History & Heritage

History & Heritage: The country’s history starts with ours.

Visiting the White House

Why visit? Sure, the White House is where the American President lives and works, but the national landmark actually belongs to the people of the United States. The house is on loan to the President and his or her family while serving in office. Visitors to Washington, DC (and locals, too) are...

the white house north lawn
11 Reasons to Check Out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Each summer, the National Mall plays host to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a massive, multiple-day celebration of international cultures. The 2016 edition (June 29 – July 4, July 7-10) features two themes: Basque: Innovation By Culture and Sounds of California . Read on to learn what...

Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Washington, DC
12 Things to See & Do in Anacostia

The historic riverside neighborhood of Anacostia is truly a gem. Some people think all Smithsonian Institution museums live on the National Mall , but Anacostia has its own completely dedicated to the concept of community. Perhaps the most famous member of the Anacostia community, Frederick...

Frederick Douglass House
Visiting the Jefferson Memorial

Where and what is the Jefferson Memorial? The location and architecture of the Jefferson Memorial make it stand out among DC’s amazing array of monuments and memorials . Designed by John Russell Pope in 1925, the memorial resembles the Pantheon in Rome, an adaptation of Neoclassical architecture...

Jefferson Memorial Lit Up at Night
African American History in Washington, DC

With its Southern connections, Washington, DC has always had a significant African American population. Before the Civil War, the city was home to a growing number of free blacks who worked as skilled craftsmen, hack drivers, businessmen and laborers, and slave auctions were outlawed altogether in...

Howard Theater Tim Cooper
100 Free & Almost Free Things to Do: Best of Town

One surprising and pleasant discovery you’ll make when visiting Washington, DC - many events, museums and attractions are free. Here are a free activities that await on your trip to the nation’s capital.

Smithsonian Castle
Holidays in the White House: First Family Traditions

Holidays at the White House are a family affair…with thousands of guests. Each December, the President and his family deck the White House’s halls and opens the doors for dozens of parties and public tours. It’s a big job to prepare the country’s most famous residence for a month of celebrations...

national Christmas tree lighting
Visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

What is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and where is it? The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is situated on a four-acre site along the Tidal Basin, adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memoria l and shares a direct line of sight between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. Its official...

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Spring
Visiting the Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Since its opening in 1993 in the historic City Post Office Building, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum has served to honor and celebrate America’s proud postal history. Located next to Union Station in DC’s NoMa neighborhood , the museum houses a vast collection of stamps, postal artifacts and...

Smithsonian National Postal Museum
Visiting the National World War II Memorial

What is the National World War II Memorial and where is it? The National World War II Memorial honors the 16 million people who served as part of the American armed forces during World War II, including more than 400,000 who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. The memorial sits along the...

National World War II Memorial - Washington, DC