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Washington DC and the Smithsonian

In just a few weeks I’ll be traveling to our nation’s capitol: Washington, DC.  While there I intend to go to as many places as possible to soak up the city’s sights, sounds, and smells.  Most of all, I hope to visit the Smithsonian.

Did you know the Smithsonian Institution includes 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoo, and 9 research facilities?  The Smithsonian is also known as world’s largest museum, education, and research complex.  Since it is such a large institution its museums always have a lot of exhibits.  Because I could never get to them all, I chose my top three.  There is an exhibit about Iceland, one about the Incas, and one that has the command module of the spacecraft that carried Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong to the moon.  How cool is that?

If any of these exhibits sound interesting to you, here are some books you might enjoy.  And don’t forget we also offer audio subscriptions to Smithsonian Magazine!

Ivory Vikings: The Mystery of the Most Famous Chessmen in the World and the Woman Who Made Them
by Nancy Marie Brown
The Lewis chessmen were discovered in Scotland in the early 1800s. A historian traces these carved ivory game pieces from their probable creation in Iceland, and chronicles the North Atlantic world that the Vikings ruled for four hundred years. 2015.

The Last Days of the Incas
by Kim MacQuarrie
Emmy Award-winning filmmaker chronicles the sixteenth-century Spanish conquest of Peru. Describes the arrival of conquistador Francisco Pizarro, the sacking of the Inca capital, the capture of the last Inca emperor, and the end of native resistance. Discusses twentieth-century archaeological discoveries and efforts to reconstruct Inca history. 2007.

Rocket Men: The Epic Story of the First Men on the Moon
by Craig Nelson
DB69775 / LP27195
Prize-winning author retraces America’s race against the Soviet Union to be the first to land on the moon. Chronicles NASA’s 1969 Apollo 11 mission using interviews and declassified documents. Provides glimpses into the personal family lives of astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr., and Michael Collins. Some strong language. 2009.

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