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Ranger Journal

About This Blog

Explore the history, culture, science, nature, architecture, and stories that link the iconic spaces in the National Mall and Memorial Parks to our nation and its people. The articles collected here are produced by NPS staff at the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

The Nine Lives of a Soviet Tank Commander: Vasily Bryukhov's Service During World War Two

December 29, 2013 Posted by: Michael A. Balis

A Soviet tank soldier's remarkable experience fighting the Nazis in World War II helped the Allies win the war.

 

Sailing on the Balmoral in the Path of the Titanic

February 24, 2013 Posted by: Kathryn Williams, Park Ranger

Williams describes tracing the Titanic's fateful voyage on the centennial of the disaster. Titanic is remembered through memorials in downtown Washington, a landscape that was influenced by one of its victims.

 

Pope's Jefferson Memorial

November 24, 2012 Posted by: Jan Buerger, Park Ranger

Jefferson knew that we would need constant reminders of our ideals: freedom, tolerance, and education. To deliver the message, John Russell Pope drew from Greek, Roman, and Renaissance architecture.

 

The G.I. Bill of Rights - Reward and Investment

November 09, 2012 Posted by: David Rappel, Park Ranger

With war plants shutting down and laying off workers and millions of veterans looking for jobs, would depression return? President Franklin Roosevelt called on Congress to provide educational assistance, unemployment insurance, and other benefits to veterans of World War II.

 

David Farragut: America’s First Admiral

October 16, 2012 Posted by: Matthew Hornberger, Park Ranger

In a lifetime of service beginning at the age of nine, David Farragut represented American ideals of bravery, loyalty and honor. Largely forgotten today, his service is remembered here in the nation’s capital.

 

Jefferson and Adams: Two Paths to Destiny

July 30, 2012 Posted by: John Donoghue, Park Ranger

Jefferson and Adams' similarities and differences led them on intertwining paths to destiny.

 

The Signers of the Declaration of Independence

July 04, 2012 Posted by: Edward Fleming, Park Ranger

This July Fourth, as our nation celebrates the 236th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, we should reflect on the 56 signers of this foundational decree.

 

Presidential Pets

June 24, 2012 Posted by: Nicole DeLuca, Park Ranger

From dogs to bears these first families had them all. But like the saying goes, "If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog!"

 

Learning from Collections: From Stone Carver to Lawyer

June 19, 2012 Posted by: Allison Dixon, Museum Technician

Anthony LaManna wrote about his time working at the Lincoln Memorial and how it changed the path of his life. "I had no more idea of studying law than the man on the moon, until I started working in the Lincoln Memorial."

 

Discover a Monument: George Mason Memorial

June 17, 2012 Posted by: Victor Pillow, Park Ranger

Thomas Jefferson referred to Mason as "the wisest man of his generation."

 

Gay Rights and Freedom of Speech

June 17, 2012 Posted by: Julia Clebsch, Park Ranger

On October 14, 1979, the first nationally-organized mass of 100,000 lesbian and gay people passed by the Old Post Office Tower as they moved along Pennsylvania Avenue.

 

A People at War: The Soviet Soldier in World War II

June 08, 2012 Posted by: Michael Balis, Park Ranger

The World War II Memorial honors allies who helped us defeat the Axis nations.

 

90th Anniversary of the Dedication of the Lincoln Memorial

May 30, 2012 Posted by: Matt Furman, Park Ranger

The construction and dedication of this memorial not only stood as a symbol of one our great presidents, but also as a temple to our reunification as a people. Despite the construction of the Lincoln Memorial, the nation would have a long way to go toward the completion of those ideals for which Abraham Lincoln stood.

 

Honoring Service and Sacrifice

May 01, 2012 Posted by: Paul O'Brian, Park Ranger

Park Ranger Paul O'Brian reflects on the World War II Memorial and his family in the World War II era.

 

First Lady of Potomac Park: Nellie Taft

April 15, 2012 Posted by: Janet Buerger, Park Ranger

Within a month First Lady Taft had driven the first presidential auto to the new Potomac Park "Speedway," which she promptly renamed Potomac Drive, returning in hours with a plan for a Potomac Park.

 

Cherry Tree Rebellion

March 15, 2012 Posted by: JoAnn Garcia, Park Ranger

A group of approximately 150 women, led by Cissy Patterson, seized shovels from workers, re-filled holes, and prepared for a stand-off against workers and bulldozers in order to help save the trees.

 

Cherry Blossom Centennial

March 01, 2012 Posted by: Brad Berger, Park Ranger

March 27, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the ceremonial planting of Japanese flowering cherry trees along the Tidal Basin by First Lady Helen Taft and the Viscountess Iwa Chinda, wife of the Japanese Ambassador.

 

Doctor Lincoln?

January 16, 2012 Posted by: Lowell Fry, Park Ranger

It is not widely known that the honorary title of "doctor" was bestowed upon Lincoln by those in academia.

 

Aw, Nuts!

December 16, 2011 Posted by: Paul O'Brian, Park Ranger

The Battle of the Bulge developed as the Germans encircled the town of Bastogne, Belgium. One of those Americans who remembered those cold, snowy days, and who also received a copy of the famous offer of surrender of Bastogne, was my father, Thomas R. O’Brian

 

The Pride and Power of Nonviolence

August 22, 2011 Posted by: Nathan King, Park Ranger

By energizing millions of supporters around the country, King aimed to do more than win a few court cases on specific issues; he aimed to awaken the American conscience. "The arc of the moral universe is long," King said, "but it bends toward justice." King would bend the arc with a revolutionary form of protest.

 

Did You Know?

BOLIVARdyk

Virginia Ave. is populated with statues of Latin American heroes including Benito Juárez, Bernardo de Gálvez, José de San Martín, José Artigas, and Simón Bolívar.