We were able to take advantage of Labor Day by going to visit the Museum of American History’s last day of being open. They are closing for 2 years to do some extensive renovation. We live about 15 minutes from the National Mall, and on government holidays, we can usually find parking right in front of the Smithsonian museum that we are visiting. We got there good and early, and were able to walk around the grounds a bit before the museum opened.
One of the first things that we saw was the flag that hung on the Pentagon after September 11.
Here it is at the museum: We also saw the flag that flew over Ft. McHenry, which inspired Francis Scott Key to write the “Star Spangled Banner.” Pictures were not allowed in that exhibit. But this link has a picture, as well as being a really great site to learn more about the flag. You can hover over the flag and learn interesting facts about the flag and its history. There are links about the renovation of the American History Musuem and the new gallery they are building for this flag.
I was impressed at how large the flag was and was surprised to learn that the big hole in it was not from the battle. Apparently, the owners of the flag allowed people to cut pieces from it as souvenirs, including one of the stars.
The museum had a neat display of model ships and this fun masthead.
In the section about American Pop Culture, we saw some of the original Muppets and Judy Garland’s ruby slippers from “The Wizard of Oz.”
They aren’t as bright red as I’d imagined they’d be. The ruby slippers are moving to the National Air and Space museum, just across the Mall, for the duration of the renovation.
We saw these chairs from “All in the Family.”
I immediately got the theme song in my head, and I bet you do now, too…”Boy, the way Glen Miller played. Songs that made the Hit Parade. Guys like us, we had it made. Those were the days.”
Boo and Pumpkin Girl were completely unimpressed by the Bunkers’ chairs. I figured the other pop culture displays would be lost on them, too. They were getting hungry anyway, so we headed downstairs for lunch at the Subway sandwich place in the musuem. Next to Taco Bell, Subway is Boo’s absolute favorite place to eat. We haven’t found one close enough in a good neighborhood, so this was an extra special treat. The restaurant was decorated like a 1930’s era soda shop.
After lunch, we let the kids play at the hands-on science center, wandered around a bit more, then went to the gift shop. Boo bought a key chain for his collection and Pumpkin got George Washington and Abe Lincoln’s families as paper dolls. Paper dolls always frustrated me as a child, those tabs never kept the clothes on, so I turned her paper dolls into magnets. They live on her metal closet door.
Another good day and great fun was had by all.