Washington Day 2

Friday 6th December 2019

We are staying in a great basement apartment in Q Street just off 14th. Ideally located, as 14th runs right down to the National Mall – home of all the Smithsonian museums. We visited quite a few – National History Museum, Sculpture Garden, Air & Space Museum, Botanical Gardens, American History Museum & the National Gallery. The story of the Smithsonian bequest is very interesting. An Englishman, James Smithson left his entire estate to the USA in 1835. After some political wrangling the funds, in the form of gold sovereigns (105,000 sacks) worth $500,000 was transported to the US via a 6-week ocean voyage. It took the US government another 10 years to agree to set up an institution for science and learning as was the original intention of James Smithson.

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