Friday, February 22, 2013

Top 10 Named After Washington

George Washington had many titles President, General, Commander-in chief, Father of Our Country, Founding Father and many places around the country are named for or dedicated to him.




1. The Washington Monument in Washington, D. C. stands tall and majestic. It wasn't supposed to look like that and it was built in stages due to budget cuts during the war, another name for lack of money.Look closely and you can see the different shades and figure out just where phase one stopped. I am glad they worked that out because it is the first thing I look for in the skyline in Washington D.C. and the next is the Capitol Building and the Lincoln Memorial.  There is just something very special about the line up of these three buildings with the Washington Memorial in the center. As you may remember, an earthquake damaged the structure of the building and repairs are expected to be completed sometime in 2014. Have you ever climbed those stairs?  I was a child when I did and I am not sure I could do it now. There are 897 stairs. That is a lot of cardio.



2. Washington Crossing State Park located in Washington Crossing, PA.  This is the area where Washington crossed into Trenton.  There is a reenactment every year on Christmas Day weather permitting and soldiers prepared. The final decision most likely belongs to the General.




3. Washington Square has two locations that I am aware of one in New York City and one in Philadelphia.  The one in New York has greater notoriety, to my recollection I was there once and I remember the big Washington Arch. If I come across that picture in my collection I will add it.  I also have a request in to any and all New Yorkers if you would like to contribute a photo. However the one in Philadelphia has a deep local history, if you read the signs as you stroll along, briefly visiting there the other day, I learned something new.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington Square, Philadelphia with a statue of George Washington standing in front.

This eternal flame sits in front of the Washington Statue at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
This flame made me curious about other eternal flames in the world.  Here is the list; President Kennedy is the only President that has several flames lit in his name.  The most famous at his grave site in Arlington, was lit by his wife. Check out the others.

This was the new discovery
Bicentennial Moon Tree
Sycamore Planted May 6, 1975
From Seed Carried From The Moon
By Astronaut Stuart A Rosa
On Apollo XVI February 1971
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Forest Service USDA
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
Honoring Earth's Green World of Trees

After reading what this tree was or was supposed to be I looked it up. This tree is a clone, an alien clone. Yikes!! We all better keep an eye on that one.  You can also see where there are other moon trees at the link. Sounds like a sci-fi movie to me. Making it as a Moon Tree.

4. The George Washington Bridge in New York was dedicated on October 24, 1931, and opened to traffic the following day. It was originally called the "Hudson River Bridge".

5. Sports Teams: Washington Nationals, Washington Wizards, Washington Redskins and the Washington Capitals are all privileged to carry the Washington name.  I do not have any photographs or memorabilia from any of these teams because I was born and raised in the burbs not far from the city of Philadelphia. It is considered a sacrilege or close to it to cheer for another sport team other than our team. It is acceptable behavior to root for players who were born in this area provided their team does not beat us on our home turf. Then it is considered disappointing. How come we didn't draft that kid?

6. There are 11 colleges and universities named after George Washington. Name the one in Pennsylvania. A hint it is in Washington, PA.

7.  There are 5 Forts named after George Washington. Yes there is a Fort Washington in Pennsylvania. George Washington and the Continental Army were encamped there prior to their march to Valley Forge.

8. Washington Hotel and Theater was located in downtown Chester, PA. Washington was said to have stopped for breakfast in route from Mount Vernon to New York for his inauguration on April 20, 1789.  Sadly, the building no longer exists but with the compliments of the "Keith Lockhart's Postcard Collection" we can see what it once looked like. Washington also stayed there after the Battle of Brandywine and wrote up a report about the skirmish during his visit. You can view a lot more local history and photographs at delawarecountyhistory.org.



9. Washington Headquarters, located in Valley Forge Park, Valley Fore, PA. This is where George Washington and his staff lived for 6 months. That very cold winter. It was actually sleeting the day we were there. I cranked up the heat in my car once we got back into it. A definite advantage over the Continental Army.

Photographer David M. Fiebert



I have been to Valley Forge or driven through it approximately 50 times in my lifetime for various reasons, and I never noticed this statue of George Washington standing out in the field behind his headquarters until Tuesday afternoon when my son and I took a ride up there.  It is a replica of the one that stands in the rotunda of the Virginia capitol building.

French sculptor Jean-Antoine Houdon traveled to Mount Vernon for two weeks, taking detailed measurements of Washington and casting the life mask used to create this statue.  Members of his family thought this to be the most realistic depiction ever made of him. If you want to see what the man really looked like, he's standing in Valley Forge right now just waiting to greet you.

10. Washington Memorial Chapel, Valley Forge, PA is located in Valley Forge Park but it is not owned and operated or funded by the National Park System.  It is a fully operational Episcopal Church dedicated to the honor of George Washington.  It is small, simple yet elegant chapel inside and I was married there, post Washington era.

Photographer David M. Fiebert

On loan to Mount Vernon at this time the small framed plague above the George Washington statue holds the cloth name plate from George Washington's coffin.

Also on loan to Mount Vernon, is a hinged bracket from Washington's casket that was attached to the lower flagpole in the above picture. Take the tour it is very informative and free of charge but donations are graciously accepted.



I was a tad disappointed to read that there is no documented proof to the "Cherry Tree" story.  If you never heard the rumor, it was said that in his youth George Washington chopped down a cherry tree without permission. He was confronted by his father. "Who chopped down the cherry tree?" He replied, I cannot tell a lie, I did.

The story was to promote his honesty and integrity.  How could we possibly let a rumor like that get around?  What a horrid thing to teach children. Truth and integrity, what is that?

My recollection in the primary years was getting a sheet of paper that included a cherry tree on it.  Copy machines and their copies had a certain smell back then and I liked it. I remember being told the story as we colored in the picture and imagined chopping down my own cherry tree, but of course realizing the consequences and all the trouble that would cause for global warming and then fessing up!

I also seem to recall, a cherry lollipop was involved.  I had the deepest respect for George Washington after that. Cherry continues to be my favorite taffy flavor and I believe the story also enforced my love of nature and trees. If you get the opportunity to go to the Cherry Tree Festival this year, definitely check it out.  It is a thing of beauty. One of the biggest displays is in Washington D. C., another location named after George.  Every thing starts with a seed and you always remember the first.

Happy Birthday George!
It is also cherry day.
How many desserts can you think of that include cherries?

1 comment:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete