September 7, 2016 – Home

We left the Beltway early this morning and made exceptionally good time until reaching the Delaware I-95 Toll Booths where the traffic was backed up more than a mile.  Turns out the problem was a mile further and caused by an overturned truck which had failed to navigate an exit ramp.


Once by the accident, again smooth sailing reaching

dsc_4024and even our trip through Philadelphia was less congested than usual. 

Once home, we unloaded our motor home, returned it to storage, grabbed a bite of lunch, began to make an almost futile attempt to attack our overgrown landscaping beds before giving up and heading to visit with Doug and family and see their new house … Scott’s tomorrow afternoon!

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September 6, 2016 – Maryland’s State Capitol

After a forty-minute drive, we arrived in Annapolis

annapolisonly to find some extremely narrow roads near the State House and that on-street parking was, at best, a challenge … although we were successful after a car fortuitously vacated a space right in front of us.

The Maryland State House was the first peacetime capitol of the United States and is the only state house ever to have served as the nation’s capital.  The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784.



It is also the oldest state capitol still in legislative use.

maryland-state-capitol-dome-a-annapolis-md-2106-09-06Possible model for design of the dome: Schlossturm, the dome of the free-standing tower next to the palace of Karl-Wilhelm, Markgraf of Baden, in Karlsruhe, Germany.  Amazingly, the dome is still held together by wooden pegs, although now reinforced by iron straps.

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison are said to have spent three hours on the balcony of the down in September 1790 enjoying the view of Annapolis houses from their perch above the town.  During the War of 1812, teh balcony was used as an observation platform to watch for British warships.

maryland-state-capitol-cupola-b-annapolis-md-2106-09-06The height of the State House (to the top of the lightening rod) is 181 feet.

A prime example of lightning rod designed according to the theories of Benjamin Franklin who argued that the most effective protection from lightning was a pointed rod, preferably grounded into a deep well.

maryland-state-capitol-finail-lightening-rod-and-flags-a-annapolis-md-2106-09-06 Acorns were common decorative elements in the late 18th century.  In the language of the day, "sound as an acorn" meant to be without a flaw, free from imperfection, clearly something the architect of the dome, Joseph Clark, and the General Assembly, intended his creation to be.  The purpose of the State House acorn was to provide stability to the "Franklin" lightning rod which goes through its center.  The original cypress from (ca. 1785-1788), covered with copper panels Pedestal covered with sheet lead, probably from 1837.  During restoration work on the State House dome, it was discovered that the 208 year-old acorn had become rotten because of water seepage. As it too damaged to be repaired, it was decided to replace it by having 32 craftspeople from around the state make "slices" that would be used to assemble a new acorn. The new acorn was then clad in copper and gilded and painted.

The entrance is framed by two enormous brass-relief doors.



The interior Rotunda raises 113 feet



Marble Columns, Railings and Balusters






Original House Legislative Chamber and Chairs & Desks




Circa 1876-1893

Current House Legislative Chamber




Original Senate Chamber

maryland-state-capitol-old-senate-chambers-circa-1876-1877-annapolis-md-2106-09-06Circa 1877

maryland-state-capitol-old-senate-chamber-niche-annapolis-md-2106-09-06The recessed niche, the flat wooden pilasters tto eather side, and the arched plaster trim are some of the only surviving original architectual elements of the Old Senate Chamber.  The throne-like apearance of te overal feater evoked th epower of the president of the Senate, as well as the president of the Congress. 

maryland-state-capitol-george-washingtons-resignation-to-congress-a-annapolis-md-2106-09-06It was in the Old Senate Chamber that General George Washington famously resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783 … his handwritten original is on display in the Rotunda

"Mr. President: The great events on which my resignation depended having at length taken place; I have now the honor of offering my sincere Congratulations to Congress and of presenting myself before them to surrender into their hands the trust committed to me, and to claim the indulgence of retiring from the Service of my Country.

Happy in the confirmation of our Independence and Sovereignty, and pleased with the oppertunity afforded the United States of becoming a respectable Nation, I resign with satisfaction the Appointment I accepted with diffidence. A diffidence in my abilities to accomplish so arduous a task, which however was superseded by a confidence in the rectitude of our Cause, the support of the supreme Power of the Union, and the patronage of Heaven.

