So a few weeks ago I went to Washington, DC for a conference and had a little bit of downtime to go site see. I have been lucky enough to go to the Smithsonian and monuments a few times, so I knew I wanted to try something new.
After doing a Google search, I knew I wanted to try the Newseum – the museum of news history. Also, I am a total nerd and LOVE museums.
The first exhibit I saw was of the Berlin wall. The side on the left is West Germany and side on the right is East Germany’s side of the wall. Isn’t the contrast of the two sides so stark?
My next stop on the tour was the FBI exhibit. I found the below description of Weapons of Mass Destruction interesting.
And mixed in with the serious stuff, there was some fun stuff, too. Like the President Obama mask from Saturday Night Live.
One of my most favorite things in the museum was that they print the front headlines from a paper in all 50 states (and different countries around the world) daily and post them. These headlines were each from the day I was there.
For my pop culture fans out there, this is the suit Katie Couric wore in her very famous interview with Sarah Palin.
The suit OJ Simpson wore the day he was acquitted:
The most eye-opening display was of the infamous punch cards with the “hanging chads.” For the longest time, I was like – how hard could it possibly have been for those people to vote??? Um, well, after seeing the display, I could certainly see where the confusion set in. It is kind of hard to see below, but people who were voting would get a yellow ballot (left). They would insert it into the machine and then would punch a hole for their candidate.
It is a little hard to see, but the arrows point to where on the card the person should punch, but as you can see by the card on the left, it is really difficult to tell where you are punching, especially for the people recounting by hand.
In Oklahoma, we just draw a line to finish off an arrow, so for the longest time, I wondered how this could have been so confusing. Eyes opened.
The most impactful display was the 9/11 Memorial. This piece was on the top of the World Trade Center. Behind are the headlines from 9/12 from around the world. Surrounding this display was a timeline full of photos from the day. It is amazing how much a picture can say without saying a word. You could see and feel the agony that people were feeling. One specific photo was of a woman who was helpless looking for a friend and passing out missing posters at Ground Zero. Very sad.
Lastly, a reminder of how blessed we are to live in a country where there is freedom of the press. The legend shows green = free; yellow = partially free; red = not free.
If you are ever in Washington and looking for a new site to see, I would recommend making a trip to the Newseum!