Day 1 You'll See:
- Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History & Culture
- Frederick Douglas National Historic Site
- Mary McLeod Bethune Council House
- Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
- Lincoln Memorial
Day 2 You'll See:
- Capitol Hill Tour
- Lincoln Park
- Howard University
- African American Civil War Museum & Memorial
Day 3 You'll See:
- White House Area Walking Tour
- National Archives
- National Mall Smithsonian Museums
You and your students will have three magnificent days in our nation’s lively capital to visit important Washington, D.C. landmarks and touch on key highlights of Black History. You’ll visit the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, renowned Howard University, the African American Civil War Museum and Memorial, tour Capitol Hill, explore the Smithsonian Mall’s many fabulous museums, stop by the White House for the photo opportunity of a lifetime – and more!
Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History & Culture
The mission of the Anacostia Museum & Center for African American History and Culture is “to enhance understanding of contemporary urban experiences and strengthen community bonds by conserving the past, documenting the present, and serving as a catalyst for shaping the future.” Founded as the Anacostia Neighborhood Museum in 1967, the Museum was envisioned as an outreach effort by the Smithsonian Institute to the local African American community. The Museum’s ever-growing collections of artifacts, works of art, photographs, documents, media, and other materials are central to describing African American history; its exhibitions focus on a range of relevant topics and important issues facing urban communities today.
Frederick Douglas National Historic Site
30-minute ranger-led tours of the Frederick Douglas National Historic Site let you and your student group walk the halls of this famed abolitionist’s Cedar Hills home. A man of great strength and vision, Douglas, born into slavery, broke free of those chains of oppression and dedicated his life to fighting for justice and equality for all people. He swore: "I will unite with anyone to do right, and with no one to do wrong!"
Mary McLeod Bethune Council House
As “First Lady of Struggle”, Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune achieved her greatest recognition here in this three-story Victorian townhouse – today, a National Historic Site. It was the first headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and was Bethune’s last home in Washington, D.C. Ranger-led tours include a short video history of Dr. Bethune’s life.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
The official address of the Martin Luther King Memorial - 1964 Independence Avenue, S.W. - commemorates the year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 became law. Dr. King is the first African-American honored with a memorial on or near the National Mall and only the fourth non-President to be recognized in such a way. His dramatic memorial's design was selected out of 900 candidates from 52 countries; its centerpiece is based on a line from King's "I Have A Dream" speech: "Out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope."
This magnificent memorial to President Abraham Lincoln - issuer of the Emancipation Proclamation – enjoys a majestic view of the Washington Monument from its seat on the National Mall. Depicted time and again in popular culture and inscribed on the back of every five dollar bill, it was the site of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered on August 28, 1963; the date is inscribed on the monument’s steps.
Capitol Hill Tour
Every student trip to Washington, D.C. should include a visit to the seat of our legislative and judicial branches. You’ll explore the magnificent Capitol and Supreme Court Buildings, visit the stately Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress and experience the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory’s spectacular living exhibits on this exhilarating Capitol Hill excursion!
Your students will enjoy a visit to Capitol Hill’s largest park, featuring historic monuments to two of our nation's greatest leaders, President Abraham Lincoln and Civil Rights Activist and Educator Mary McLeod Bethune.
Student groups entertaining plans for the not-so-distant future will enjoy a tour of this federally chartered, private, coeducational, nonsectarian and historically black university located in Washington, D.C., the alma mater of Phylicia Rashad, Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Toni Morrison and United States Ambassador Andrew Young.
African American Civil War Museum and Memorial
No African American History Tour of Washington, D.C. would be complete without stopping by the world’s only memorial dedicated to the African American troops that fought for our freedom during the Civil War. Your student group may also wish to explore the museum, where guests enjoy a meaningful educational experience focused on this pivotal time in American history. The Museum’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System provides record lookup capability on all individuals who served during the United States Civil War; will you meet some of your ancestors here?
White House Area Walking Tour
Wake up, grab a quick breakfast and get out into that supercharged D.C. air! Today, you and your young itinerants are going to see the White House – the epicenter of political life in Washington, and home of our President and the First Family - even more impressive up close and personal than one would imagine. What a fantastic photo op, and a true lifetime memory in the making!
The National Archives and Records Administration stores and provides public access to the original documents that set up the American government as a democracy in 1774; additionally, records of the nation’s civil, military and diplomatic activities are held here for present and future generations. The Archives is our nation’s record keeper; of all the documents and materials created in the course of business conducted by the Federal government, only 1%-3% are so important for legal or historical reasons that they are retained and preserved forever. You and your student group will be transported on a fascinating journey through time on this visit, with an amazing opportunity to view the United States Government’s Charters of Freedom, the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.
Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall
The National Mall is the pivotal point of almost every educational excursion to Washington, D.C.; this tree-lined open space between Constitution and Independence Avenues unfurls all the way from the Washington Monument to the U.S. Capitol Building. Here, you’ll find the American History Museum, the American Indian Museum, the National Museum of African Art, and the Natural History Museum, among others; 11 of D.C.’s seventeen Smithsonian Institution’s museums sit on the National Mall. It’s the perfect place to unpack and enjoy a picnic lunch, and a popular outdoor festival venue; all manner of spirited protests and rallies have been staged on its expansive lawn, as seen in the beloved 90’s flick, “Forrest Gump”!