The Successful termination of the War has verified the most sanguine expectations, and my gratitude for the interposition of Providence, and the assistance I have received from my Countrymen, encreases with every review of the momentous Contest.

While I repeat my obligations to the Army in general, I should do injustice to my own feelings not to acknowledge in this place the peculiar Services and distinguished merits of the Gentlemen who have been attached to my person during the War. It was impossible the choice of confidential Officers to compose my family should have been more fortunate. Permit me Sir, to recommend in particular those, who have continued in Service to the present moment, as worthy of the favorable notice and patronage of Congress.

I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my Official life, by commending the Interests of our dearest Country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to his holy keeping."

This speech is often considered one of the most important documents in American history as it helped set the precedent that the military was to be subordinate to the civilian government.


Built between 1777-1779, the gallery originally provided space for private citizens to view the proceedings of the Maryland Senate and was the only area where women were allowed, from the elevated perspective, Molly Ridout observed George Washington’s resignation, an event she described in a letter to her mother.




Current Senate Chamber





State House Caucus Room

maryland-state-capitol-legislative-caucus-room-annapolis-md-2106-09-06This room is part of the original 1779 State House.  It has served many purposes over the years, including records office, a flag room exhibiting the state’s Civil War battle flags, a bill room for the Legislature and a Visitor’s Center.

maryland-state-capitol-legislative-caucus-room-grandfathers-clock-annapolis-md-2106-09-06Original Grandfather Clock

In 1904, Governor Edwin Warfield commissioned a custom silver service for the new Armored cruiser USS Maryland (ACR-8).


The service features many images and symbols of Maryland and is regarded as the finest naval service every made, It was used aboard the USS Maryland until the late 1940s when it was placed on public display … although four pieces of the service are now aboard the nuclear-powered submarine Maryland (SSBN-738).



Of the many painting on display, one depicts Washington’s resignation speech.  However, it has several glaring errors … including George Washington’s location which was not adjacent to the President’s niche but toward the rear of the room (as shown above) and the presence of Marth Washington (who was a Mount Vernon at the time).


Marquis de Lafayette


William Pitt (the “Great Commoner”)


The four Maryland signors of the Declaration of Independence


Highlights of the grounds immediately surrounding the Capitol building include:

Old Treasury Building

maryland-state-capitol-grounds-old-treasury-building-annapolis-md-2106-09-06Built in 1735-36 for the Commissioners for Emitting ills of Credit who issued the first paper money of the colony.  Known in the colonial period as the Paper Currency Office and the Loan Office, the building acquired its present name in the 1780s when it housed the Treasurer’s Office.


17th Century Cannon



Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Plaque


USS Maryland (BB-46) Ship’s Bell


Baron Johann de Kalb

maryland-state-capitol-grounds-statue-of-baron-johann-de-kalb-a-annapolis-md-2106-09-06A distinguished Revolutionary War hero and friend of Marquis de Lafayette.  DeKalb served at Valley Forge during the winter of 1777-78 and was assigned to lead a division of Maryland and Delaware troops during the southern campaign.  At the Battle of Camden, South Carolina on August 16, 1780, his horse was shot from underneath him and he was shot and bayonetted by British troops.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Brook Taney

maryland-state-capitol-grounds-statue-of-roger-brooke-taney-annapolis-md-2106-09-06Roger Taney was born in Maryland and served as Attorney General of the US and Secretary of the Treasury.  He was sworn in as Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court on March 15, 1836 and served until his death in 1864.  Although Taney personally considered slavery as an evil and he freed his own slaves when he inherited them and provided pensions to those too old to work.   Yet, he believed its abolition had to be led by the states in which slavery existed.  In the infamous Dred Scott v Sandford decision, Taney wrote that persons of African descent did not possess rights of citizenship, because, he said, the framers had not included blacks, either free or enslaved, in the original community of people covered by the Constitution.  The Court also held that the 1820 Missouri Compromise which prohibited slavery in the western territories was unconstitutional.  Aside from the Dred Scott decision, however. Taney is considered by many legal scholars and historians to have been a great magistrate and a distinguished chief justice.

Justice Thurgood Marshall

maryland-state-capitol-grounds-statue-thurgood-marshall-annapolis-md-2106-09-06with nearby statues of parties of two of the cases with which he is most noted.

