Sunday, February 26, 2012

Museum of American History

With nothing on the schedule today, we decided to visit a new-to-us Smithsonian museum in Washington, D.C. Our pick? The National Museum of American History. When reading about it online, two things piqued the girls' interest: the Woolworth lunch counter (for Evelyn) and Dorothy's ruby red slippers (for Julia).

We first saw part of the original Woolworth lunch counter from Greensboro, North Carolina. Evelyn has recently been reading, over and over again, a nonfiction picture book about the lunch counter sit-ins that happened in the 1960s - Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney. It was pretty awesome for Evelyn to see the real lunch counter and stools that her book is based on.
Next we headed to the part of the museum where Dorothy's ruby red slippers should have been...but all we could find were the scarecrow's hat and boots. We learned that Dorothy's shoes were off display because they were being cleaned. Julia was pretty bummed about that, and she was rather mellow the rest of the afternoon. But a bonus was seeing the scarecrow's things - these artifacts are rarely on display. Evelyn (who was the scarecrow for Halloween this past fall) was thrilled to see the hat and boots that were in the real "Wizard of Oz" movie.
Julia and Evelyn were disappointed that this enormous dollhouse was behind glass - they wanted to play with it! There were so many pets, people, toys and furniture, I'm sure the girls could have played with this dollhouse for days on end!
The transportation exhibits held our attention for the rest of the afternoon. Here's Julia, in front of a Southern Railway locomotive. The trains in this museum were so well-preserved, they were spotless. The girls also enjoyed seeing old trolleys, cars, motorcycles and trucks.
And what happened on the Metro ride home that evening? After several hours of wandering around the museum (and snacking on ice cream!), both girls took naps on the train ride home. We'll have to go back to the American History museum again because we only saw about half of the exhibits...and Julia needs to see Dorothy's shoes.


k. said...

Isn't Julia Child's kitchen there? I liked that part--and of course Colbert's portrait.