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Newseum to Close at the End of 2019; Visit Now

Photo+taken+by+David+Monack+and+used+with+permission+from+https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ANewseum.jpg
Photo taken by David Monack and used with permission from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Newseum.jpg

Exhibit to exhibit, floor to floor, a mixture of feelings washed over me.  On my left, a wall of 9/11 headlines reminds me of what I have already learned about tragic day.  On my right, a civil rights exhibit calls attention to the progress we have made as a country. All of these emotions, just for news stories, because they are real.  They are relevant. And in a matter of weeks, they will all be gone.

Photo taken by Brendan Burns
The 9/11 exhibit features part of the World Trade Center as well as a wall of headlines from that day.

The Newseum has announced that it is closing its current location at the end of the year, due to financial struggles. It will be moving to a new location north of the Capitol, but this shrine to the First Amendment may not be a part of the new museum, so  you need to visit before it’s too late.

Photos taken by Brendan Burns
TOP LEFT: “Beatlemania” TOP RIGHT: Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination BOTTOM LEFT: Steve Jobs BOTTOM RIGHT: Woodstock

The Newseum features a number of different exhibits, appealing to all interests.  The 9/11 exhibit is very powerful, as it includes part of the actual World Trade Center and a tower of newspapers from that infamous day.  If the scene is too heartrending for you, then you can check out the hall of famous headlines, ranging from the civil rights movement to Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon.  The Berlin Wall exhibit actually has part of the Berlin Wall, where I was able to learn about its history. Various temporary pop-up exhibits will appear regularly; during my visit, I was able to get a glimpse of prominent LGBTQ figures in history. 

 

 

The historic accounts of news became more visual in the Pulitzer Prize photograph gallery.  This moving exhibit varies from challenging pictures of tragedy and gore to photos of triumph and joy.  I found many of the pictures difficult to look at, many of which were disturbing images of violence and cruelty.  These photos made me more aware of what goes on in the world; sometimes, I don’t realize that there are much bigger problems in the world than in my own life.  But the photos weren’t all this graphic — some roused good feelings, such as the famous photo from Iwo Jima, a look at Babe Ruth’s final game, and quite possibly the coolest picture of Barack Obama I’ve ever seen.  Whether they are hard to look at or not, this exhibit will certainly bring rise to many different responses.

Photos taken by Brendan Burns
Pulitzer Prize winning photographs – LEFT Raising of the Flag on Iwo Jima (1945) BOTTOM RIGHT Babe Ruth’s Final Farewell (1949) TOP RIGHT Historic Campaign (2009)

As I made my way to the top floor, a long hallway extended to a door leading out to a balcony.  Within this hallway, the daily headlines of the newspapers from each state, and even some countries, could be seen lining the walls.  Once I stepped outside, a beautiful view of our nation’s Capitol pierced the sky in the distance, and a thorough history of Pennsylvania Avenue painted a clear picture of how DC has grown.

Photos taken by Brendan Burns
The beautiful view of the Capitol from the balcony (TOP) is accompanied by a history of Pennsylvania Avenue (BOTTOM).

Broadcast journalism, the First Amendment, music, politics, civil rights, the list goes on — anything news-related, there’s an exhibit for it, which is why this museum is such a secret treasure to DC.

We have the chance to glance at history, as if we were living in it, at the Newseum.  We must take advantage of this opportunity before it’s gone, not only because of its interactive exhibits, but also because of what we can learn from it.  How has our country progressed through the years? How has news been released to the public? Has news itself changed?  The answers lie within the Newseum.

With the blink of an eye, the Newseum will soon disappear.  This is a place that will enlighten you to types of news that you never knew existed.  It’s a place far too informative to ignore. So when you visit, take a little bit of extra time in the exhibits, savor the intricacy of our history, because pretty soon, you won’t have the chance.

Note: The Newseum will close its doors at its current location on Pennsylvania Avenue on December 31, 2019. 

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