September 24, 2016 & 1866, Washington, DC

A great afternoon to be in DC--opening of the African American History Museum and Library of Congress Book Festival within about 10 blocks of each other! A few photos from each. 

Looking forward to getting into the museum (free, but tickets necessary for the next few months at least) in early October.

As for the Book Festival, I can see why an author would want to present. Huge lines to buy books and get them signed!

In the History & Biography area, a great conversation between Margo Jefferson, author of a memoir, Negroland, and Washington Post Magazine articles editor Marcia Davis.

I looked at the Evening Star to see what was happening in Washington 150 years ago yesterday. Amidst the news and ads:

  • "From 10 o'clock this morning till 3 p.m. the White House was thronged with visitors. The attendance of ladies was unusually large....Among those who had interviews were Secretary [Gideon] Welles, General Custer, General Patterson, Thurlow Weed, and the Mayor of Mobile, Ala."
  • "The police are now enforcing the law against goals running at large in the streets, and the owners of such animals should be careful to comply...."
  • "National Theater--Another  representation of "The Ice Witch" is announced for this evening. This is the most elaborate and gorgeous display in the spectacular line which has even been presented on a Washington stage, and must be seen to be appreciated."
  • "Secretary Seward has recovered his health, we are glad to state, and was this morning performing his official duties at the State Department."


  • Numerous ads for cures for "secret diseases," e.g. the "Samaritan's Gift, sent by mail in a plain envelope...Cures in from two to four days and recent cases in twenty-four hours...."




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