellent history of our country had many of the founding fathers walking this land during its infancy; and situated on 8.7 acres along the Potomac River, just off the George Washington Memorial Highway in Alexandria. Their ongoing mission is to obtain, catalogue, process, protect and provide to the American public, the relics, documents literature and exhibits that promote, inspire and enhance patriotism in the American public so that it can portray the finest image of our nation; as well as offering outstanding reference resources for students that are actively seeking information about dissertations, theses, themes and essays on the exciting history of this country. Attuned towards this goal, the foundation has already obtained more than 4000 volumes of non-fiction books that pertain to our history and culture; although there are some books of fiction that are considered to be so historically correct that they should be included in the collections. One perfect example is the book, "My Antonia" that was written by Willa Cather, and although it is a book of fiction, it is also so historically correct that it has become very useful as a reference book. Other well noted examples of the collection include; an incomplete 39 volume set of the writings of George Washington that needs only 3 volumes to be complete, a collection of Harper's Magazine that started in issue one, from 1850 to 1910; a very diverse and valuable 280 volume collection from the personal library of a former US Army Chief of Staff and an expansive collection of American Indian history. One of the exhibited books shown at the library is an autographed copy of the well known poem, "A Toast to the Flag", by John Jay Daly and bronze plaques of the Bill of Rights and Constitution. Another is the gold-cast copy of the Magna Carta and was given by the Library of London in 1976 for a tribute to our bicentennial, being numbered 112 of 500 cast. This special library also contains many genealogy information about the District of Columbia's Chapter of the Descendants of the Mayflower.

    Newseum
    Newseum Washington, DCThe Newseum in Washington, DC is one of the most interesting and provocative museums of news and journalism in the world, housed in a seven story, 250,000 square foot structure that contains 14 galleries and 15 theaters; with an outstanding Berlin Wall gallery that contains the biggest exhibit of sections of the wall outside of Germany, with the Front Page gallery offering the daily front pages from over 80 international papers. Some of the other galleries include news history, the First Amendment, the September 11 attacks, the history of the internet, television and radio, and world press freedom. It is dedicated to helping the public and the news media to better understand each other and to raise the awareness of the hugely significant role of the free press in today's democratic societies. The museum has welcomed over 2.25 million visitors in just five years, and is one of the city's favorite destinations; with its hi-def television studios hosting numerous news media broadcasts like the ABC's This Week. The Freedom Forum announced it would move its Newseum from Arlington County, in Virginia and across the Potomac to the capitol, in 2000, with its closure in 2002 happening so that the staff could get the new building ready, which had cost $450 million and opened in April, 2008. Once the Newseum had been able to obtain a landmark location on Pennsylvania Avenue, it chose well known exhibit designer Ralph Appelbaum to help with the new design, after having designed the original in Arlington, as well as architect, James Stewart Polshek that had designed the Rose Center for Earth and Space with Todd Schliemann at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. While there are many spectacular features included in the structure include a facade that contains a window on the world, which is a 57 foot by 78 foot glass that looks out onto Pennsylvania Avenue and the National Mall, as well as offering the outside world a chance to look in at its many visitors and exhibits; and an etching in the stone facing the avenue that has the first 45 words of the First Amendment to the Constitution. Another is the Journalist Memorial that had been brought over from the original, and is a beautiful glass sculpture that lists the names of the 1900 journalist from across the globe that have been murdered in the line of duty, with its updates and rededication done each year. Their marvelous website is update daily with images and PDF versions of newspaper front pages from across the globe, with the images changed daily, with an archive of the front pages that have some of the most well known events since 2001. The museum is a 643,000 square foot structure with a 90 foot high atrium, twelve major galleries, an expanded interactive museum, seven floors of exhibits, two broadcast studios, 15 theaters and numerous smaller displays. There have been many excellent reviews about the museum both from visitors and broadcast journalists, with many journalist giving mixed reviews. Permanent displays include; the New York Times-Ochs-Sulzberger Family Great Hall of News: Surrounded by the flow of information; the Pulliam Family Great Books Gallery: A Look at the Cornerstones of Freedom; News Corporation News History Gallery: the Story of News; Time Warner World News Gallery: News and Press Freedoms Around the Globe; Journalists Memorial: A Tribute to Journalists Who Have Died Pursuing the News; NBC News Interactive Newsroom: Sitting in the Hot Seat; Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery: Award-winning Images and Photographers Who Took Them; 9/11 Gallery Sponsored by Comcast: Chronicling an Attack on America; Berlin Wall Gallery: A Barrier that Couldn't Block Information; Bloomberg Internet, TV and Radio Gallery: Getting the News Electronically; Cox Enterprises First Amendment Gallery: 45 Words of Freedom; Today's Front Pages Gallery: Front Pages From Across America and Around the World; the Bancroft Family Ethics Center: Ethical Dilemmas in Journalism and the Hank Greenspun Terrace on Pennsylvania Avenue: America's Main Street.

