Friday, June 25, 2004

Trip 4


Note: Although we did many other things on this day, I will only recount the Capitol tour in this paper.

Something worth noting about the Capitol is that it has been expanded and changed many times. There are almost too many colors and varieties of rock to count. The old House and Senate chambers are still there, one used for displaying statues and the other restored to original condition. But the most visible change is in the Washington Monument. It was built up to the forty-foot level before construction was paused. When building resumed a different shade had to be used, resulting in a visible change. This provides do-it-yourselfers with an excuse for their rag-tag looking projects. “Hey, the Capitol looks like that.”

We began the Capitol tour by meeting Representative Brian Baird in his office. Then we went in a tunnel where the various additions on the Capitol was explained to us at a model. We then crossed under Independence Avenue into the Capitol itself. The first place we visited was the Crypt, intended to hold Washington’s body. However, when Congress sent people to exhume his body the estate refused as Washington had stated in his will that he would be buried at Mt. Vernon and stay there forever. The government plans things so well! But as the middle of the Crypt, where the coffin was supposed to be placed, is the center of D.C. they put a compass star there. This star has sunk an inch into the ground because so many people have stood on it. So far the tour has gone well.

After looking in the old Supreme Court chamber we moved onto the Rotunda. There is a mural in the dome showing Washington and other figures. Under that is a 360-degree frieze depicting highlights of American history. It displays Columbus and progresses to the Wright Flyer. There are many statues of different people here, including one of the three main suffragettes. There is a fourth, blank, pillar reserved for the first female president. We thought it interesting that there are these ladies from the 1800’s and then another from the 2something’s. Another interesting thought is that the only women that I might tolerate in the White House are ladies that wouldn’t want it. But as the only women who try will not be fit, I do not look forward to any female presidents. As you probably realize, we left the Rotunda in a thoughtful state.

The actual House of Representatives is very interesting. There was an argument about OSHA going on when we visited. The Republicans wanted to ease sanctions on small business employers while the Democrats wanted more bureaucratic control. The Republicans argued that employers knew that the workers were their best assets, but Big Brother has to be advanced at all costs, according to the dems. Of course, being regarded as a small issue, I have not heard were this bill has ended up

So you can see that we were rather busy. This was just part of one day. When you only have a few days to get things done this is what happens.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home