So when my wife asks me what I did today, I honestly have no idea. Probably because I've spent way too much time pouring over the photos of old DC landmarks the Smithsonian released this week. (Smithsonian)
The big local news this week, of course, was the short-lived hostage crisis at the Discovery Channel Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, just outside DC. Fortunately, no one was harmed except for the poor crazy bastard who was responsible for the whole thing. (TBD)
And oh no! My absolute favorite Smithsonian exhibit will be dragged into modern times, kicking and screaming. Western Cultures, 2nd floor of the Natural History Museum, will be closed starting September 26th. The exhibit, which was delightfully dated, was originally designed in 1978, and is looking increasingly out of place as the Museum rapidly upgrades around it. Fine, I guess. Minister Cox and I will just have to find somewhere else to hang out. (WaPo)
An intriguing new location for an Ansel Adams gallery. The Wilderness Society has opened a new gallery of the photographers works at their headquarters on 16th ST NW just north of the White House. The Society had a long standing relationship with Adams and has one of the largest collections of his works. (DCMud)
Ford's Theater will be opening their fall season with Sabrina Fair, opening October 1st and running through the 24th. They'll be mixing up the original story a bit by casting black actors as Sabrina and her father, adding an element of race to the traditional exploration of class the script normally calls for. (Ford's Theater)
Some big news at the National Zoo this week. Phase One of the new Elephant Trails exhibit opens today. For those who haven't been following this, the Zoo has decided to focus on their Asian elephants, shipping their giraffes and hippos off to other zoos to make room for a expanded elephant habitat. While for now only three elephants reside there, soon a herd of eleven will roam the grounds. Also, a litter of four lion cubs was born at the Zoo Monday night. Not to be outdone, the new cubs aunt, Nababiep is pregnant and due later this month, so we look forward to the growth of a real pride this year! (WaPo, Around the Mall)
A rare green light for an urban legend! Snopes delves into the story of the Pentagon building twice the required number of bathrooms to accommodate Virginia's racial separation laws. As always, the truth is more fascinating than the e-mail forward.
Back in 2006, local history nerds such as myself were excited that a cabin in suburban Maryland potentially could be directly linked to Joseph Henson, the person Harriet Beacher Stowe based Uncle Tom's Cabin on. New evidence is coming to light that the cabin is not old enough to fit the story, and now Montgomery County officials have to sort out where to go now, and what to call it. Apparently, "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is out. David Rotenstein at Historian For Hire has a great write up of the story.
Don't even freaking think about using the Glenmont end of the Red Line this weekend. (TBD)