Friday, January 27, 2017


Another president in the President's Gallery.

This time it is Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States.  

One of my favorite characters in history as he was a great conservationist and was instrumental in putting land aside for many of our national parks.  Also he was a hunter and a taxidermist from a very young age.  When he was in his teens he learned to identify the sounds of almost all of the birds in his surroundings of New York and Long Island.

You can learn more information about him here.

Above are likenesses of President Kennedy and First Lady Jackie Kennedy (Onassis).  I found a very interesting history of how they met here.  I spent almost two years in Newport, Rhode Island in the late 1970's, and had no idea that that is where they were married.  John F. Kennedy, known as Jack, was our 35th President.  I am not showing you the presidents in numerical order.  More info on him at this link.

Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy.  They were married for 52 years.  He was our 40th President and was born on February 6th, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois.  After graduating college in 1932 he found work as a radio sports announcer in Iowa.   More info here.

I enjoyed this mural along one of the corridors between exhibits, and other artwork along the way.

The following picture depicts John Adams, who was the 2nd President of the United States, and was the first president to live in The White House.  When he arrived in Washington DC, this famous landmark was still under construction and he temporarily lived at the Tunnicliffe's City Hotel.  He didn't move into The White House  until November 1st, 1800, but soon after was defeated in the 1800 election, and only lived there for four months.  He was a bit of a grumpy guts but married a good lady, Abigail.  You can read more at this link.

This is John Quincy Adams, our 6th President and the son of John Adams.  He was a statesman and a diplomat, a Senator and member of the House of Representatives.   He was married to a lady named Louisa who was English, from London, and up until this last election, was the only First Lady who was born outside of the United States.  A link with more info can be found here.

The following is Woodrow Wilson who was the 28th President of the United States.  He was born in Staunton, Virginia, not too far away, a little over a two hour car ride.  He was born on December 28th, 1856 and experienced the Civil War in his youth, as he was present in Georgia when Union troops entered his town.  His mother tended to wounded Confederate soldiers.  Also, as a 13 year old he stood next to General E. Lee when he, Lee, participated in a procession in Augusta. His link full of information can be found here.

Warren G. Harding was the 29th President of the United States.  Info here.  Harding came from a small town in Ohio, and before entering politics he owned The Marion Star, which is still in existence today.  He served only two years in office, from 1921 to 1923, when he died.  His Vice President, Calvin Cooledge, became the 30th President of the United States.

Next, Dwight D. Eisenhower, our 34th President.  Camp David is named after his grandson, David.  Many years ago my sister and I were staring through the railings at the side of The White House (this was when there were no barriers except for the tall iron railings).  What captured our attention was a white squirrel on the grounds, scurrying along with a mouthful of acorns, trying to find a spot to bury them I'm assuming.  We had never seen a white squirrel before and were discussing the fact.  The next thing we knew, a guard appeared at a fast pace through the trees, with a rather formidable looking rifle, no doubt to make sure we were behaving ourselves.  Our conversation must have been a bit boring.  "Well I never, have you ever seen a white squirrel before?" "No, never!" was my reply.
"Isn't he a lovely little thing?"  We were trying to take photos, not of the Oval Office but of the white squirrel.  My sister and I were so startled at the sight of the guard we nearly fell out of our shoes, and with a quick smile at the guard, knew it was time to move along.   I have been seeing white squirrels each time I visit the city over these many years, the great, great grand-squirrels of that one little white squirrel perhaps?  Why am I retelling this tale?  Because the following story reminded me.  Eisenhower banished the White House's squirrels because they were ruining his putting green.  In the spring of 1954 the American Public Golf Association installed an outdoor putting green just steps from the Oval Office, which we were unknowingly standing not too far from, it being blocked from view by a 
'forest' of large bushes and trees.  Much to his dismay, Eisenhower, who was an avid golfer, noticed the squirrels were continuously digging up the putting green to bury their acorns.  "The next time you see one of those squirrels go near my putting green, take a gun and shoot it", this to his valet.  The Secret Service, however, wisely avoided the use of guns, and instead the groundskeepers trapped the squirrels and released them into Rock Creek Park.  Well, I can tell you now, they came back!

Gregg is standing next to Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee.  It depicts a scene at the Appomatix Court House in Virginia, where Lee surrendered his army to Grant, a precursor to the end of the Civil War.  President Grant became our 18th President.  There are some very interesting facts about the two at this website.
There was a very old tree in our neighborhood and local legend, so I was told, said that Lee stood under its branches and addressed his troops.  It would be nice if the story had some truth to it but I have no clue if this is fact. Sadly the tree had to be cut down years ago. 

The following collage shows from left to right, William Howard Taft, No. 27, Ulysses S. Grant again, No. 18, James Buchanan, No. 15, and Rutherford B. Hayes, No.19.  You can click on their names to learn more.

