Monday, October 29, 2012

DC is scandalous...

On Friday after work, a few of my friends and I went out to happy hour at BlackFinn (happy hour culture is huge here!) and then went on an American Scandal Tour. I found out about the tour from a Free in DC Blog I follow, so the 2.5 hour tour was free! 

Basically the tour talked about many scandals that have happened in DC with politicians and people in government. Most people think government is bad now, but I was amazed to learn what people did a long time ago!

The tour started at Lafayette Park, which is behind the White House. Sorry this picture is blurry! Here, we learned about scandals with:
  • Thomas Jefferson- He had 6 children with a slave, but it wasn't confirmed until long after he died.
  • Grover Cleveland- Had an illegitimate child, but still got elected as President.
  • Daniel Sickles- His wife cheated on him with his best friend, so he shot the best friend in this park! But he wasn't found guilty because his lawyer came up with the "temporary insanity plea". 
  • We also heard about Clinton and Nixon. 

This is the Treasury, where we learned about Alexander Hamilton. While he was Secretary of Treasury, Maria Reynolds approached Hamilton to ask for money because her husband left her and her daughter. Hamilton gave her the money and started an affair with her, but then found out her husband didn't actually leave! So Hamilton paid the husband to keep quiet. When Maria and her husband finally decided to divorce, they hired Aaron Burr as their lawyer, who eventually killed Hamilton in the famous duel.

This is the Willard Hotel. The term lobbying was created at the Willard. 

This is the DC Government Building. Here we learned about Marion Barry, formed DC mayor and drug addict. He was elected to office multiple times after DC found out he was a drug addict! His campaign slogan was "I may not be perfect, but I'm perfect for DC."

This is the Canadian Embassy. Supposedly, the architect designed the building to make fun of Americans. The picture on the left is of columns that don't support anything (like many American buildings) and the picture on the right is a little area that echoes really loudly (maybe because politicians just repeat stuff over and over)!

Last stop was the Capitol, where we learned about:
  • Wilbur Mills: Fell in love with a dancer at a strip club named Fanne Foxe.
  • Strom Thurmond: Opposed Civil Rights, but 6 months after he died, it was revealed that he was the father of a mixed-race daughter with his maid. 
  • John Schmitz: Opposed sex education, but fathered two children with one of his students from when he was a professor. Most people know more about his daughter, Mary Kay Letourneau, who followed in his footsteps. 
Well I learned a lot from this tour, but it was really funny too. On the website, it is rated R for ridiculous. I hope you learned some fun (?), interesting facts haha. 

Did you know about these scandals? 
What is the best tour you have went on?

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