Brown v. Board of Education

maryland-state-capitol-grounds-statue-brown-v-board-of-education-annapolis-md-2106-09-06In which the Court declared state laws establishing separate public schools for black and white students to be unconstitutional.

Murry v. Pearson

maryland-state-capitol-grounds-statue-murray-v-university-of-maryland-annapolis-md-2106-09-06Murray v. Pearson was a Maryland Court of Appeals decision which found "the state has undertaken the function of education in the law, but has omitted students of one race from the only adequate provision made for it, and omitted them solely because of their color." On January 15, 1936, the court affirmed the lower court ruling which ordered the university to immediately integrate its student population, and therefore created a legal precedent making segregation in Maryland illegal.

Not too far away, the dome of the United States Naval Academy chapel stood out above the Annapolis skyline.


After walking the State Capitol grounds we visited passed the Governor’s Mansion with its beautiful landscaping



just across the street, the Annapolis Post Office



and St. Anne’s Parish, an historic Episcopal church located in Church Circle, and the third to sit on the site.


The first St. Anne's (1704-1775)was founded in 1692 after the passing of the Establishment Act. The Act allowed for the construction of the State House, King William's School, and St. Anne's, though due to the limited work force and insufficient funds, all of the projects were finished much later than expected and work started out slowly.  In 1699 the General Assembly specified that the dimensions of the church were to be 65 feet wide and 30 feet long  with a porch and a tower that would hang a bell.  But due to the insufficient funds, no progress was made until 1700, when the government invested enough money to begin construction.  By 1704, the church was finished, though some changes were made in the structure.  It served Chapel River until 1715, when the Province of Maryland was returned to Lord Baltimore.  A bell, which would call parishioners to services until it was destroyed by fire in 1858, was donated to St. Anne's by Queen Anne.

After the original church was razed, the local government made plans to build a new church.  Unfortunately, construction had to be cancelled since it was planned at the beginning of the Revolutionary War.  The bricks and timber that were to be used to build to new church were sent to the Severn River to build a fort, and most of the work force went off to fight. During the War,

After the War officially ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1783, the newly founded United States went into economic depression due to severe war debts and dislocation of accustomed trading patterns.  This cause a further delay on the new church building's construction.  Finally, in 1792, the new St. Anne's church was finished. It was much larger and more structurally secure than It’s predecessor.  On February 14, 1858, a furnace fire practically destroyed the interior of the building. Most of the original documents from the old church burned, and a new church building was requested.

The third and final church was built in 1858. It was designed in a Romanesque Revival style and incorporated a portion of the old tower. Most of the church was built in that year apart from the steeple which was finished in 1866 due to the Civil War. This is St. Anne's current church building.




st-annes-parish-kneeling-stools-annapolis-md-2106-09-06Each of the kneeling stools has been individually needle-pointed commemorating the 300th anniversary of the formation of the original parish.


Wendy Manley, one of Debbie’s two best friends from our years in Yardley (we’d visited Jane Johnson while in Mesa) joined us for lunch.


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September 5, 2016 – Visiting with Jackie Aumann’s Family

Today we began to pack some items in anticipation of our trip home the day after tomorrow.   This evening, we had dinner with Heidi ad Brian Foley and family.  Her mom, Jackie, who passed away in July, was Debbie’s best friend during the many years we lived in Amherst, New Hampshire; and whom we’d seen just this past May during trip to new Hampshire to see Nancy and family.

As has happened on four occasions in recent years, close friends or a family member has passed away and during our extended travels making it impractical to attend their funeral services.  Luckily, Jackie’s husband, Fritz, was visiting with his daughter and family giving us an opportunity to visit with him.


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September 4, 2016 – Reunion with Navy Captain Red McDaniel

Today was truly special.  We visited with a retired Navy Captain, Eugene “Red” McDaniel, with whom I served aboard the USS Independence (CVA-62)

uss-indedpendence-cva_62more than fifty-one years ago and his wife Dorothy.


After being transferred from the ship, Red went to VA-35, a naval attach squadron which flew A-6 Intruder aircraft,

va-35-a6which the Independence carried during its 1965 Vietnam cruise.

On 19 May 1967, after 80 missions, on a day he was not scheduled to fly and just four days before he was to be relocated back to the United States, then Lt. Cmdr. Eugene "Red" McDaniel, pilot, and Lt. James "Kelly" Patterson, bombardier/navigator, launched from the deck for the USS Enterprise in an A6A, call sign "Raygun 502."

