10.16.2012

Reporting on a day in DC

I told Biffle yesterday evening that the bottoms of both my feet felt bruised from standing up and walking around literally all day long.  He pointed out that he spends all day on his feet most days, and then when he has a gig, he spends all night on his feet, too.

Yes, that's true, but all day on my feet is a bit unusual for me.  He'd feel stressed if he spent four hours answering emails like I often do!

We had a great day yesterday.  We didn't get to meet Ruth Bader Ginsburg or deliver our tshirt, sadly, but I learned a lot at the Supreme Court, including the following:

  • There is a basketball court above the courtroom in the Supreme Court building.
  • You have to have no qualifications whatsoever to be a Supreme Court Justice--you only have to be nominated by the President and approved by Congress.  You could be a squirrel.
  • They get about 10,000 petitions a year and accept around 80.
My friend Eliza, after reading yesterday's post, texted me that she sees RBG (that's what I call her now) at events she sometimes attends in DC.  Eliza will soon be receiving a tshirt to deliver.

Going into the Sewall-Belmont House
Entering the Sewall-Belmont House
The surprising hit of yesterday's touring was the Sewall-Belmont House, home of the National Women's Party and a women's history treasure trove.  We'd watched Iron Jawed Angels in our Intro to WGS class, and this museum makes the most of that movie, showing us things like Susan B. Anthony's desk that Alice Paul reveres, and pictures of Inez Milholland, the woman on the horse who died campaigning for suffrage, and pictures of Lucy Burns in jail.

We also got to see something they just recently discovered in their collections:  embroidered cloth from Occoquan, the prison where the suffragists were locked up and tortured.  Since the women were doing sewing work during the day in prison, they think this may have been how they slipped messages out to the media:  by sewing them onto fabric.  Super cool!

Suffrage banner The students loved the museum.  They took about a million pictures yesterday in general (part of why it was slow getting around was that students kept pausing to photograph every single thing visible on Capitol Hill), but the Sewall-Belmont House was especially well documented by their iPhone photography.  I certainly hope that this experience makes them all vote on election day!  And I suspect that Marguerite is talking some of them into running for office.

4 comments:

claire said...

What a great day! I am convinced that the pavement in DC is harder than pavement elsewhere -- it is a city for producing truly sore feet!

Amanda said...

Jealous about this trip and missing my Women's Studies days as a student. But the prison and torture? I don't know that part of history and will need to Google it now. I must have overslept that day...or it was never taught.

krlr said...

I LOVED that movie (Iron Jawed Angels). Humbling to realize what people had to do and what horrors they faced down (not just the prison, but the threat by one husband to take the children) to get us where we are today.

Totally unrelated - your kids are so YOUNG. How could they be old enough to vote?

lifeversiontwo said...

I've never been to this museum and want to get in my car and drive there right now!