Program of the 122nd Annual Meeting
January 36, 2008
Local Arrangements: Historians and Washington, D.C.
For the 122nd annual meeting, members of the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) will provide Association members with detailed information to make their Washington, D.C., visit thoroughly enjoyable. Chair Dane Kennedy, George Washington University; co-chair Bryan McCann, Georgetown University; and LAC members have prepared articles on the city and the region for the fall issues of Perspectives, including guides to museums, points of interests, and restaurants in the area. Look for an annual meeting supplement with the December issue of Perspectives, and bring it with you, as it will contain valuable information.
- What Washington, D.C., Has to Offer
- Introduction to D.C.
- Commercial Tours
- Points of Interest in Washington, D.C.
- Tours from the Local Arrangements Committee (All Tours have Sold out )
- Tour 1: Preview of the President Lincoln’s Cottage at the Soldiers’ Home National Monument
- Tour 2: At Home with History: The Decatur House Museum and Lafayette Square
- Tour 3: Capitol Visitor Center
- Tour 4: Duke Ellington’s D.C.: U Street, Shaw, and Beyond
- Tour 5: Civil War Washington
- Tour 6: Built Environment Tour: “David Macaulay: The Art of Drawing Architecture” and the National Building Museum
What Washington, D.C., Has to Offer
Founded in 1790, the District of Columbia is a federal district as specified by the U.S. Constitution. The centers of all three branches of the U.S. federal government are in the city, and it also serves as the headquaters for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, and many national and international institutions including labor unions and professional associations (such as the AHA). It is a major American cultural center, with a number of important and free museums including the world’s largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Institution, galleries, universities, cathedrals, and performing arts centers and institutions. The population of the District of Columbia is about 600,000 but the metropolitan region has more than five million residents, making it the eighth largest in the United States.
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Introduction to the City
When planning a visit to the nation’s capital, individuals can consult a number of web sites that provide information about the Washington metropolitan region, including its hotels, restaurants, monuments and memorials, and many historical and cultural institutions. Visitors are urged to familiarize themselves with the mass transit system. Meeting attendees can board the Red Line at the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan Station in front of the Marriott Wardman Park and travel almost anywhere. For a general tourist introduction to the city, visit the web site of the Washington, D.C., Convention and Tourism Corporation (202-789-7000), clicking on “Visitor Information” for sections on neighborhoods and history, visitor FAQs, a visitor’s guide, tour ideas and itineraries, what to do, where to eat and to shop. The District government’s web site also has a visitors’ resource center. From the home page, click on “Visiting D.C.” The site has links to exploring D.C.’s historic neighborhoods; District history; and local, national, and amusement parks. Also see the web site operated by the D.C. Visitors Information Center (202-328-4748). The center is located at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., on the ground floor of the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center Building, near the Federal Triangle Metrorail Station (Blue/Orange Lines). If visiting the center in person, you can pick up a “Guests on the Go” visitor pack, which includes a free One-Day Metro Pass, a visitors’ guide, discount coupons, and more.
The web site of Cultural Tourism D.C., the nonprofit coalition for Washington’s heritage and arts, includes information on and links to the District’s many cultural institutions, excellent descriptions of numerous distinct neighborhoods, and an interactive “itinerary builder” allowing visitors to better plan their visit. The site also provides a schedule of walking tours. DCPages is a web community publication for the District of Columbia, and contains information about the many cultural aspects of the community. It has information on city parking lots, city history, District politics, maps, and numerous other topics.
Explore DC is the web site of WETA, the public broadcasting station in the nation’s capital. It has sections on local history; federal history; African American heritage; and profiles of U.S. presidents, their homes and memorials. A section also provides specialty tour information about various neighborhoods and subjects, including Adams Morgan, architecture, Civil War, Dupont Circle, historic house museums, outdoor sculpture, parks and gardens, U Street, and Shaw. The District is a complete online guide to Washington, D.C., and surrounding jurisdictions. It provides information on museums and attractions, tours, and travel information.
The Washington Post’s web site contains current information on the city’s many museums, galleries, theatres, music venues, sporting events, and many other details. Click on “City Guide” on the top banner. The Washingtonian is the District’s glossy and gossipy city magazine. Its web site is one of the region’s top sources of information for dining, shopping, entertainment, and personalities. Yet a third perspective (and set of links) is offered by the Washington City Paper.
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Commercial Tours of the Region
Tourmobile Sightseeing (202-554-5100) offers narrated shuttle tours to 40 major sites on and around the National Mall and to Arlington National Cemetery. One ticket allows unlimited free reboarding throughout the day. Boarding locations (red, white, and blue signs indicate stops) are to be found throughout the National Mall, at the major monuments and memorials, and at the Arlington National Cemetery Visitor Center. Buses arrive at each stop approximately every 30 minutes. The Tourmobile runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily (including rainy weather). Metrorail stations near Tourmobile stops include Arlington Cemetery, Union Station (Tourmobile stop is in front of terminal), and Smithsonian museums. Tickets can be purchased from drivers, at one of three ticket locations, or in advance through Ticketmaster (800-551-SEAT). Ticket booth locations are at Arlington National Cemetery (open 9:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.), the Washington Monument kiosk (1401 Jefferson Drive, N.W., Smithsonian Metro Station), and Union Station (9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.). Tours include the American Heritage Tour (adult $25, child 3–11 $12) and Arlington Cemetery Tour (adult $7, child 3–11 $3.50). Patrons can also purchase a two-day ticket, good for two full days of touring.
Tourmobile provides two types of services for individuals who are mobility challenged: on-demand service for individuals who are able to transfer from their wheelchair and can climb two or three steps and on-demand service for individuals who require a chair lift. Vehicles used on all Tourmobile tours are equipped with priority seating and wheelchair storage. Individuals can either make their request for a lift-equipped vehicle with a Tourmobile employee located at any ticket booths or on board any vehicle at any Tourmobile stop. The request will be processed and a lift-equipped vehicle will be dispatched to that location.The rider can get off at the stops of his or her choice and then arrange a reboarding time with the driver. To make a reservation or to obtain further information about lift-equipped vehicle service call 703-979-0690 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily.
Historic Tours of America provides historically oriented experiences for visitors. It operates the Old Town Trolley, the DC Ducks, Potomac River cruises, and Segway tours. It provides day and night tours of monuments as well as bike tours.
DC Tours offers a wide variety of sightseeing tours in Washington, with the most popular the two-day Grand Tour.
Washington Walks (202-484-1565; firstname.lastname@example.org) hosts walking tours that require no reservations, take place rain or shine, and are reasonably priced (most are $10). Specialities include walks of Georgetown, “I’ve Got a Secret,” haunted houses, capital hauntings, Embassy Row, U Street, Capitol Hill, the White House Un-Tour, and a Taste of D.C. Most are wheelchair accessible and canine companions are welcome. The web site also has a listing of American Sign Language interpreted walks.
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