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Wilson’s Blog

The number 1 house in Washington, D.C. is the White House where the US President lives. My GoBro wanted to go inside the White House so badly and hang out with the President, see his office that's shaped like an egg, and count all the rooms. Even all 35 bathrooms! Ditch told the guards that he was the President's best friend, his chef, his dance teacher, and then he said he was Mr. President's favorite gopher. The guards laughed but asked us to please leave.

We then became the world champion museum-going gophers! We visited so many museums: the National Gallery of Art, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of American History, the USS Barry (a Navy ship that's now a floating museum), and the National Postal Museum. Don't lick all the old postage stamps, Ditch! Then we went to the Smithsonian Museum. It has 19 museums inside the one big museum! It even has the rocketship that the astronaut Neil Armstrong flew on to the moon. Yes, Ditch, people really went to the moon and walked around. Ditch is ready to be the first Gopher-naut!

After all the museums, Ditch needed to relax. He said: I just want to sit on a boat that's being pulled by mules! He was joking, but then I surprised him! We went to a part of Washington called "Georgetown." It was named after... Mr. Town! Just kidding. Named after the famous George Washington! In Georgetown there is the C & O Canal. (C & O stands for Chesapeake and Ohio.) In the canal are boats from long ago, the 1870s, that are pulled by MULES walking on the shore next to the canal! 1870!? Ditch said, those are really OLD mules! No, Ditch the boats are old, the mules are young! Gophers on a boat being pulled by mules – only in Washington, D.C.!

Apple Pie Picks

The White House

The most famous address in Washington, D.C. is 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The White House is the home and office of the President of The United States. The White House is the oldest public building in Washington, D.C. and has been the home of every president except George Washington. Public Tours of the White House take visitors on a 20-30 minute self-guided tour through some of its public rooms. The State Dining Room, also called The President's Dining Room, can seat 140 guests and is used for formal dinners. The Red Room is used as a meeting room and is named after the red fabric walls and matching furniture. The oval shaped Blue Room is where the President meets with important guests. Large parties, weddings, concerts and public events have all been held in the large East Room. Stop and admire the full length portrait of George Washington which has been hanging in the East Room for over 200 years. The Vermeil Room is home to portraits of First Ladies, including Eleanor Roosevelt and Jacqueline Kennedy. Peek inside the China Room to see china and glassware from past Presidents in chronological order. Contact your local Member of Congress to request a tour of The White House.

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial

The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is located in West Potomac Park on the National Mall. Dr. King was a leader in the civil rights movement in the United States. The memorial honors Dr. King's ideas and vision for all people to enjoy a life of freedom, equality, peace, opportunity, and justice. The centerpiece of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is the "Stone of Hope", a 30-foot statue of Dr. King. The sculpture was carved from 159 granite blocks that were assembled to appear as one singular piece. There is also a 450-foot inscription wall, made from granite panels, that is inscribed with 14 quotes of King's sermons and speeches to serve as living testaments to his vision of America. The memorial is set within a grove of cherry blossom trees, a gift from Japan as a sign of peace in 1912. Kids can pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the bookstore.

The National Archives

For lovers of American History, there is no better place to visit than The National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. The National Archives Building is home to the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. These important documents in United States history are on display in the beautiful Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. The Louisiana Purchase Treaty and the Emancipation Proclamation are also on display at the Archives. Walk right up to these amazing pieces of history! The Public Vaults exhibit gallery is home to more than 1,000 pieces of history including real telegrams President Lincoln sent to his generals during the civil war and actual recordings from the Oval Office. Explore United States history during wartime and peacetime in the Provide For The Common Defense" exhibit. Don't forget to stop by the Boeing Learning Center to visit the ReSource Room to take home copies of some of the documents displayed in the Archives.

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Local Chow

United States Senate Bean Soup

Washington, D.C. doesn't have its own special local dish, but the United States Senate does! The U.S. Senate has their very own dining room in the Capitol building. Everyday for over 100 years a popular Bean Soup, known as Senate Bean Soup, has been served in the restaurant. That's a lot of soup! The soup is made of navy beans, smoked ham hock (part of the pig's leg) for flavor and onions. Simple! But still a favorite. The chefs at The U.S. Senate dining room make 5-gallons of the soup each day! Try making the soup at home, courtesy of the United States Senate. They publish the beloved recipe on their website for everyone to enjoy!

The Famous Senate Restaurant Bean Soup Recipe

2 pounds dried navy beans
four quarts hot water
1 1/2 pounds smoked ham hocks
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the navy beans and run hot water through them until they are slightly whitened. Place beans into pot with hot water. Add ham hocks and simmer approximately three hours in a covered pot, stirring occasionally. Remove ham hocks and set aside to cool. Dice meat and return to soup. Lightly brown the onion in butter. Add to soup. Before serving, bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Serves 8.

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Digging History


President George Washington chooses a site, now known as Washington, D.C., as the capital city of The United States.


Construction begins on The Presidential Palace (The White House).


Construction begins on U.S. Capitol.


The Federal government moves from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.
President John Adams move into the unfinished White House.
The first session of the United States Congress is held in The Capitol Building.
The Library of Congress is established.


Kauikeaouli, the second son of King Kamehameha I, rules as King Kamehameha III.


President Jefferson's Inauguration is the first to take place in Washington.
First July 4th celebration in Washington.


First Inaugural parade takes place for President Jefferson's second term.


British troops set fire to the The White House and other government buildings during the War of 1812.


The White House is rebuilt.


The Bureau of Engraving and Printing is established.


Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reach Washington.


The Smithsonian Institute is founded.


The Senate moves to the north wing of the Capitol Building.


President Lincoln is assassinated at Ford's Theatre.


Capitol Building gets electric lighting.


Washington Monument opens.


White House gets electric lighting.


First automobiles drive on city streets.
Library of Congress building opens.


Union Station, the largest train station in the country, opens.


Museum of Natural History opens.
A grove of Cherry trees, a gift from Japan, is planted in Tidal Basin area of the city.


Lincoln Memorial opens.


First Cherry Blossom Festival takes place.


Jefferson Memorial is completed.
Pentagon is completed.


The 23rd Amendment is passed giving Washington citizens the right to vote for president.


Martin Luther King, Jr.'s delivers "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.


Washington residents vote for president for the first time since 1800.


Washington residents elect a non-voting delegate to the US House of Representatives for the first time.


Republic of China gifts giant pandas, Hsing-Hsing and Ling-Ling, to the National Zoo.
Martin Luther King Library opens.


Washington residents vote for a mayor and council members for the first time.


First section of the Washington Metro subway opens.
National Air and Space Museum opens.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial opens.


Washington National Cathedral opens 83 years after construction begins.


U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum opens.
National Postal Museum opens.


Korean War Veterans Memorial is dedicated.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial opens.


African-American Civil War Memorial opens.


International Spy Museum opens.


World War II Memorial opens.
National Museum of the American Indian opens.


Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial opens.

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Washington, D.C.