WASHINGTON, DC-SEP7: Visitors to the Contemplative Court at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, September 7, 2017, in Washington, DC. Now that the reflective space is open, and has become a favorite spot in the museum, it stands for both the strengths and weaknesses of the museums larger form, created by lead designer David Adjaye and lead architect Philip Freelon. The building is conceptually strong, but sometimes weak on details. The drama of light and water in the Contemplative Court is as beautiful and striking as the basic design of the corona on the buildings exterior, but there is already corrosion on the ceiling panels near where the water is released. On a recent visit, it also seemed strange that, to enter the room, one had to walk up a ramp because the court is slightly higher than museums underground concourse. This only adds to the jumble of elevations throughout the history galleries, which are accessed by an elevator from the first underground level, which is in turn accessed by another elevator or stairway from ground level. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/For The Washington Post via Getty Images)
50 American Destinations Every History Buff Should Visit In Their Lifetime
Site of the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, the famous fortress in San Antonio, Texas, is the most-visited tourist attraction in the state. Today, visitors can take tours of the mission to learn more about the Texas Revolution, and the defenders of the Alamo, including famed pioneer Davey Crockett.
The Alamo
A 15-minute ferry ride from San Francisco, Alcatraz is said to be one of the most haunted places in the world. On this 22-acre island, you can visit the former fort and federal prison, infamous escapes, and see exhibits on the 1969-71 occupation by American Indian activists.
Alcatraz Island
The American Civil War Museum in Richmond, Virginia, attempts to tell the story of the Civil War from all sides, both Confederate and Union. Using voices from soldiers and civilians, the museum's main exhibition includes narratives from women, enslaved African-Americans, Native Americans, and more.
American Civil War Museum
The Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia features over 400,000 graves of American soldiers and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from both World Wars and the Korean War. There are changing of the guard ceremonies throughout the day, and it is the final resting place of John F. Kennedy.
Arlington National Cemetery
Betsy Ross is known as the woman who sewed the first American flag, but this seamstress had a more complicated life than you might think. This 18th-century home in Philadelphia features an audio tour of special exhibits, including presentations about working women during the Revolutionary War.
Betsy Ross House