Checking Out the Library of Congress– Part Three

Checking Out the Library of Congress– Part Three January 30, 2023

There was a special photo exhibit off the main rotunda in the Library which was well worth a special visit.  This post and the next one will give you a clue as to some of the highlights.

JFK and wife to be Jackie on their wedding day.  We had such hopes when Jack was elected President. He was so young, full of energy, with big ideas like going to the moon, starting the Peace Corps, starting VISTA, and so much more.  He was the first Catholic to be elected President.  Of course all was not perfect in ‘Camelot’ as it came to be called. He was not always faithful to his wife, and then he was assassinated, a horrible day all around. I was in the 6th grade and remember standing at the top of the driveway at Northwood Elementary school as a crossing guard watching the youngest school kids walking home from school when Dot Easter drove in yelling the President has been shot, and we all were required to go back into the school and watch the gory details.  It was horrible, and on that very same day in November, another hero of mine, C.S. Lewis died too.   Little did we know that his brother would run and be killed before he could be elected only a few years thereafter.   A very dark period in the 60s during the Vietnam war that left an indelible impression on children my age.

This picture brings back memories from the same period, because my parents took my sister and I to see Kitty Hawk and the museum with a replica of the Wright Brothers’ plane which was first in flight in the U.S., on the windy Outer Banks of N.C.  To this day the N.C. plates say First in Flight.  Of course the Wright Brothers were from Dayton Ohio, so just for good measure I taught for 11 years in Ohio so I could double claim connections to the Wright brothers (not least because I had and have relatives who are Wrights).   My great uncle who live past 100 years during the 20th century and was a doctor on Ellis Island during the 20s and 30s, and then pioneered the pastuerisation of milk program in N.C. was able to say ‘I saw the coming of the automobile, the airplane, the space walk, the walk on the moon, the computer, two major world wars, the Great Depression, the atomic bomb, the TV, the color TV, and so much more in the 20th century’.  It was indeed an incredible century in many ways, and the Wright Brothers kicked it off in December 1903 when Cousin Rob was still very young indeed.

This is perhaps the most famous picture of Harriet Tubman, who was born a slave in 1822, took the journey on the Underground Railroad, and freed herself in 1849, long before the Civil War.  Take time to read the description above.  The portrait was taken when she was about 48.

It is fair to say that my parents were profoundly shaped by the Great Depression of the 1930s.  The following is a picture of a migrant mother and her family, living in tents, sharecropping in the West trying to escape the dust bowl life. I would recommend you read The Grapes of Wrath to really grasp the desperation during the Depression.


And on a lighter note, black and white trick photography. It’s well to remember that photography was a new art in the late 19th and into the 20th century.

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