See some of the documents that forged a nation. The National Archives is home
to the Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Bill of Rights to name a few.
The National Archives is a fascinating collection of the documents that have formed the
nation. Documents that have only been described in history books are brought to life when
seen personally, so adolescents and adults will appreciate the exhibits more than
children. Daily tours are available weekdays at 10:15 AM and 1:15 PM, but special in-depth
tours can be arranged.
Some of the documents on display are the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution,
the Louisiana Purchase complete with Napoleon Bonapartes signature and the Bill of
Rights. Some of the display cases are almost as interesting as what they contain because
of the preservation and security protocols involved. For example, the Constitution is
housed in a bulletproof case that is illuminated with green light and then filled with
helium gas. Obviously, flash photography is strictly prohibited.
The National Archives exhibits include more than just documents. It has the rifle
used by lee Harvey Oswald to assassinate President Kennedy and numerous photos chronicling
moments in American history.
The average stay in the archives is about 45 minutes, but can easily be longer because
the Archives is a great place to cool off and rest from the summer heat. There are plenty
of seats and the building itself designed by John Russell Pope is beautiful.