Inaugural Kickoff

Today started off fortuitously for us. We went to Arlington National Cemetery this morning to check out the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, as well as JFK and RFK’s memorials. As soon as we got there, we were told that Barack Obama was about to leave the cemetery. We gathered with a couple hundred other people, and we were able to catch a brief glimpse as the President-elect left in his motorcade. It might have been only a couple of seconds, but it was an electrifying feeling to be in the company of a relatively few people and see Obama from such a close distance. After visiting the National Archives – where we saw original copies of the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights -a group of us went to the Inaugural kickoff. The speakers/musicians performed on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, but we were only able to stand between the Washington Monument and WWII Memorial. The sound and jumbotron images weren’t great from where we stood, but it was still amazing to be in the presence of thousands and thousands of our fellow citizens (especially while listening to Tom Hanks and U2). 

Check out some of the pics from the day:dscn3024dscn3029dscn3032dscn3045dscn3050

The Words

Here’s a resource that students in the class–and anyone interested in the history of the Presidency will find interesting.

Mount Vernon

 

Drexel students brave frigid temperatures outside of George Washington's home.

Drexel students brave frigid temperatures outside of George Washington's home.

Today was the first day of our inauguration trip to DC, and we spent most of it braving the cold at Mount Vernon. For those who have never been, it is a really fantastic experience – not only do you get to walk through George Washington’s house, replete with original items from his life, and the magnificent grounds upon which it is situated, but a new educational center/museum provides a good deal of insight into this nearly mythical figure of American history. Plus, we got to see live sheep.  

Here are some more pics:

 

Facing Washington's house from the bowling green.

Facing Washington's house from the bowling green.

Freezing in lineWashington's TombAbove: Standing, frigid, in one of the many lines we will face this week. Also, Washington’s tomb.

 

Mrs. Washington 1Mrs. Washington 2The woman who played Martha Washington was awesome – she never broke character, and continually commented at how quickly we are able to take portraits nowadays when we were snapping some photographs. She also mentioned that the trip from Philadelphia to DC must have been arduous, having taken her a week to do so (especially when the ferries are parked on the opposite side of the river). Fantastic.

Inauguration 2009

This weekend, a class of 18 Drexel students will be heading to Washington, DC to take part in the events surrounding the inauguration of President-Elect Obama. We will be using this site to upload photos and stories while we are there, so be sure to check back often to get some insights into this historic event from people who will be experiencing it firsthand!