They were on a deep strike mission to attack a NVA truck repair facility located in the Van Dien District of down town Hanoi, North Vietnam.  This area was commonly referred to by US pilots as "Little Detroit." The weather conditions included scattered clouds and visibility of 10 miles.

As the Intruder flew deep over enemy held territory, it was struck by a surface-to-air missile (SAM) forcing Lt. Cmdr. McDaniel and Lt. Patterson to eject.  Both men landed roughly a mile apart in a U-shaped valley containing villages and numerous truck-passable roads, and nearly a mile from the wreckage of their aircraft.   A short time later, squadron mates Nick Carpenter and Richard Slaasted crossed over the burning wreckage and had no difficulty in visually locating the downed crew in an area approximately 30 miles southwest of Hanoi and 11 miles southeast of Hao Binh, Hao Binh Province, North Vietnam.

Both men immediately established radio contact with the crew of another Intruder reporting they were injured – Red McDaniel damaged his back upon landing and Kelly Patterson had sustained a badly broken left leg.

Lt. Cmdr. McDaniel was captured early the morning of 20 May and was transported by his captors to Hanoi where he spent time in five different camps including the infamous “Hanoi Hilton”.

Red was listed as "missing in action" until 1970, during which time Dorothy did not know whether he was alive or dead, when the Hanoi government acknowledged that he was being held prisoner. 

A POW for more than six years, McDaniel was released 4 March 1973, after the Vietnam cease-fire.


Red McDaniel was one of the most brutally tortured prisoners of the Vietnam War.  This torture resulted from his active role in camp communications during an organized escape attempt by his fellow prisoners.  He is the author of “Scars and Stripes”, a book telling about his six years in a communist prison.

The morning after the shoot-down, the same Intruder aircrew who first located the burning wreckage and both Red McDaniel and Kelly Patterson alive on the ground, again found Lt. Patterson without difficulty.  They not only spoke with him over his survival radio, but they saw him alive and free. On the morning of the third day, Nick Carpenter returned to the area of loss in the backseat of an Air Force F4 to pinpoint the downed bombardier/navigator's position for Air Force rescue personnel, and again, they found Kelly Patterson in the same location.  And, as in previous flights, they were able to see him and talk with him before dropping a Fulton Extraction kit for him to use during a planned extraction.  That night and before dawn two other F4 aircrews located him.

Unfortunately, they learned during that radio contact that the Vietnamese captured the extraction equipment before Lt. Patterson could reach it. During the day of 22 May – his fourth day on the ground deep in enemy territory – all efforts to locate Kelly Patterson by Navy and Air Force personnel proved fruitless.  All rescue efforts were terminated at that time based on the firm belief he had been captured, and accordingly, James Kelly Patterson was listed as a Prisoner of War.

While a Prisoner of War, Red McDaniel was told in 1967 by a prison guard, known as Onizz, that his bombardier/navigator had recovered from his injury and was well. Other POWs who returned during Operation Homecoming saw evidence that Lt. Patterson was also a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. Dewey Smith saw an interrogation questionnaire with Kelly Patterson's name written on the top of it in the fall of 1967 and Ronald Mastin believes he saw a photo of Kelly Patterson's ID card in a Vietnamese newspaper during the same year. Further, Bobby Jo Keesee reported seeing Kelly Patterson's name scratched into a cell wall in a prison camp near the Chinese border known to the POWs as "Briarpatch."

Tragically, for Lt. Kelly Patterson, and other Americans who remain unaccounted for in Southeast Asia, their fate remains a mystery.

Red resumed active duty and served as Commanding Officer of USS Niagara Falls and Commanding Officer of the aircraft carrier USS Lexington.  Under his command, Lexington experienced no serious accidents while accomplishing more than 20,000 carrier landings.

He later served as Director of Navy/Marine Corps Liaison to the U.S. House of Representatives from 1979 to 1981.  In this capacity, Captain McDaniel worked daily with Congress on national defense planning and provided legislators with information vital to the strategic development of Navy forces throughout the world.  Red retired from the Navy in 1982.

Well into his retirement, Red’s continued advocacy for a full and honest accounting of all of our country’s MIAs, and that of Kelly Peterson, in particular, remain a life’s mission for him … and should be lauded and supported by all Americans!

