Washington vs. Lincoln in DC

For some reason, in my head I’ve always imagined the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial in a kind of faceoff, vying for top dog position on the National Mall. Both commemorate presidents held in the highest esteem among the American people. Both are, in their own ways, big imposing monuments. But they are also very different from each other.

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Washington Square

One of the less well-advertised walking tours available at Independence National Historical Park takes visitors to a section of Philadelphia’s Old City loved by local residents but usually overlooked by visitors on their way to see Independence Hall or the Liberty Bell. This is a Philadelphia city park, just yards away from these more famous sites, that combines a quiet, shady respite from city hustle with an intriguing historical monument to the dead of the Revolutionary War.

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Greensboro Lunch Counter

Lunch counters seem like a quaint piece of early 20th century Americana, and I have long loved them for that. But as with so much of the iconography of Americana, the ugly shadow of racism has tainted our memory of lunch counters and their place in the culture. And when I say lunch counters, I’m really thinking about one lunch counter in particular: the one that once stood in the Woolworth store in Greensboro, North Carolina.

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