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The collection at the National Gallery of Art has grown so large that it is displayed in two galleries, the neoclassical West Building and the modern East Building, plus a six-acre sculpture garden.
The collection at the National Gallery of Art has grown so large that it is displayed in two galleries, the neoclassical West Building and the modern East Building, plus a six-acre sculpture garden.
 

Civil War to Civil Rights: A Spy's-Eye View

Check out these Top 10 recommendations from a DC insider.

By From special guest Peter Earnest, Executive Director, International Spy Museum
  • PRINT

As a world capital, Washington, DC is also an unseen hub for exciting espionage. Peter Earnest, executive director of the International Spy Museum, breaks down the city’s most secretive spots.

  1. The Willard InterContinental Hotel: One of the hotel’s original owners may have married a Confederate spy, but fast forward to 1963 and Martin Luther King finished writing his "I Have a Dream" speech here.
  2. International Spy Museum: From hot air balloon overhead recon to Harriet Tubman’s undercover work as a Union spy, Civil War espionage is revealed here to have been bold, dangerous and effective.
  3. National Portrait Gallery: During the Civil War, when it was transformed into a hospital, poet Walt Whitman nursed the Union wounded here and also attended Lincoln’s second inaugural ball in the same space.
  4. Lincoln Memorial: While honoring Lincoln, it was also the stage for Marian Anderson’s 1939 performance after being denied the right to perform at Constitution Hall and the setting for King’s 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech.
  5. Frederick Douglass House: Cedar Hall, the home of the famous abolitionist who was born a slave, is a beautiful place to contemplate the extraordinary changes Douglass helped make for his fellow African Americans.
  6. Ford’s Theatre: From the box where Confederate spy John Wilkes Booth committed his horrible crime to the alley where he made his escape, the theater reminds us the tragic loss of Lincoln.
  7. The Supreme Court: In 1857 the Court delivered the infamous Dred Scott decision. In 1954 the Court redeemed itself with Brown v. Board of Education.
  8. The Capitol: Home of the U.S. Congress, which generates lots of hot air but also produced the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
  9. FBI Headquarters: The Bureau was a leader in fighting the Klan in the 1920s. Forty years later, it targeted black nationalist groups as one part of COINTELPRO. It also infamously tried to discredit Martin Luther King, Jr.
  10. President Lincoln’s Cottage: This home was established in 1851 as “asylum for old and disabled veterans.” Abraham Lincoln lived here during much of the Civil War, and it was here he drafted the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall provides a doubling vista, and a cooling station for geese.
The Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall provides a doubling vista, and a cooling station for geese.
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