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    Washington MonumentWashington Monument Washington DC
    The Washington Monument is the glorious obelisk that stands so proudly on the west end of the National Mall in Washington, DC that was constructed to commemorate the nation's first President, General George Washington, made of sandstone, granite and marble. It is the tallest obelisk in the world, as well as being the world's highest stone structure, standing 555 feet, 5.5 inches; although there are taller monumental columns, they are neither all stone or true obelisks. It is the highest peak in the capitol, designed by Robert Mills, who was an architect that worked during the 1840s, but the construction wouldn't begin until 1848 and not finished until 1884, some three decades after the designer's death. The long period could be because of various events that included the Civil War from 1861 until 1865, the co-opt of the Know Nothing party and the lack of money. The Know Nothing party began in New York state in 1843, as the American Republican Party, which should explain many things to us today about the early beginnings of this often fragmented party; and soon spread to other states as the Native American Party, finally becoming a national party in 1845; and then renaming itself in 1855 to the American Party. The origin of the name, "Know Nothing" would come the semi-secret aspects of the party, and when a member would be questioned about the party, he would simply answer, "I know nothing". Sure does sound like the Republicans doesn't it? Anyway, you can still see a difference in the color of the marble, about a 150 feet up, where the original construction stopped for a few years and then the capstone set on December 6, 1884. It would be dedicated in 1885 and officially opened in October, 1888. When it was finally finished, it would become the tallest structure in the world, replacing the Cologne Cathedral that had been the highest structure and then in 1889, it would become the number two behind the newly constructed Eiffel Tower in Paris. George Washington would of course be the most natural choice for the name of a monument for this nation, since he had been so instrumental in its war, and its early politics, coming from a wealthy family in Virginia, the biggest colony of the period; but the squabbles of the Congress would delay the process and inevitable construction; with many sideshows being played out, until finally, in the year of Washington's 100th anniversary of his birth, a huge group of citizens would form the Washington National Monument Society and begin collecting donations. It is with great admiration that many of his piers chose him, since he resigned his commission as general of the army and refused to become a king for this new nation. He simply went back to his plantation and continued his life, until the call came from the entire nation for his need to serve his country just one more time; which he did, believing in all the rights and privileges of his newfound country, that had fought so hard and long to achieve its freedoms that have been blessed for centuries and still continues to welcome the foundlings of the world. The Statue of Liberty is a beautiful sight to see once you have reached New York and America, but the real America can be seen in the magnificent image to the right as it lights up our nation's capitol at night, clearly a beacon to all who suffer from many inequities and struggles; it is a beacon of hope, love, perseverance and determination that no matter what happens in this country of the people, by the people and for the people, we shall prevail.

    Old Presbyterian Meeting House
    Old Presbyterian Meeting House Alexandria, VirginiaThe Old Presbyterian Meeting House in Alexandria, Virginia was organized in 1772, with the present structure finished in the 1780s, and the cupola and bell installed in 1790. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. One of the early meetinghouse chaplains, a Joseph J. Bullock, would also be serving as the Chaplain of the United States Senate for a portion of his tenure, while the church itself would has various connections with many famous and significant figures in the history of the city and nation. A few of these included the merchant John Carlyle and Dr. James Craik that would be the physician that watched over the father of our nation during his last illness, George Washington. Both of the men are now buried in the church's cemetery that is adjacent to the church, as well as the unknown soldier from the American Revolutionary War; whose corpse would be discovered while doing restorative work close by and would be interred in the cemetery in 1929.

