National Mall and Memorial Parks

National Mall and Memorial Parks

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National Mall and Memorial Parks is an administrative unit of the National Park Service (NPS) encompassing many national memorials and other areas in Washington, D.C. Federally owned and administered parks in the capital area date back to 1790, some of the oldest in the United States. In 1933, they were transferred to the control of the National Park Service. These parks were known as the National Capital Parks from their inception until 1965.

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The first pride marches took place in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Chicago to mark the first anniversary of the Stonewall uprising. In addition to celebrations, people have come in mass numbers to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Among the demands of the first mass march in D.C. in 1979 were that Congress pass a comprehensive lesbian and gay rights bill and repeal all anti-gay laws.
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Gay History Beyond Stonewall
Smithsonian Institution12 places
Mexican-born Olivia Cadaval moved to the DC area in 1968 and began collaborating with local educators, artists, and cultural workers in the ‘70s. A pioneering scholar of DC Latino community history, she has worked as a curator at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival since 1988, bringing performers and traditional practitioners from Latin American and US Latino communities to the National Mall in the summer.
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A Latino History of Washington, DC
Smithsonian Institution23 places
No trip to Washington, DC is complete without a visit to the National Mall to see the monuments. See the monuments for free by foot or book a tour by Segway, bike, or trolley. The monuments are magical at night so consider visiting after sundown if your kids can stay up past dark.
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The Best Things to Do with Kids in DC
Tinybeans19 places
Why did Smithson leave his estate to a country he had never visited? Perhaps these words provide a clue. “The best blood of England flows in my veins…but this avails me not. My name shall live in the memory of man when the titles of the Northumberlands and the Percys are extinct and forgotten.”​​ Today, the Smithsonian Institution and its 21 free museums, Zoo, and globe-spanning research centers, are the blossoms on the Tree of Knowledge that sprouted from the amazing bequest of James Smithson.
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James Smithson’s International Legacy
Smithsonian Institution17 places
Home to majestic historic buildings 🏛 and the heart of our nation, you must finish your day at the National Mall! You can enter national museums for free 🆓 and take pictures of iconic monuments! Click on "Find out more" to plan your full experience at the National Mall!
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IMPT MUST Visiting Washington, D.C.
Gallaudet University8 places
Considered “America’s Front Yard,” the National Mall has seen many marches, protests, and movements, and continues to serve as a backdrop for modern movements. In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Today, visitors can stand on the spot where he spoke out for a more just, equal future and gaze out onto the reflecting pool where crowds gathered that day.
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Parks that Honor Trailblazing Movements
National Park Foundation10 places
Considered “America’s Front Yard,” the National Mall has seen many marches, protests, and movements, and continues to serve as a backdrop for modern movements. In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. Today, visitors can stand on the spot where he spoke out for a more just, equal future and gaze out onto the reflecting pool where crowds gathered that day.
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National Parks that Honor Black History
National Park Foundation20 places
Washington, D.C. is home to one of America's great urban playgrounds, with a collection of outstanding metropolitan parks and memorials within walking distance of each other. This collection of sites include the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, among many others.
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National Park Urban Escapes
National Park Foundation15 places
Often called “America’s front yard,” the National Mall contains some of the oldest protected park lands in the National Park Service, including the Washington Monument, WWII, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Lincoln Memorials, 156 reservations, circles, fountains, and more. Stretching from the Capitol building and the Potomac River, a stroll along the Mall allows you the opportunity to explore many historic sites and monuments.
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National Parks in the Nation’s Capital
National Park Foundation7 places

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