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very year tens of thousands of visitors, from school chil-

Although the original shipment of 2,000 trees in 1910 con-

dren and foreign students to families, meetings and tour

tained a virus, the two cities were not deterred. On March 27,

groups, descend on our Nation’s Capital. With so much of our

1912 First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chida, wife

history and heritage in Washington, DC, it is an experience like

of the Japanese ambassador, planted two trees on the Tidal

no other in the world. There is so much to see and do, you’ll al-

Basin from a new shipment. The giving tradition continued in

ways depart wishing you had more time.

the following years with gifts of flowering dogwoods to Japan and additional cherry trees given to the United States.

Destination DC

National Cherry Blossom Festival

All forms of creativity are expressed in the events that are

This past March and April the city celebrated the centennial

part of the festival. From a variety of artistic expressions and

of the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Tokyo Mayor

cultural traditions to natural beauty and community spirit, there

Yukio Ozaki to the City of Washington, DC. The annual Cherry

is something for everyone. Signature events include Family

Blossom Festival, the nation’s springtime festival, attracts more

Day and the Opening Ceremony, the Southwest Waterfront

than a million visitors each year to witness the blossoming of

Fireworks Festival, the National Cherry Blossom Festival Pa-

the trees and enjoy the numerous events.

rade® scheduled for April 13, 2013 and the closing event

Must-See

PetalFest on the Woodrow Wilson Plaza. Begin your planning at nationalcherryblossomfestival.org, or 877-442-5666.

DC An infinite array of events and attractions keeps groups busy in our Nation’s Capital

48 June 2012

LeisureGroupTravel.com


Top attractions on the National Mall include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Newseum, a favorite with news junkies and history buffs.

National Mall

With seven levels of galleries and exhibits, theaters and

name for such a meaningful, premier destination. It is here

retail spaces, the Newseum mixes 500 years of news history

that a grateful nation honors the men and women who

with up-to-the-moment technology and hands-on exhibits. The

fought and died to keep us free. It is here we commemorate

Freedom Forum, a non-partisan foundation dedicated to “free

the legacies of our presidents and the leadership they

press, free speech and free spirit for all people,” is the principal

provided. At this wonderful place we are reminded and

funder of the Newseum, which is located on Pennsylvania

celebrate this country’s commitment to freedom, fairness

Avenue, halfway between the Capitol and White House.

and equality.

Photos (left) Destination DC; (right) Sam Kittner/Newseum

Newseum

The National Mall is such a simple and straightforward

The largest of the Newseum’s 15 galleries and exhibits, the

As an integral part of the National Park Service, the

News Corporation News History Gallery, is centered on the

National Mall and Memorial Parks is responsible for more

museum’s more than 30,000 historic newspapers, tracing five

than 1,000 parkland acres (including the cherry trees!) in

decades of news. World news and the dangers reporters face

the heart of the capital. Its charge is to interpret and main-

is the storyline in the Time Warner World News Gallery.

tain some of our most significant historical resources. The

The Bloomberg Internet, TV and Radio Gallery, devoted to

unit is responsible for the Washington Monument, Thomas

the history of electronic news, features a timeline of milestones.

Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roo-

An original documentary looks at many of the people and

sevelt Memorial, Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, D.C. War Me-

events in television news from 1947 through 1969. One of the

morial (World War I), World War II Memorial and Korean

most dramatic galleries is the Pulitzer Prize Photographs

War Memorial. Also the Vietnam Veterans Memorial,

Gallery.

George Mason Memorial, Pennsylvania Avenue from the

The ABC News Changing Exhibit Gallery delves into a

White House to the Capitol, Constitution Gardens, and East

wide variety of media issues with regularly changing exhibits.

and West Potomac Parks. The Mall’s newest memorial is

Appropriately, on display through inauguration day Jan. 27,

the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. (Besides all the me-

2013, is “Every Four Years: Presidential Campaigns and the

morials, of course, are the Mall’s many outstanding Smith-

Press.” More than 120 artifacts on display explore how cam-

sonian museums.)

paigns have changed from the 1896 front-porch campaign of

Take full advantage of park ranger interpretive programs

William McKinley to Barack Obama’s 2008 Internet campaign.

by visiting the calendar online at nps.gov/nama/plan-

On April 27 the Newseum unveiled its newest gallery, the

yourvisit/events.htm. Beyond the special events, the park

Hewlett-Packard New Media Gallery. Demonstrating how the

staff offers daily interpretive programs every hour on the hour

new media has fundamentally altered the journalism land-

from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial,

scape, visitors enter an innovative, interactive experience.

Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial,

Groups of 10 or more are required to have reservations

World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial and

and enjoy discounted ticket prices. Begin planning online at

Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

newseum.org.

LeisureGroupTravel.com

June 2012 2008 49


on location: northeast ❖

Obtain Washington D.C. visitor guides and itineraries and contact group-friendly suppliers directly at leisuregrouptravel.com/instant-info

Groups confront thethese horrors of WWII at the United States Holocaust Memorial Cherry frame view of the Jefferson Caption here on lines here Caption here Caption here on these lines Museum. here Caption hereblossoms Caption here ona these Caption here onMemorial. these

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Ironically, located on our National Mall among our nation’s

of promoting human dignity. To say the least, the Holocaust Museum is both eye-opening and inspiring.

monuments to freedom and the price paid, the museum

The Holocaust is the three-floor main exhibition and

provides a commanding lesson in the frailty of freedom. It

presents a comprehensive and chronological history of the

instructs millions of visitors every year in the need to prevent

period. Divided into three sections, the presentation begins

genocide, the dangers of unbridled hatred and the necessity

with State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda. Through rare posters, photographs, artifacts and film this exhibition explores how the Nazi Party used well-crafted messages and techniques to influence many of its vision for a new Germany. Told from a young person’s perspective, Remember the Children, Daniel’s Story is a history of the Holocaust for families and young people, based on children who survived and their recorded stories of what happened to them from 1933 to 1945. The memorial to the 1.5 million children who died in the Holocaust is an unforgettable experience for all visitors. The third exhibition outlines the history of A Dangerous Lie; The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. Written in 1903, this fictitious document outlines the alleged Jewish plot for world domination. It was the Nazis’ major source of evidence against the Jews. Completely discredited many times over, “The Protocols” are still used today to incite hatred. A half dozen additional exhibits include the Meed Survivors Registry. Although the museum is free of charge, passes are required. Begin your group’s travel plans at ushmm.org. LGT

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An infinite array of events and attractions keeps groups busy in our Nation’s Capital E very year tens of thousands of visitors, from school...