A foggy morning walk today took Arlington, Va., photographer Jeff Olson across the National Mall, past Arlington Memorial Bridge, the Lincoln Memorial, the Nurses Memorial and Constitution Gardens. The area technically borders the part of Washington, D.C., that is known as “Foggy Bottom” because of the fog that naturally lingers there.
Alexandria, Va., photographer Jeff Olson was one of those fortunate souls who was able to view Monday’s total solar eclipse. Jeff, who works for the National Park Service and has been stationed this summer in Grand Canyon National Park, traveled to Homestead National Monument of America near Beatrice, Neb., to view the once-in-a-lifetime event.
The national monument commemorates passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, which allowed any qualified person to claim up to 160 acres of federally owned land in exchange for five years of residence and the cultivation and improvement of the property. The act eventually transferred 270 million acres from public to private ownership.
The site of the national monument is on land that includes some of the first acres successfully claimed under the Homestead Act. The national monument was included in the National Register of Historic Place on Oct. 15, 1966.
Alexandria, Va., photographer Jeff Olson recently made his first visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture, a Smithsonian Institution museum established in December 2003. The museum’s building was designed by Davud Adjaye and is on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The museum has about 37,000 objects in its collection related to such subjects as community, family, the visual and performing arts, religion, civil rights, slavery and segregation, including items owned by Harriet Tubman, the glass-topped casket originally used to display and bury the body of 14-year-old Emmett Till, the victim of racially motivated torture and murder in Mississippi, the dress that Rosa Park was sewing the day she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus in Montgomery, Ala., a trumpet owned by jass musician Louis Armstrong, a dress owned by actress and singer Pearl Bailey and a cape and jumpsuit owned by American soul singer James Brown. Olson said it would take probably a dozen visits to take it all in.
Christmas is a festive time in our nation’s capital. Among the sights is the National Christmas Tree, located in the northeast quadrant of The Elipse near the White House in Washington, D.C. Each year since 1923, the tree has been decorated. The North Dakota Christmas tree is one of 56 trees representing each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia from Dec. 1 through Jan. 1 as part of the America Celebrates display. For those who aren’t able to view the trees in person, these images from Alexandria, Va., photographer Jeff Olson are a nice alternative.
Seventy-five years ago today, the United States was thrust into World War II with the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. Alexandria, Va., photographer Jeff Olson stopped by the he World War II Memorial to “touch the words” of the memorial that honors the 16 million who served in the Armed Forces of the U.S., the more than 400,000 who died and all who supported the war effort from home, including those whose deaths on Dec. 7, 1941, marked the beginning of the U.S. war involvement in the Pacific.
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony commences precisely at 11 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries, including the president. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces. Alexandria, Va., photographer Jeff Olson had the opportunity some time there Friday. In his words, “A wonderful, moving day.”