Past, Present, and Future

Past, Present, and Future

One of the many reasons why I love living in D.C. is because it's a city that holds so much history. Between the various museums and historical sites, D.C. has a very strong connection to the past. Just exploring the streets of the city and admiring the architecture makes me appreciate all of the history that has taken place here, maybe even right where I am walking. But the past has particularly been on my mind because this weekend I went to the National Museum of Natural History and the National Museum of American History.


The National Museum of Natural History is dedicated to the sciences, like biology and zoology, and features exhibits on a variety of things from dinosaurs, to the oceans, to the earliest human ancestors. This museum has been a favorite of mine since I was young, and I still enjoy it today. All of the exhibits are very educational, and laid out extremely well, making it easy to explore and learn.


My personal favorite was the Human Origins exhibit. It tracks the evolution of humans and civilization, and it felt very impactful, particularly nowadays, to consider how truly alike all humans are. I especially liked how the exhibit provided a lot of information on evolution, since there are some places in the United States that debate evolution and even choose not to teach it in schools. The exhibit clearly asserted the scientific validity of evolution, and offered some ways to bridge the divide between those who believe in religion and science, which I appreciated.


The other exhibit I enjoyed was Ocean Hall, mainly because it had an aquarium featuring a coral reef environment.

 

Aquarium

The aquarium!

 

As for the National Museum of American History, it is an absolute must-see. It is home to the flag that was waving at Fort McHenry in Baltimore in 1814, which then inspired Francis Scott Key to write the song that would become our national anthem. Beyond that, the museum is home to more than 3 million artifacts including Abraham Lincoln's top hat, Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz, Muhammad Ali's boxing gloves, and more than two dozen gowns worn by the various first ladies. The First Ladies exhibit, as well as the nearby exhibit on The American Presidency, are my favorites in the museum.

 

Fall tree

 

All in all, I strongly believe learning about history is vital to everyone and anyone's education. Understanding where we come from, and how the past has influenced our present, will enable us all to make more informed decisions about the future. Because D.C. isn't only a gateway to the past, it is also where we build our future.

 

Between Congress, the White House and the Supreme Court, decisions happen every day in D.C. that impact all of our futures. So, it's all the more reason to take the time and examine how the past, present, and future collide.

 

Kelsey


Read Kelsey's previous blog posts

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