History & Culture

National History. Local Treasures.

The nation's capital promises to amaze and inspire. Visitors enjoy its pristine monuments... world-renowned Smithsonian museums... and exceptional theater and dance troupes. Don't forget the thousands of ethnic restaurants that make DC a one-of-a-kind experience.

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial statue's famous sculptor, Daniel Chester French was also the sculptor of the Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Alice Cogswell statue. The statue shows America's first deaf education teacher Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet teaching his deaf pupil, Alice the first manual letter of the alphabet. It now graces the front of the campus.

Some believe that sculptor, Daniel Chester French, formed the hands on the Lincoln Memorial into the sign language letters "A" and "L". Because of French's knowledge of American Sign Language and his earlier work with the Gallaudet/Cogswell statue, there are those who insist this is not mere coincidence.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument was undergoing repair and cleaning and an immense scaffolding was constructed outside the structure. Four members of the Class of 1939, during their Preparatory year at Gallaudet obtained permission to ascend this scaffolding in the workmen's elevator. They then climbed the last 55 feet up a narrow ladder to the top and saw where repairmen were working to seal a large crack approximately 25 feet down the side of the monument, caused by lightning striking the shaft. The photo shows four students (left to right, Jeff Tharp, Rodney Walker, Raymond Atwood, Alexander Ewan, and Louis Ritter) touching the small aluminum pyramid atop the capstone of the monument. The foreman of the project is shown behind the students, wearing a hat.

Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

1898 Gallaudet Wing-Warping Kite

Edson Gallaudet (1871-1945) was the son of Edward Miner Gallaudet. He experimented with the principle of the warping wing two years before Orville and Wilbur Wright discovered this idea. Gallaudet's kite measured 7 feet from nose to tail and stood 5 1/2 feet high. it weighed 25 pounds.

The Corcoran Gallery of Art

The gallery was founded by William W. Corcoran who was a member of the Gallaudet College Board of Directors from 1880-1887. The gallery has a work of art by Elmer Hannan, a deaf artist (1875-1945) who attended Gallaudet for a year. Elmer was a member of the Class of 1901. His most famous work is the statue of the Abbe de l'Epee on the grounds of St. Mary's School for the Deaf, Buffalo, NY. The statue was unveiled on August 7, 1930.

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