Earlier this year I treated myself to a short vacation. The destination: Our Nation’s Capitol. The birthplace of democracy, the heart of freedom - a city dripping with history and culture, the very foundation on which our country was built. One could spend weeks indulging in historical landmarks and barely brush the surface of our country’s root.
Luckily for me, this was my second visit to D.C., the first being a school trip that was jam-packed with enough museum visits and sight-seeing to last me well into adulthood.
Not that I don’t love me some history, but the visit was short and with my host’s working schedule, we were only going carve out time for the Smithsonian if that happened to be the name of a local bar.
I did, though, get one day to embrace my inner tourist and let my news-geek flag fly.
With my host busy at work, I chose to spend my window of tourist opportunity at the Newseum, which was somehow excluded from my obligatory 8th grade trip (which at the time it was open but operating at another location). No matter, as I am MUCH more appreciative now.
Holy bald eagle, is this place amazing! I arrived around noon and still didn’t get to see everything by the Newseum’s close at five. Contained within the 250,000-square-foot building was all the history I could possibly want, but the topics expanded far beyond our founding fathers.
From century-old headlines to President Obama’s first tweet, Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin SNL get-up to the car used in a mafia hit to kill an investigative journalist from Phoenix, there is no way I can summarize what I saw in one blog post. But you know what they say about pictures, so here are some of the can’t-miss exhibits at the Newseum:
Investigative journalist Don Bolles was killed by the Arizona mafia for picking up what they were putting down. A bomb was placed in a car when he was set up for a fake interview. This story amazes me on several levels – a committed journalist, the fact AZ had a mafia - and if you are not familiar with it, I recommend you read up.
Freedom the Press is arguably the greatest right we have as Americans. This map shows what other parts of the world have this freedom, limited freedom or none at all. Really put into perspective how precious this right is.
Today we have the likes of Brian Williams, Anderson Cooper, Barbara Walters and Matt Lauer, but not even today’s highest-paid journalists carry the status of the news anchors of yesteryear, including my hero, “the most trusted man in America,” Walter Cronkite.