Meanwhile, during those six years which were so suddenly taken was away from Red and his wife, Dorothy chronicled her life which was later published, “After the Hero’s Welcome”.

Today, Red has one of the most incredibly positive attitudes about life of anyone Debbie or I have ever met!  Anecdotally, almost in parallel with our visit with Red and Dorothy, I have reconnected with other Independence officers, or their families, with whom I have served and who mentored me when I reported aboard for my first duty assignment as a newly minted Ensign.

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September 3, 2016 – Another Long Day on the Road

As a rule, we try to plan our days by the unofficial 250/2:30 rule … driving no more than 250 miles in a day or be at our destination no later than 2:30 PM, whichever occurs first.  Our original itinerary had only one day over 300 miles … but as things got rescheduled, our last three days of driving have all topped 300 miles!

Leaving Max Meadow,VA we could see low hanging clouds over the Shenandoah River in the distance and crossed several smaller rivers where a curtain of mist shrouded the water below

DSC_3806and passed fields where patches still held on despite the warmth of the morning sun.


There were old barns,

DSC_3819decaying homes

DSC_3826a windmill whose blades shown golden in the sunlight,

DSC_3815and the decorative Fort Jackson community water tower … enough to make your mouth water!

Mount Jackson, VA - 2016-09-03

We’ll be parked in College Park, Maryland for the next four nights

2016-09-03 - Cherry Hill RV Park, College Park, MD - Site 1702visiting friends and family in the area, including a naval officer I served with aboard the USS Independence before visiting the Maryland State Capitol in Annapolis and then finally heading home on Wednesday.

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September 2, 2016 – Longest Day Yet

Due to a mental lapse, we were faced with a nearly 400-mile drive along I-40 and I-81, well over our regular self-imposed limit of 250 miles.  Again, for most of the journey from Nashville to southwestern Virginia, we were confined to a gently rolling, tree-lined corridor

DSC_3738affording little in the way of interesting things to see.  That said, certain short stretches were a blaze with bright yellow flowers.


Debbie also, and somewhat amazingly, was able to shoot between my chest and the steering wheel to capture a unique quarrying operation in which large horizontal rectangular entrances were cut into the hill sides.

DSC_3749a solo walker, not even hitchhiking,

DSC_3742an old Ford Fairlane,

DSC_3759invasive Virginia Creeper … everywhere,

DSC_3778banded fields,

DSC_3781several U.S., Tennessee

US and Tennessee State Flags, I-40, Eastern Tennessee - 2016-09-01and Confederate flags

Confederate Flag, I-40, Eastern Tennessee - 2016-09-02and some old barns

DSC_3787rounded out the day’s travel excitement.

Taking a walk at our campground, we discovered a small stream

Stream, Pioneer Village RV Park, Max Meadow, VA - 2016-09-02flowing to a small waterfall.

Waterfall (b), Pioneer Village RV Park, Max Meadow, VA - 2016-09-02

Nearby was a gazebo used for rustic weddings (note the seating area).

Wedding Venue, Pioneer Village RV Park, Max Meadow, VA - 2016-09-02

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September 1, 2016 – Tennessee State Capitol

The State of Franklin (also the Free Republic of Franklin) was an unrecognized, autonomous territory located in what is today eastern Tennessee, United States.  Franklin was created in 1784 from part of the territory west of the Appalachian Mountains that had been offered by North Carolina as a cession to Congress to help pay off debts related to the American War for Independence.   It was founded with the intent of becoming the fourteenth state of the new United States.  The Territory eventually became Tennessee which was admitted to the Union as the 16th state on June 1, 1796.

Six of Tennessee's cities have served as the capital of the State. Two cities have been the capital more than once, while one city was the capital for only one day.

  • Jonesborough – was founded in 1779 and is the oldest city in the state, Jonesborough became the capital of the State of Franklin in December 1784. Franklin functioned as a state until 1788, but was never recognized by Congress.

  • Greeneville – was the second capital of the State of Franklin was Greeneville. Greeneville was founded in 1783 and served as the capital of Franklin from 1785-1788.

  • Knoxville – was the capital of the Territory of the United States South of the River Ohio from 1792 until 1796. Knoxville served as the capital of Tennessee on two occasions, the first time from 1796 until 1812 and then a second time from 1817 to 1818.

