Newseum Gives a Fresh Perspective on History

By Nicole Vogel January 19, 2009

Okay, I’ll say it: I’m exhausted from all the inaugural celebrations. I’m sure you’re thinking that you have the smallest violin for me.

I’ll try to catch you up.

Once we left the Capitol we walked down to the Newseum, the remarkable museum in DC that celebrates the media and its place in history. We were there 2 1/2 hours and didn’t even skim the surface. We spent an hour going through the glass-enclosed newspapers—every important headline in history was there and fascinating to read. Our favorite was from FDR’s first inaugural. You could have simply switched out Roosevelt for Obama. The headlines included lines about restoring trust in financial institutions, speedy Cabinet approvals, and hope during dark times. We went on to the room devoted to September 11th. The room’s centerpiece is the mangled radio tower that once stood atop the WTC south tower. A two-story wall displays September 12 newspaper covers from around the world, and a special 11-minute movie dramatically showcases some of the most powerful footage, narrated by the reporters who were there. Tears stream down the faces of all of us who watch. It’s heart wrenching but not sensational. You walk from that small theater space to a display of the only media person killed in the attacks: a photographer whose camera and film were recovered had documented the last hour and a half of his life. The final image was of the second tower, coming down on him.

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