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    Thomas Jefferson MemorialThomas Jefferson Memorial Washington DC
    The Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC is dedicated to the third President of the United States, also one of our founding fathers, and the neoclassical structure was designed by John Russell Pope and constructed by Philadelphia contractor, Tyler Nichols. Its construction would be started in 1939 and finished in 1943, with the bronze statue of Jefferson added in 1947. It is managed by the National Park Service and in 2007, would be listed as the fourth of the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects. The present site of the memorial had been made using landfill from the Potomac River during the late 19th century and it would become a favorite beach for the citizens of our nation's capitol and a design competition was opened for the memorial of Theodore Roosevelt in 1925, in which Pope won, but the money was never appropriated and thus not built. However, in 1934, when President Franklin Roosevelt, one of the most ardent admirers of the former president, requested that the Commission of Fine Arts, construct a fitting memorial to Jefferson, to be included in the plans for the Federal Triangle project that was being built at that time. Later on in the year, Representative John J. Boylan urged the Congress to create the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission, which it did and Boylan became the first chairman of that commission. Congress would appropriate $3 million for the project and chose Pope to be the architect in 1935. Pope, at the time, was the architect of the National Archives Building and the original structure of the National Gallery of Art. After much planning the site was chosen and approved, with the construction starting on December 15, 1938 and the cornerstone laid by Franklin himself in November of 1939. Pope had passed away in 1937, and the project would be finished by his partners, Otto R. Eggers and Daniel P. Higgins, with the original design modified by the commission to a more conservative style; and construction started with some opposition, especially by the commission who had never fully approved the designs or the site where it would be built, even going so far as to publish a pamphlet in 1939 voicing their concerns and objections. Regardless, the commission would host another competition for the choice of a sculptor to design a planned statue that would stand in the center of the memorial, getting over a hundred entrants and they picked six of those, with Rudolph Evans picked as the main sculptor and Adolph A. Weinman picked to sculpt the pediment relief that would be placed above the entrance. On April 13th, 1943, President Roosevelt would dedicate the Jefferson Memorial, which fell on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth, even though Evans' statue hadn't been completed. Because of WWII, and its necessary shortages, the statue installed was a plaster cast of the Evans' work and painted to look as if it was bronze; with the completed authentic bronze statue being installed in 1947, cast by the Roman Bronze company of New York. Even after its completion, the memorial would still be the center of much controversy and criticism; which is all really moot since the memorial is completed and is still a magnificent tribute to Thomas Jefferson. The statue is a 19 foot, 10,000 pound bronze of Jefferson, created by Rudolph Evans, and shows him looking out towards the White House, with the interior walls engraved with passages from Jefferson's writings. His most significant are the words that have been inscribed in the frieze just below the dome and say; "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." On the southwest panel of the interior walls are those excerpts from the Declaration of Independence that was written in 1776 and hold the most important words of our constitution; and mean more to real Americans than any of the other millions of words that are written within it. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men. We; solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states..And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor."

    River Farm
    River Farm MarylandThe River Farm's first family would be the Brents, a Catholic family which would play a significant role in the early colonial life of the state of Maryland, with Captain Giles Brent landing originally in Jamestown, Virginia, but after returning to England in 1638, he came back with his sisters, Mary and Margaret, deciding to settle in St. Mary's County, Maryland. By 1647, they would move to an area by Aquia in Virginia, and in 1653/54, Giles would be the recipient of a land grant that totaled some 1800 acres of land for his son, who was a year old at the time, Giles, Jr. Giles, Sr.'s wife was a princess of the Piscataway tribe that had entrusted his daughter to Margaret Brent as a child by her father, who had been a Christian convert. The grant would be called Piscataway Neck and contained the acreage that was to become River Farm. Giles, Jr. would never be at ease with the Dogue tribe, nor it has been said, with anyone else; with his encounters with the tribe instigating the eventual Bacon's Rebellion and his at home treatment of his wife, that had become so violent that she would get a legal separation in 1679, the first of its kind in the new commonwealth. He went back to England and died that September, with the estate passing to a cousin, George Brent, and then in 1739 it would become the property of his brother-in-law, William Clifton. After inheriting the estate, William changed its name to Clifton's Neck, and by 1757, he had constructed a brick house on the land, which would be enlarged and remodeled a few times during the next two centuries; until it has become the home and headquarters of the American Horticultural Society. Clifton would go through a few business losses that would force him to advertise part of his estate and holdings in 1755. Gentleman farmer, George Washington, who lived in the neighboring Mount Vernon would be very desirous of purchasing the land but he wouldn't at that time because of Clifton's "shuffling behavior", which he wrote in his personal diary. It wouldn't be until 1760 that Washington got clear title to the property of 1800 acres at the bankruptcy sale; and it was discovered that Clifton had been shuffling because his wife wanted to keep the house and a few acres for the family to live on. George didn't want the smaller package, but the entire property and it wouldn't be until Clifton had to submit to a commissioner's sale, of which Washington was a member of, that George got what he wanted and then changed its name to the River Farm. It would become the northernmost of George's five farms, and he would never live on it or even work it, but instead chose to rent it out to a tenant farmer. Beginning in 1761, tenant farmer Samuel Johnson would pay an ever increasing portion of his tobacco crop to Washington for rent, although it was put up for sale in 1773; but George kept it and leased it as a wedding present to Tobias Lear whose bride, Fanny Bassett, was Martha's niece and widow of George's nephew, George Augustine Washington.

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May 12, 2011