Go Inside the President's Guest House Where Vice President Kamala Harris Will Be Staying Temporarily
Historic Blair House has hosted foreign dignitaries and several presidents in the days before their inaugurations. One even survived an assassination attempt within its walls
Blair House sounds like some kind of posh estate in the United Kingdom but it's right here in DC.
Better known as the "President's Guest House," it's where Madame Vice President Kamala Harris and her family will be staying while her new home at One Naval Observatory, the official residence of the Vice President, undergoes maintenance
Located just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the Eisenhower Executive Office Building and steps from the White House, Blair House serves as the president's guest house. It’s right near the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum so chances are you’ve walked by without even knowing it. Joe Biden and his family stayed here before Inauguration Day and his swearing in as the 46th President of the United States.
The historic home has hosted foreign dignitaries and several presidents in the days before their inaugurations. Lincoln is known to have been a frequent visitor at Blair House, which was a fast walk across Pennsylvania Avenue. One even survived an assassination attempt within its walls.
Wrangling an invite to Blair House is even harder than getting one to the White House. Security is tight and access exclusive. Go inside — and learn the history behind — the place our new VP will temporarily be calling home.
Number One Observatory Circle on the grounds of the U.S. Naval Observatory is the traditional home for veeps.
Ask most people where the president lives and they’ll tell you, “the White House.” Ask them where the vice president lives and the answer is much less certain.
Even though it might not have the same ring to it as 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, One Naval Observatory (located on the grounds of the 72-acre U.S. Naval Observatory) has been the official home to every vice president since Walter Mondale) in 1977.
When Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff move into Number One Observatory Circle, they will be only the eighth vice-presidential family in American history to do so. They’re currently staying at Blair House, the President's Guest House, while they’re soon-to-be new home undergoes maintenance.
DC has signature music, food and its own official dinosaur.
Forget images of massive digs like the one in the Jurassic Park movies, though. Apparently someone found part of a dinosaur vertebra and other bone fragments while excavating a sewer at First and F Streets SE in Capitol Hill in the late 1800s.
The bones were taken to Smithsonian scientists, but there was so little of it that paleontologists are still uncertain as to what this animal actually looked like. But since there was no agreement on the actual identity and classification of the bones, it was suggested that it was from a dinosaur unique to Washington, and the unofficial moniker Capitalsaurus was born.
More than a century after it was unearthed, there isn’t consensus on the actual identity of this prehistoric beast.
The official designation as the District’s official dinosaur is thanks to a group of fifth-grade students who enthusiastically lobbied City Hall to vote “yes” on vote “yes” on the Official Dinosaur Designation Act of 1998, Bill 12-538.
Today, January 28 is “Capitalsaurus Day” in D.C., marking the date the bones were presented to the Smithsonian. The block of F Street, SE where the fossil was discovered was formally dedicated as Capitalsaurus Court on January 28, 2000 (it’s the block that fronts Garfield Park).
Curious? There's more!
There are so many fascinating stories to uncover!
When planning vacation itineraries, graveyard visits may not be top of mind. But they are really open-air museums full of art and history and stories and nature. And sometimes you’ll find really creative nods to various lives among the headstones, too.
Congressional Cemetery in Southeast DC is a historic -- and still active -- 35-acre graveyard spanning more than 300 years. And despite its name, it’s a pretty lively place. The cemetery hosts several 5Ks, concerts, and outdoor movie nights, as well as a book club and yoga classes, and plenty of dogs and their owners frequent the grounds, too.
But despite its size and longtime history, Congressional Cemetery is a real hidden gem that many locals and tourists don't even know exists.
Be one with nature
Sweater weather is approaching, and with it gorgeous fall foliage that lures you into wanting to spend more time outside before we hibernate for the winter. Before coronavirus made social distancing a priority, local hiking trails were already go-to spots for respite from city crowds. Luckily, we have some suggestions where you can have the best of both worlds: great views and solitude. Here are seven options in DC.
You've probably passed it before and didn't even know it
The FDR Memorial at the Tidal Basin gets millions of visitors, while the original memorial to the late President is overlooked--hidden in plain sight.
That's right, the FDR Memorial that we all know actually isn't the first, or the even the only one, in DC!
On the lawn of the National Archives Building (on the Penn Ave side) is a large, rectangular piece of marble with the inscription: In Memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. 1882 - 1945. This quietly elegant tribute is the first memorial to FDR and is the one he requested for himself.
The story goes that Roosevelt told Supreme Court Justice Frankfurter, that if he were to have a monument in Washington, it should be in front of National Archives and be no larger than his desk. Which it is; his desk was 3 feet tall, 7 feet long, 4 feet wide and so is the marble memorial. It was funded through an anonymous group of friends -- although their names are sealed into the base of the stone -- and dedicated on the 20th anniversary of FDR's death, April 12, 1965.
It just goes to show that there is *always* more than meets the eye.
Curious? There's more!
A continuing series about awesome social distance activities in DC to keep you entertained during the outbreak and inspired to keep daydreaming about your next adventure in the Nation's capital.
So, you want to get outside to enjoy the weather for the long Memorial Day weekend but still avoid crowds of people, Well, unfortunately, you can cross Meridian Hill Park off the list.
But we've curated some less-populated options for you to enjoy. Here are eight less well-known parks, gardens, and green spaces in DC–we mostly skipped more obvious “hidden gems” like the National Arboretum in favor of less-visited, but still lovely, spaces.
So pack a picnic and get out there and enjoy nature in (relative) solitude! Remember to wear a mask and social distance. Let's be safe out there.
What happens in hotel rooms usually stays inside the room. But the 1972 break-in at the Watergate Hotel turned room 214 into the most (in)famous room in the country.
Today, 47 years later, you can stay in the "Scandal Room" where it happened. Plus, there's a Hollywood connection for fans of the ABC television show Scandal starring Kerry Washington.
If you’ve been walking on the National Mall or waiting at the intersection of 17th Street and Constitution Avenue, you’ve probably glanced at the little stone house on the corner and wondered, “Huh, what is that and why is it here?”
Well, I wondered the same thing, so like Nancy Drew, I set out to solve the mystery (dun dun dun!).
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it