True Secrets of Washington, D.C. Revealed!
What's in the book?
Washington, D.C. is the Capital of the United States. Every year millions of visitors tour the many museums and historical sites. But do you know the REAL story behind many of these famous people and places?
For example: Did you know there was once a "curse" on the President of the United States? Or where you can see a reproduction of the Roman Catacombs in Washington? Or how the location of our Capital City was decided through political compromise? Answers to these questions and many more can be found in this handy book for visitors and locals alike.
It's called "True Secrets of Washington, D.C. Revealed!"
Full of questions and answers starting with the earliest inhabitants of the Potomac to modern times. The questions are carefully researched, photographed and indexed for your reading or browsing pleasure.
Some samples of the questions in the book are below.
Where is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial?
There are actually two. One is in front of the National Archives on Pennsylvania Ave. at 9th Street N.W. In 1941 Roosevelt expressed his wishes to Justice Felix Frankfurter, that if people insisted on a memorial to him that it be no larger than his desk.
Twenty years after Roosevelt's death, in 1965, a simple desk-sized marble block with plaque was dedicated to the memory of America's longest serving president. But for some people, that wasn't enough.
In 1997 the new Roosevelt Memorial in West Potomac Park was dedicated. The new memorial is larger than three football fields, has nine sculptures, several waterfalls, a reception center and gift shop. Our researchers took careful measurements and determined that it was larger than his desk.
Why was the Library of Congress (LOC) built?
Created by an Act of Congress in 1800 it started out as a reference collection strictly for the use of Senators and Congressmen. Today, the LOC has more than 350 miles of bookshelves, is considered the Nation's Library and one of the world's greatest cultural institutions.
The original Library of Congress Building is the Thomas Jefferson Building. Opened in 1897 it was acclaimed as "...the most beautiful public building in America." It was also one of the first buildings to have indoor electric lighting.
People walked into the Great Hall to see the bronze female figures, each holding aloft a torch illuminated with that modern invention, the light bulb. Big night out for folks in the 1890s!
Did George Washington have the body of a Greek God?
Did he ever! You can't be a founding father if you're pudgy and out of shape.
Not really, but that's how he was portrayed by sculptor Horatio Greenough. The statue was made to honor George Washington but looked ridiculous when it was originally unveiled. People were horrified to see Washington portrayed half naked. It was moved out of the Capitol Rotunda to the grounds, and in 1908 was transferred to the Smithsonian Institution.
What does Lafayette's Statue depict?
It shows Lafayette petitioning the French National Assembly for American aid. Standing atop the pedestal, Lafayette is shown holding clothes and a pistol near a bare-breasted Columbia who appears to be offering him a sword.
Many people surmise that Columbia is saying, "Give me back my clothes and I'll give you your sword."
Is the Hope Diamond cursed?
It doesn't appear to be. Hundreds of books, newspapers, magazines and television shows claim it is, but they tend to mix fact with fantasy.
The stories say that Jean-Baptist Tavernier stole the blue stone from the eye of a Hindu god statue, and because of that theft, the diamond was forever cursed. Tavernier was then bilked out of his fortune by a nephew and mauled to death by a pack of wild dogs in India.
No, no...and no. The diamond made its first documented appearance in 1642 when Jean-Baptiste Tavernier purchased a blue diamond weighing 112 3/16 carats. The diamond was believed to come from the Kollur Mine in Golconda, India. Tavernier was not cheated out of his fortune and he lived to the ripe old age of 84. There is no documentation of how he died.
Of course we hope the diamond doesn't bring bad luck, since the United States of America is now the official owner.
What is the statue with no name in Rock Creek Cemetery?
Buy the book! Inside we'll reveal the answers to this and dozens of other fascinating facts. We can't reveal ALL our secrets online!