  • Kingston – was the capital of Tennessee for just one day!  On September 21, 1807, the Tennessee General Assembly met in Kingston, declared it to be the State's capital, passed one item, and then adjourned.  That one item was the acquisition of Cherokee territory that was known as Fort Southwest Point. The Indians had ceded the land around the Fort to the State with the provision that it would be named the State capital, which it was, but only for one day. Before the Indians realized that they had been tricked, the capital was moved back to Knoxville.

  • Murfreesboro – was Tennessee's capital city from 1818 until 1826. The capital was moved to the middle of the State as the population moved to the middle and western grand divisions of Tennessee.

  • Nashville – the current capital of Tennessee began as Fort Nashborough in 1779 and was incorporated as the City of Nashville in 1806. Nashville was the capital of Tennessee twice. The first time was from 1812-1817. In 1826, Nashville became the permanent capital of the State of Tennessee.

The prominent Nashville hill top site of what is now the Tennessee State Capitol was formerly occupied by the Holy Rosary Cathedral , the first Roman Catholic Cathedral in Nashville.

Tennessee State Capitol (a), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Selected by Samuel Morton (left), architect William Stirckland (right)

Tennessee State Capitol (Portrait Samuel Morgan and William Strickland), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01designed the Greek-Revival style building and supervised its construction until his untimely death in 1854, five years before its completion.

Tennessee State Capitol (aa), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01and is one of the nation’s oldest working statehouses still in use.

The walls were constructed of Bigby Limestone from a nearby quarry, only a few blocks away.  The limestone was excavated, shaped and transported by slaves and convict labor under the supervision of stone masons.   Regarded as a prime example of Greek Revival architecture it is more than 206 feet tall and covers an area of 112 feet by 239 feet.   It's copied from an Ionic temple, with porticos on the north and south facades, each with eight fluted columns. The east and west porticos have six columns surmounted by parapets.

Tennessee State Capitol (Cupola - a), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Tennessee State Capitol (US and Tennessee Flags - a), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

House Chambers

Tennessee State Capitol (House Chamber - a), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-0199 members

Tennessee State Capitol (House Chamber Chandelier - a), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01Chandelier

Tennessee State Capitol (House Chamber Door), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01Chamber Doors

Senate Chambers

Tennessee State Capitol (Senate Chamber - a), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-0133 Members

Tennessee State Capitol (Senate Chamber Chandelier), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01Chandelier

Original Supreme Court Chambers

Tennessee State Capitol (Sopreme Court's Original Chamber), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Tennessee State Supreme Court (Chambers - Chandelier), Nashville, TN - 2016-9-01Chandelier

Tennessee State Supreme Court (Door Knob), Nashville, TN - 2016-9-01Door Knob

Tennessee State Capitol (Supreme Court Chamber Painting of Famous Tennesseans), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Painting of Famous Tennesseans  –  How many can you name?

Current Supreme Court Chambers

Tennessee State Supreme Court (Chambers), Nashville, TN - 2016-9-01Housed in a building across the street from the State Capitol

Tennessee State Supreme Court (Seal on Floor), Nashville, TN - 2016-9-01Supreme Court Seal

Murals on the Walls of the Governor’s Outer Office Depicting the History of the State

Tennessee State Capitol (Governor's Outer Office Mural - a), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Tennessee State Capitol (Governor's Outer Office Mural - b), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Tennessee State Capitol (Governor's Outer Office Mural - d), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Tennessee State Capitol (Governor's Outer Office Mural - c), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Original State Library (the repository of all of Tennessee’s state legislative records)

Tennessee State Capitol (Former State Library - State Record Stacks), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Tennessee State Capitol (Former State Library - Spiral Staircase), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Cast Iron Spiral Staircase

Tennessee State Capitol (Former State Library - Spiral Staircase - Detail), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01Which was delivered in small pieces and sections which had to be screwed and bolted together

Tennessee State Capitol (Former State Library - Marble Table), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01Original Marble Table

Tennessee State Capitol (Former State Library - Doors), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01Entrance Doors

The focal point of the center intersection on the first floor is a chandelier

Tennessee State Capitol (1st Floor Center Ceiling handelier), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01surrounded by four ceiling frescos.

