Seven miles of walking took the sixth graders to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the American History Museum, the Capitol Building, and the Library of Congress today.
Did you know that Woodrow Wilson’s portrait adorns the $100,000 bill printed in 1934? At the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, students measured their height compared to that of a stack of $100 bills. Some totaled $1.7 million tall and others a meager $1.3 million. A proper determination of net worth, right?
The actual Star Spangled Banner that inspired Frances Scott Key lies reverently displayed in a dimly lit room at the American History Museum. Also in the museum, many of our sixth grade young ladies delighted in seeing the dresses each First Lady wore on Inauguration Day and learning how the First Lady contributes the work of the White House. There were even several students who were spotted giving televised presidential addresses behind that infamous podium!
At the Library of Congress we saw one of only three perfect copies of the Gutenberg Bible printed entirely on vellum in the 15th century. Also on display is the complete library of Thomas Jefferson with books in Latin, French, Greek, Italian, and English. Word on the street is that some certain sixth grade teachers may have scored Library of Congress library cards!
At the Capitol building, sixth grade got into a nasty brawl! Punches thrown, teeth flying, blood spurting! Oh, wait. Sixth grade only did a mild reenactment of the brawl which actually occurred in 1858 amongst members of the House of Representatives over the issue of slavery in the very room where we stood, now the National Statuary Hall. Also in national statuary hall, we admired the courage and strength of Rosa Parks who is represented seated as on a Montgomery bus.
by Michelle Seneff, parent blogger
Greeted by the cool morning air, we began our day walking, waiting at crosswalks, catching the Yellow Circulator bus, then walking again to the Supreme Court. Unfortunately because the Court was in session, we were not permitted entrance into the actual courtroom, but we took in the grandeur and history of America’s “Temple of Justice” which was erected during the Great Depression and completed in 1935.
Above the Supreme Court building entrance the inscription reads, “Equal Justice Under Law.” Our next stop challenged precisely that ideal. To whom does equal justice under the law apply? At the African American Museum of History and Culture, our students traveled back in time to the 1400’s when the Atlantic slave trade began, walked through a Jim Crow era segregated rail car, and even learned about the Central Florida town of Eatonville, the first incorporated African-American city in the United States.
After a picnic lunch, we visited the Ford’s Theater to see with our very own eyes the presidential box in which Abraham Lincoln was shot by Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth. We heard the story of how that infamous day unfolded and how several days later, the great manhunt for Booth culminated in a shoot out and a barn on fire!
Each chaperone group strolled through Chinatown to choose their dinner fare, whether Indian cuisine, Peruvian food, or good ol’ burgers. Back at the hotel, our sixth graders enjoyed a little friendly competition around the game tables before heading off to bed.
Another day is done for our sixth grade Geneva Knights in Washington DC. A day full of history, curiosity, exploring, pondering, and waiting at crosswalks…
by Michelle Seneff, parent blogger
How many stairs to reach the Lincoln Memorial? How deep is the reflection pool? How long does the Metro door stay open? On which side do you stand versus walk on the escalator? Our bright, energetic students who arrived at the Orlando airport this morning, did not complain when they were separated from friends on the plane, pulled out playing cards and creative games while waiting for hotel rooms, hurried their steps to keep up with our excellent guide, Mr. Andre, and respectfully observed the solemn memorials to our fallen heroes. For their ten miles of walking throughout our first day in DC, the sixth graders were rewarded with a sunset cruise, dinner, and dance party aboard a yacht cruising down the Potomac. By 10 pm, worn out feet and sore legs carried tired sixth graders and chaperones back to the hotel eager for the adventures tomorrow will bring.
by parent blogger, Michelle Seneff