Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A Day at the Newseum

Standing tall on Pennsylvania Ave, the Newseum gives a unique impression the first time you see it. For me, it was the marble etching of the first amendment on the front of the building that caught my eye. The words sent a thrill of unlimited possibilities and pride through me. From that moment, I knew I had to explore the building from top to bottom. My opportunity came this past Sunday, when Dan and I decided to celebrate our first anniversary in DC.

Our day did not start warm and sunny, but our dogs’ faces were exactly that when we woke up.

Despite the cold, overcast weather, we arrived at the Newseum full of anticipation. We got our tickets, watched a quick video on how to navigate the museum (this was really helpful!), and started with an exhibit about the Berlin wall. The Berlin Wall exhibit was a powerful display of freedom verses repression, and we both reminisced about watching its fall on TV.

Because it would take a book to describe each exhibit that we saw, I will try to highlight a couple of our other favorites:

  • News History Gallery – We loved this gallery because we were able to look through hundreds of years of front page newspapers, which covered some of the most important or memorable events in history. Having the opportunity to see headlines about the Louisiana Purchase, Jesse James, the end of the Prohibition, and the first man on the moon was incredible!

  • G-men exhibit – This was defiantly one of Dan’s favorites. This exhibit began with gangsters and the FBI agents who brought them to justice and moved through recent and current events regarding terrorism. We were both surprised to see the actual cabin of the unabomber sitting in the middle of the exhibit.

  • First Amendment exhibit – I found this exhibit really interactive and valuable. It did an incredible job reminding me what our rights are and how we can easily forget their significance.

  • Press Freedom Map – I thought this was one of the coolest exhibits, probably because my job recently had me research how to create illustrative graphs. The Press Freedom Map was a giant map of the world, where each country was colored according to the score for how free that country’s press is. Red for not free; yellow for partially free; green for free. Seeing that the majority of the world was either red or yellow was rather disturbing. It was also enlightening to discover that the US is not the highest ranking country.

Needless to say, I highly recommend visiting the Newseum! For anyone who does not want to spend the full ticket price, you can find discounted tickets on Groupon from time to time, so keep your eyes open for them!

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