Friday, June 18, 2010

DC Death March, part 6

Happy Fun Day 6

While we only visited two places today, it was no less busy. First we went to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. We spent over six hours in the museum, but we still didn't get to see everything. Some of our highlights were: Hall of Human Origins, seeing actual fossils from the Burgess Shale, a coelacanth, a giant squid, tons of trilobites, and Merkin enjoyed a special exhibit on Darwin called Since Darwin: The Evolution of Evolution. There were exhibits on various cultures. And in the Geology section, you could see the Hope Diamond. Of course, there were tons of dinosaur bones.

We finished the day by going to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. First we viewed the Star-Spangled Banner Flag. I knew it was huge, but I didn't know it had 15 stripes (one of those represents Kentucky). They went back to 13 stripes when they kept adding states. Did you know that there several holes cut out of the flag to give away as souvenirs? Then we went to the Lincoln exhibit. Seeing the top-hat that Lincoln wore the night of the assassination was one of the priorities of the trip. They also had his suit. I learned that he had a patent for a device to lift boats over shoals, making him the only president to hold a patent. We saw several other items pertaining to the presidents. And we saw the Gunboat Philadelphia. It is the oldest surviving American fighting vessel. And in the Price of Freedom:America at War exhibit, there are too many items to mention. There were many trains, automobiles, and such in the America on the Move exhibit. And we saw tons of old light-bulbs from Edison's time. These are great museums to visit for a home-schooler, but you really need to live in Washington D.C. to do it justice!

The better to eat you! The giant and ancient C. megalodon.

This giant squid was about 36' long before the preservative solution shrank it a bit.

No caption needed.

This Hudsonian Godwit was personally collected and tagged by Charles Darwin on the Falkland Islands. It was prepared by famed ornithologist John Gould.

Homo floresiensis, or "hobbit" discovered in 2003 in Indonesia.

Trilobites . . . Nuff said!

When two tribes go to war . . . sometimes they can come together. Two bullets fired at Fredericksburg collide.

Lincoln's top hat, worn the night of his assassination.

Don't let Cheney see this. These are hoods that the Lincoln conspirators were forced to wear at all times up to their executions.

A part of "our" assassination vacation. Relics from the McKinley and Garfield assassinations.

The actual chairs from the surrender at Appomattox Courthouse.

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