An American Eagle surrounded by 31 stars representing the number of states in the union at the time

Tennessee State Capitol (1st Floor Center Ceiling Fresco - American Eagle and 31 Stars), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01


Tennessee State Capitol (1st Floor Center Ceiling Fresco - Justice), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01


Tennessee State Capitol (1st Floor Center Ceiling Fresco - Liberty), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

The State Seal depicting the state motto “Agriculture and Commerce

Tennessee State Capitol (1st Floor Center Ceiling Fresco - State Seal), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Half way up the first flight of stairs to the second floor

Tennessee State Capitol (2nd Floor Hallway), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01 on the right is a chip in the hand rail and gouge in a nearby column.

Tennessee State Capitol (Staircase Railing), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Tennessee State Capitol (Bullet Scared Railing and Column), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

These scars are believed to have been caused by a bullet fired from the stairs above during a particularly bitter fight in the legislature over the ratification of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution in 1866 which guaranteed citizenship to African Americans.  The opponents of passage did not have the votes to prevent its adoption and, as a result of its passage, Tennessee became the first Confederate state re-admitted to the Union.

On the landing is a bust of George Washington.

Tennessee State Capitol (George Washington - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

On the second floor, busts of

President Andrew Jackson,

Tennessee State Capitol (President Andrew Jackson - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

President James Polk

Tennessee State Capitol (President James Polk - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01


President Andrew Johnson

Tennessee State Capitol (President Andrew Johnsonn - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01are prominently displayed, as are their paintings one floor below.

The busts of other Tennessee notables include;

Admiral David Farragut

(“Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead”)

Tennessee State Capitol (Admiral David Farragut - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Confederate General Nathan Forrest

(a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. He is remembered as a self-educated, brutal, and innovative cavalry leader during the war and as a leading Southern advocate in the postwar years. He served as the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, but later distanced himself from the organization.)

Tennessee State Capitol (Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Forrest - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Cordell Hull

(Secretary of State under FDR during World War II – U.S. Senator, Congressman and Captain in Fourth Tennessee Volunteer Infantry)

Tennessee State Capitol (Cordell Hull - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01


(his independent creation of a Cherokee syllabary, make reading and writing in Cherokee possible. This was one of the very few times in recorded history hat a member of a pre-literate people created an original, effective writing system which was adopted by the Cherokee Nation in 1925.  Within a few years, literacy among the Cherokee exceeded that of the white population in Tennessee  His image is also prominently recognized in the Oklahoma State Capitol)

Tennessee State Capitol (Seqoyah - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

John Seiver

(an American soldier, frontiersman and politician, and one of the founding fathers of the State of  Tennessee. He played a leading role, both militarily and politically, in Tennessee's pre-statehood period, and was elected the state's first governor in 1796.  Sevier served as the only governor of  the State of Franklin, an early, unsuccessful, attempt at statehood by the trans-Appalachian settlers. He was brigadier general of the Southwest Territory militia during the early 1790s.  Sevier served six two-year terms as Tennessee's governor, from 1796 until 1801, and from 1803 to 1809, with term limits preventing a fourth consecutive term in both instances. His political career was marked by a growing rivalry with rising politician Andrew Jackson, which nearly culminated in a duel in 1803. After his last term as governor, Sevier was elected to three terms in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1811 until his death in 1815)

Tennessee State Capitol (John  Sevier, First Governor - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Admiral Albert Gleaves

(Born in Nashville, TennesseeGleaves graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1877. Assigned to many ships and stations, he commanded USS Cushing during the Spanish American War. Promoted to Rear Admiral in 1915,for his outstanding contribution he was awarded the Army and Navy Distinnguished Service Medals.  In 1919 he was promoted to Admiral Admiral Gleaves made outstanding contributions in the field of gunnery and torpedoes. While carrying out some tests on torpedo steering devices he changed these weapons from instruments of luck into instruments of precision. The gear which he tested in Gushing provided the imprints which made the torpedo the "terrible weapon" of World War I)

Tennessee State Capitol (Admiral Albert Gleaves- Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Simpson Keeble

(was born into slavery who became a barber and a businessman and in 1873 became the first African American member of the Tennessee Legislature.  The plaque beneath his bust also commemorates nine African Americans who followed him in to the state legislature in the mid-to-late 19th century)

Tennessee State Capitol (Sampson Keeble - Bust), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

During a 1988 hallway restoration, the ceilings were stripped of dirt and overpainting … and revealed the original design, color and brush strokes,

Tennessee State Capitol (Hallway Ceiling - Original Panel), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01compared to the reproduction found throughout most of the building.

