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Thursday, April 6, 2017

Eric & I Tour the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.

Eric in front of the National 

I didn't think I would be able to get past the main gallery.  The portraits in this great hall represent America's vast diversity....  Artists, scientists, noted historical figures, admirals and generals... Standing in front of the portraits representing our country's talents, a real brain trust, I found myself at a loss as to how to share what I see before me.

As a native New Yorker, I found many prominent figures from my state's history here, starting with a prominent figure from Dutch Colonial days.

the eighth & last patroon
of the vast estate between

From a distinguished family, Stephen used his monies to finance to start  Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York in 1824.  This is a highly rated engineering college with strong science programs.  

DeWitt Clinton, New York
State Senator, Mayor of 
New York City & Governor 
of the state, is best known
for promoting the Erie Canal,
which opened up trade from 
the East Coast to the Great
Lakes in the early 1800s .

Joseph Smith had vision that he
on in Palmyra, New York.

Mormonism was born in New York's region of religious revival known as The Burned-Over District.

known for her advocacy
of women's rights in all
aspects of their lives.

At the first ever women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York in 1848, Elizabeth and 200 other women's rights activists drew up the Declaration of Sentiments and Grievances and resolutions were calling for specific equal rights for women, including the right to vote..  

After decades of speeches, pamphletting, marching and lobbying in statehouses across the country, women in the United States were granted the right to vote by the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified on August 18, 1920.

slave, author, newspaper editor,
orator & Abolitionist made his
 home in Rochester, New York.

Through his writings and speeches, Frederick Douglass advanced the Abolitionist Movement and helped clarify the reasoning behind the North's efforts to abolish slavery leading up to and during the Civil War.

Thomas Edison, the Wizard of
Menlo Park, founded the General 
New York State & headquartered 
the company in Schenectady.

Literature enriches our lives and make us think.  Here are a few of America's literary giants...

poems cross the centuries
& speak of the depths of
emotions: love, fear, guilt,
hatred, revenge...

Nathaniel Hawtorne's
dark, cautionary tales
are, to me, examples
the punishing effects
of puritanical beliefs.

Walt Whitman broke from formal,
rule driven poetic styles to describe
America, it's natural bounties &
the dignity of the individual.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
extolled, America's natural
settings, Native Peoples,
history and traditions.

To me, Henry James is our

His life in Europe gave him
 insights into the tensions that
existed between Americans &
Europeans during the last
half of the 19th century.

Samuel Clemens, aka
Mark Twain used humor
as he shone a light on
inequities in 19th century
 OMG... This is a long blog post.  Just a few pics of people who lives have greatly impacted our country.

led the Massachusetts Bay Colony
during its earliest, most vulnerable
days in the New World.

He worked hard to keep the colonists together and to build a home in their new lands where Puritans could worship and participate in their community without fear.

William Clark commanded the
Corps of Discovery to explore
& map the Louisiana Territory
& returned with vital information 
on the newly acquired lands.

country through its darkest
times, the Civil War.

Supreme Court Justices
Sonia Sotamayor
Elena Kagan
Sandra Day O'Connor 
Ruth Bader Ginsberg

After 205 years, Sandra Day O'Connor was appointed to the Supreme Court, in 1981. Currently, Justices Sotomayor, Kagan and Ginsberg are serving on the nine justice court.

The Supreme Court hears cases that affect all Americans and I am grateful that the highest court in the land is a diverse group that works for all of us.

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