Day 1 You'll See:
- National Law Enforcement Memorial
Day 2 You'll See:
- International Spy Museum
- National Cryptologic Museum
Day 3 You'll See:
- FBI J. Edgar Hoover Building Drive-By
- Watergate Complex Drive-By
- Supreme Court Tour
Day 4 You'll See:
- DEA Museum
- Ford's Theatre & Peterson House
- Surratt House Museum
Your young law dogs are in for the adventure of a lifetime on this four-day eye-opener of an itinerary, highlighting the sights and sounds of working Washington, D.C. as they’re marshaled around to important – and a few notorious - landmarks and attractions, including the Pentagon, the Supreme Court, the National Law Enforcement Memorial, the Watergate Complex, Ford’s Theatre –where President Lincoln was assassinated - and the International Spy Museum. Those “career gears” will be grinding all the way home!
Next up: you and your young charges head off to the Newseum - a six-level, high-tech interactive museum outlining the history of news reporting from the 16th century to the present day. Located between the White House and the U.S. Capitol, the Newseum houses 15 theaters, 14 major galleries, two state-of-the-art broadcast studios and an awesome 4-D time-travel experience in its 250,000 square feet of exhibit space, with its fascinating and comprehensive galleries exploring news history, photojournalism, world news and media coverage of major historical events. Miss the morning paper? No worries! Each day, the Newseum serves up the front pages of more than 450 news publications from around the world!
National Law Enforcement Memorial
The National Law Enforcement Memorial offers a poignant tribute to all U.S. law enforcement officers — federal, state, and local — who have made the ultimate sacrifice during their final watch. This beautiful memorial – adjacent to the site of the future Law Enforcement Museum - features a pristine reflecting pool surrounded by peaceful walkways in a quiet, tree-lined 3-acre park. Here, two pairs of adult bronze lions crouch, keeping silent, fierce watch over their young, with a different, relevant inscription under each, including this word by President George. H. Bush: "Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream."
International Spy Museum
Your young secret agents will be delighted to delve deep into the mysterious, dark world of professional espionage as they pass through the doors of this popular D.C. attraction, (appropriately founded by a former code-breaker) promising to thrill and chill with true tales of dashing and daring and ultra-cool and engaging exhibits highlighting authentic tricks - and more than 200 tools - of the spy trade. Young masterminds will especially enjoy a stop by the gift shop, tendering tons of useful gadgets like invisible ink pens and rear-view spy glasses!
National Cryptologic Museum
Located adjacent to NSA Headquarters, the National Cryptologic Museum houses thousands of fascinating artifacts that collectively serve to sustain the history of the cryptologic profession - the study of “top secret” mathematical, linguistic, and other coding patterns and histories. You and your students will catch a privileged glimpse of some of the most dramatic moments in the history of American cryptology; you’ll “meet” the people who selflessly dedicated their lives to cryptology and national defense, the amazing machines and devices they developed and the techniques they employed. This thrilling segment of your tour may leave a few of your students craving exciting futures in areas they never thought possible!
National Vigilance Park
For so many years, the clandestine nature of reconnaissance programs prevented recognition of slain military personnel at the time of incidents. While fellow service members in similar programs quietly mourned their loss, the fallen were never accorded public honors. The close of the Cold War allowed for the lifting of the dark veil of security restrictions and long-overdue recognition of the achievements and sacrifices of this selfless and intrepid military personnel. Dedicated on September 2nd, 1997, National Vigilance Park and its Aerial Reconnaissance Memorial remembers and salutes those "silent warriors" – an extraordinary breed of heroes who risked, and often lost, their lives performing airborne intelligence missions.
Rise and shine! Day three of your fabulous excursion has you and your group doing a Pentagon drive-by after breakfast. This magnificent, five-sided, five-storied 6,500,000 square foot office building, the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, houses approximately 26,000 employees. It is designed in such a way that a person can walk between any two points in under seven minutes and has been designated its own six Zip Codes by the United States Postal Service. In September 2001, on the 60th anniversary of its groundbreaking, the Pentagon survived the first significant foreign attack on the capital's governmental facilities since the burning of Washington during the War of 1812. The area hit – the only area of the building with a sprinkler system - was undergoing extensive renovations at the time; instead of the usual 4500 employees present in the area, only 800 were in the building that morning, resulting in fewer casualties. The America's Heroes Memorial and chapel are located where American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the building, while a permanent Pentagon Memorial, opened to the public in 2008, consists of a two-acre park containing 184 benches, one dedicated to each victim of the horrific 9/11 incident.