The following are Presidents Richard Nixon, No. 37, Gerald Ford, No. 38, Lyndon Johnson, No. 36  and Jimmy Carter, No. 39.

President Barak Obama, our 44th President and First Lady Michelle Obama.  President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.  First Lady Michelle was born in Chicago, Illinois.  They met while working for a Chicago law firm, where she was assigned to be his advisor.  They were married on October 3rd, 1992. There is more information here.

We visited before President Trump was added but I read that he has now joined the President's Gallery.

I hope you've enjoyed this post.  I have tried to get my facts correct, but if any historians out there see any discrepancies, I would be very grateful for any corrections.

I have one more post to share of the celebrity section of the wax museum, and that one will be my last post.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


I found a YouTube on part of the process for making a wax figure. The artist was working on a copy of Adele for London's Madame Tussaud. You can find that here

At the entrance you will find Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps.

And then a very noble looking Piscataway Indian. I tried to take photos of every marker so that I could read them later.  I missed a few.  The one near this figure said, "The Piscataway Indian was the most powerful and numerous Native American Nation in the Chesapeake area. Traditional enemy was the Iroquois - the two tribes frequently fought over land.  First contact with English colonists in 1608 - later brought disaster.  By 1668 the Piscataway were confined to two reservations.  Some groups fled to Pennsylvania and Canada to escape, while others stayed and assimilated with the colonists, neglecting their Native American Roots.  Chief Turkey Tayac was the last to learn the Piscataway language orally from his family.  He helped reorganize the tribe in the 1970s after years of neglect."   Reading all these markers was a great history lesson for me and, as often happens when I visit various museums, makes me want to find out more.  A great place for children to visit.

While walking around the wax museum, I kept expecting one to have been replaced by a real human for a prank, and a hand to rest on my shoulder. A flight of fancy but you can stretch your imagination in that place.  Some figures were an amazing likeness to whomever they were portraying.  Others you could tell the difference, and then there were those where you wouldn't know if they were exact, because these historical figures are long gone, still bearing a striking likeness to the portraits we have all seen.  All had such incredible detail you couldn't help but admire the people who created them, right down to their clothing.  It would have been an experience to go through the process of each figure's creation.  Another thing I liked was that nothing was behind glass.  You could get up close and examine all the details. There were also chairs for you to sit next to them and have your photograph taken, as in this one with Gregg and Abraham Lincoln depicting the scene of his fateful night at the theater.

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States.

"Facts: Standing at 6' 4", Abraham Lincoln was the tallest US president.  Lincoln was the first president to be born outside of the 13 original US colonies.  Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1st, 1863."  If you would like to learn more, you can go to this link.

Here is Benjamin Franklin and Gregg is trying to copy his expression.  Did he succeed?  Benjamin Franklin was the oldest of the Founding Fathers and was 84 when he passed away.  His mother was from a puritan family, his father was a candle maker.  Benjamin was one of 17 children and a voracious reader.  I added this link for more info.

Here is a photo of Cuz and me crossing the Delaware, helping George with his navigation.  We did a great job!

Winston Churchill makes an appearance I am very happy to say.  I am quite fond of Winnie, as were my parents.  Check here for info. Has anyone seen The Crown on Netflix?  I have just finished watching and think the actor John Lithgow does a fantastic job of portraying him.  He is a marvelous actor.  In fact, all the actors, in my humble opinion, did a slendid job of each role they play.  It is an excellent series.  When I was in England in 2014 we visited the Churchill War Rooms in London, and in the gift shop I bought a replica of that same bowtie to give to our son. 

I have more from Madame Tussauds, but  will stop here and post another time.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017


My heartfelt thanks to everyone who left the sweetest comments on my previous post, and to everyone who comments on my blog, a big thank you.  

Last week when we had family in town we were in Washington DC on several occasions.  At the request of Gregg's cousin (she and her husband stayed with us during the week) we found ourselves at Madam Tussauds.  Gregg and I have never been there before and found it very interesting.  Thanks Cuz!  Our son and daughter-in-law have gone there a couple of times and I have been fascinated by their photos.  More posts to follow on Madame Tussauds.

Andrew Jackson was the 7th President of the United States and his nickname was "Old Hickory", given by his troops who said he was as tough as 'old hickory'.  At the age of 13 he joined the army to fight in the Revolutionary War.  During his service he and his brother were captured by the British.  As President, in 1836 he survived an assassination attempt. The assailant's gun misfired and Jackson defended himself with his walking stick.

If you would like to learn more of 'Old Hickory', you can find lots of information at Wikipedia at this link.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Gregg's Dad was finally laid to rest last week.  There were many wonderful family and friends from all over the country who attended.  To those who traveled near and far, we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.  You were an absolute joy and source of strength to our family.