By Congressman Michael Turner
If you or your family are planning a trip to our nation’s capital, my office can help arrange tours of the historic sights that are truly worth visiting. We are able to provide assistance in visiting many of Washington’s most famous landmarks. For instance, since the beginning of 2008, my office has helped nearly 300 constituents of the Third Congressional District of Ohio in touring the White House and the Capitol Building.
Staff in my office are more than happy to lead visiting constituents on a tour of the Capitol Building. George Washington selected the site for the Capitol at a place then known as Jenkins Hill. During the tour, you can see how the Capitol has been transformed over the last two hundred years, stand directly underneath the Rotunda, visit Statuary Hall, visit the Old Supreme Court chambers and much more.
In addition to the Capitol Building, my office can assist you with a number of other tours.
The Library of Congress is one of the most important libraries in the world. It has over 138 million books, nearly three million recordings, and countless other pieces of information. The Library was established in 1800 and originally stored in the Capitol building. Many of the original books in the Library were destroyed when the British set fire to the Capitol during the War of 1812. The collection was restarted by a donation from the private library of Thomas Jefferson, whose name was given to the original Library of Congress building.
In the National Archives, you can see the actual Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights and Emancipation Proclamation. Also housed in the National Archives is a copy of the Magna Carta which is more than 800 years old. The English Magna Carta provided the foundation for the Declaration and the Constitution.
The Supreme Court building houses the highest court in the land, and offers lecture tours throughout the day. The Supreme Court building was built in 1935. Before the construction of their current building, the Supreme Court had been housed in Philadelphia and New York as well as in two different rooms in the Capitol.
My office can also arrange tours of the Kennedy Center, a cultural center named after the late President Kennedy which also offers a free concert every day at 6:00 p.m. For all of these tours, I encourage people to contact our office approximately two months in advance during Spring Break season and one month in advance for all other times.
Of course, the most frequent request is for a White House tour. Since 9/11, it has become more difficult to arrange White House tours. Public tours for groups of 10 or more people are available Tuesday through Saturday. I encourage you to submit your request as early as you can (six months ahead if possible) since a very limited number of tours are available.
For additional information about these or other sites and things to do when visiting Washington, please contact my office in Washington at 202-225-6465. You can also call my office in Dayton at 937-225-2843 or in Wilmington at 937-383-8931 and ask to be connected to the Washington office. There is also a wealth of information on my website, www.house.gov/miketurner, which could be helpful to you in planning your trip to Washington, D.C.