FBI J. Edgar Hoover Building Drive-By
Keep those cameras at the ready! You and your group may be among the last to drive past this iconic old monument to justice, for it’s nearing the end of its useful lifespan. Rumor has it the FBI Headquarters building, situated on prized Pennsylvania Avenue real estate and long tagged, “the government building everyone loves to hate,” may soon be no more.
Watergate Complex Drive-By
The infamous burglary on June 17, 1972, that touched off the scandal that would eventually topple Richard Milhous Nixon's presidency took place on the sixth floor of this 11-story office building, part of a plush apartment/hotel complex overlooking the Potomac River. Have your cameras ready!
Supreme Court Tour
Shhhhh….be very quiet! Important work will be underway as you and your student group tour the magnificent Supreme Court building – home of the highest court in the Nation, where guests are encouraged to take advantage of a variety of educational programs including informative 30-minute Courtroom Lectures, a visitors’ film, and Supreme Court-related exhibitions. When court is in session – during the months of October and April – you may elect to sit on oral arguments. Even if you don’t enter the building, its incredibly grand architecture will sufficiently impress!
The mission of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Museum and Visitors Center is “to educate the American public on the history of drugs, drug addiction and drug law enforcement in the United States through engaging and state-of-the-art exhibits, displays, interactive stations and educational outreach programs.” This institution provides a truly unique learning environment, where your student group will discover the impact of federal drug law enforcement on the ever-evolving trends of legal and illicit drug use in American history through a series of state-of-the-art exhibits including Target America: Opening Eyes to the Damages Drugs Cause, and Good Medicine, Bad Behavior: Drug Diversion in America. An impressive gift shop lets your young charges take home the perfect memento of their DEA Museum adventure.
Ford’s Theatre & Peterson House
John T. Ford bought the original building – a former church - and renovated it into a theatre, which he first called Ford's Athenaeum. Destroyed by fire in 1862, it was rebuilt the following year with seating for 2400. Just five days subsequent General Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, President Abraham Lincoln, and his wife were enjoying a performance of Our American Cousin at this infamous venue; notorious actor John Wilkes Booth, desperate to aid the dying Confederacy, stepped into the luxe box where the presidential party was seated and shot Lincoln, who passed away the next morning at Peterson House, just across the street. Visitors to the Landmark Theatre and Peterson House step back in time and retrace President Lincoln’s last hours on earth as they recall the tragic events of that fateful night.
Surratt House Museum
After her husband suddenly passed, Mary Surratt, desperately strapped for resources during wartime, rented the Surratt family home and tavern business to former police officer John Lloyd and moved into their townhouse property in nearby Washington City which she opened and ran as a boarding house. It was there that Mary Surratt’s son, John Surratt, Jr., a Confederate courier, was introduced to future assassin John Wilkes Booth by Dr. Samuel A. Mudd and recruited into the original scheme to kidnap President Abraham Lincoln. As part of the plot, rifles and other possibles were hidden in the Surrat country home; the night Lincoln was killed, Booth was caught retrieving those hidden supplies at the rented farmhouse. In 1865, the military tribunal trying the conspirators of Lincoln's assassination heard testimony from residents at the Surratt boarding house that owner Mary E. Surratt, herself, had regularly met with John Wilkes Booth and his accomplices there; John Lloyd told the tribunal that he had, indeed, been instructed by Surratt to provide field glasses and guns to John Wilkes Booth and co-conspirator David Herold. It was on the basis of this evidence that Mary E. Surratt was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging, the first woman executed by the United States Federal government. The Surratt House museum experience details this most tumultuous period of our national history with special emphasis on the study of the people and events surrounding the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln through its array of exhibits and pertinent research materials; tours begin with a stop inside the visitor’s center and gift shop. A walk through the flourishing Surratt House Victorian Herb Garden highlights the essential plants Mary Surratt would have used in her daily routines at both the tavern and boarding house and perfectly rounds out your students’ visit.