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“Go and see history”

The National Archives Museum
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Morning Monuments Tour of Washington DC
Ranked #39 of 466 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Repository where the most important historical documents of the United States are held, such as the original Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, Constitution and the 1297 version of the Magna Carta.
Reviewed October 25, 2012

I took a day to go to the archives. It has been on my list for years. It is the only place you can see the actual Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The US trinity of democracy if you will. I marveled at the actual size of these documents. In a way I hoped that they were better preserved, yet am amazed that they still exist. Apparently they were not always well treated. For example the Declaration was displayed at the USPTO in a glass case opposite a window for 30 years! That makes it difficult to preserve.

There are other exhibits about what the archive contains, which was educational and entertaining. At the moment there is a display of the Cuban Missile Crisis artifacts including Kennedy speeches. That is of interest because the timing is that it was 50 years ago right now, but it was also interesting to learn all the things that were not public and remain ill covered.

The Archives are opposite of the Smithsonian Art buildings, so take a few hours and visit. The recommended minimum time budget is 90 minutes, but I spent more then 3 hours in the building.

Thank thephan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"magna carta"
in 323 reviews
"declaration of independence"
in 1,193 reviews
"important documents"
in 181 reviews
"original documents"
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"public vaults"
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"no photography"
in 72 reviews
"timed entry"
in 51 reviews
"on display"
in 146 reviews
"founding fathers"
in 68 reviews
"american history"
in 116 reviews
"united states"
in 85 reviews
"awe inspiring"
in 40 reviews
in 1,042 reviews
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2,321 - 2,325 of 2,876 reviews

Reviewed October 25, 2012

Most people visit the Archive Museum to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution but there is another reason this is a "must see" in Washington, at least until February. There is a temporary exhibit on the Cuban Missile Crisis that is absolutely fascinating. It includes the written correspondence between President Kennedy and Khruschev but the most interesting aspect is listening to the recordings Kennedy made of the discussions of the Excom. It was enlightening to listen to the extent to which many of the advisors were urging Pres Kennedy to take a much more forceful approach to the situation.

Thank Lisa H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 24, 2012

I was amazed seeing all of the founding documents that are on display--a copy of the Magna Carta, the original of the Declaration of Independence and US Constitution. Arrive early so you can deal with security procedures.

Thank reisert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2012

We bought tour tickets in advance from home. This was a great decision. There is only one tour per day and not many tickets so sign up. We had 3 tickets (all that were left), but they let our 4th family member on the tour anyway. They open for the tour before the public is allowed in. You get great looks at all our important documents with personal attention from an extremely knowledgeable staff. They love what they do here, and so did I! This is the basis for the United States of America, do not miss it! Also, the kids will like it because of the National Treasure movie. Food downstairs was good and cheap too.

Thank Blake H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 20, 2012

A great place to visit & it is incredible to see the Charters of Freedom in person. Understandably, there is bit of a queue to go through a security checkpoint & get your bags scanned, but it is worth a visit.

Thank lrnnnn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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