During Spring Break, the junior fellows had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Washington D.C. for a weeklong visit. For many of them, this was their first trip to our nation’s capital. Here are some of the highlights of the visit:
We toured three museums in the Smithsonian Institution. The National Museum of History had great exhibits on ancient life forms and cultural artifacts like the famous Hope Diamond. We watched an IMAX at the Air and Space Museum that presented an unprecedented window seat on board a space shuttle. Finally, at the American History Museum, the fellows really enjoyed the Changing America exhibit that commemorated the Emancipation Proclamation and the March on Washington in 1963.
We had a fantastic time touring the Monuments on a moonlight tour aboard an Old Town Trolley. We stopped at the Lincoln, Vietnam, Iwo Jima, FDR, and Martin Luther King Memorial. We also heard historical tales and anecdotes about the fascinating history of Washing D.C.
We visited Arlington National Cemetery and saw the Robert F. Kennedy Gravesite and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The fellows especially enjoyed the Changing of the Guard ritual and gazing out at the impressive landscape, which serves as a tribute to the service of those laid to rest there.
We had the chance to visit the Kennedy Center and see an amazing performance called Liner Notes. Vocalists and a jazz trio combined for a unique multimedia experience to present the history of hip-hop throughout the decades.
Finally, we had the exceptional opportunity to visit all three braches of the government. We took a tour of the Capital, attended a lecture at the Supreme Court, and visited the White House. The highlight of the trip was our visit to the White House. We were very lucky to participate in a round table discussion with members of the Obama administration who worked closely with Elizabeth Edwards and on the Edwards campaign. We learned all about life in the White House, and had an incredible tour of the West Wing, including the Oval Office and the Press Corps Room. We also were given presidential M&M’s and Hershey Kisses, which the fellows were very excited to receive.
Overall, everyone had a wonderful time on the trip. The fellows learned so much about our nation’s history and political systems. Whether it’s a career in politics or keeping educated about governmental policies and current events, the fellows learned the importance of being active, and engaged citizens.