Tennessee State Capitol (Hallway Ceiling - Retourched-up Panel), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Two bas-reliefs dominate the walls off the second floor lobby.

Commemoration of the passage of the 14th and 15th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Tennessee State Capitol (14th and 15th Amendments Relief Plaque), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01(the 14th guarantying African Americans citizenship and equal protection before the law.  The 15th provided for the men’s right to vote)

Commemoration of the passage of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

Tennessee State Capitol (19th Amendment Relief Plaque), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01(The Tennessee Legislature became the final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.  This state’s House had been divided on the issue and the ratification passed by a single vote when an outspoken opponent of the amendment changed his vote on a third ballot to break the prior tie votes on the issue)

The Tennessee State Capitol also has the distinction of being the only one in which persons are interred within the walls of the building.  There are four people either buried inside the capitol walls or on the grounds. William Strickland became ill while the capitol was being constructed.  Since he considered it his finest achievement, Strickland asked to be buried in the Capitol building.  Strickland did die before the construction was complete, and he is buried in a crypt in the north wall.

Tennessee State Capitol (William Strickland Interment), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01The inscription is in error, he was actually 66 when he died

Later, after Samuel Morgan’s death, his family also asked that he be buried in the capitol.  As a way to honor Morgan, the state agreed.  He is buried in a crypt on the south wall. 


Tennessee State Capitol (Samuel Mogran Interment), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

As with most state capitol complexes, there are a number of statues, monuments and memorials on its grounds.

Alvin York

(the most decorated allied soldier during World War I)

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (Alvin York Statue), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Andrew Jackson

(Army General and 7th U.S. President)

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (Andrew Jackson Statue), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Andrew Johnson

(17th U.S. President)

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (Andrew Johnson Statue), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

The Tomb of James and Sarah Polk

(11th U.S. President … the only president interred on any state capitol grounds)

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (James and Sarah Polk Tomb -a), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (James and Sarah Polk Tomb - b), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Replica of the Liberty Bell

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (Liberty Bell), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Memorial to the Holocaust

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (Holocaust Memorial), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Memorial to the African American Victims of the Middle Passage

Tennessee State Capito Groundsl (Memorial to the Victims of the Middle Pasage), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Sam Davis

(served in various combat roles in the Confederate army from 1861-63 during the Civil War. As a Confederate courier he was captured around November 20, 1863. Suspected of espionage, he was offered his life if he would name is conspirators, to which he replied, “I would die a thousand deaths before I would betray a Friend”.  He was executed by the Union Army after a captivity of only seven days).

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (Sam Davis Statue), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Edward Ward Carmack

(was an attorney, newspaperman and political figure who served as a U.S. Senator from 1901 to 1907.  Following his political service, and after an unsuccessful run for Governor of Tennessee, he became editor of the one-year-old Nashville Tennessean. He was shot to death on November 9, 1908 over a feud precipitated by his editorial comments in the paper)

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (Edward Ward Carmack Statue), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Answer Bell (As part of the Bicentennial Mall carillon project, the final bell, or answer bell, was installed and “answers” the 95 bells on the mall each hour)

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (Answer Bell), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Plaque to the Daughters of the Confederacy

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (Daughters of the Confederacy Plaque), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

Garden Plantings of the State Flag

Tennessee State Capitol Grounds (State Flag Stars), Nashville, TN - 2016-09-01

The three stars represent the three Grand Divisions of the state, East Tennessee, Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee.  The blue circle around the stars represents the unity of the "Grand Divisions" of the state. The blue bar at the edge of the flag was purely a design consideration.

Tennessee Flag

When asked about the blue bar, Reeves stated that "The final blue bar relieves the sameness of the crimson field and prevents the flag from showing too much crimson when hanging limp."




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August 31, 2016 – Crashed

Today was a “down day”.

This evening, we again went up to the campground office to listed to another country-western group.`


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August 30, 2016 – Long Day on the Road

We’d planned to break the trip between Little Rock and Nashville into two days … but as we made such good time this morning and I was feeling good at the wheel, we pushed on for our longest day of the trip to the Two Rivers Campground in Nashville.

I-40 between the two cities is mostly like driving through a corridor of trees

Tree lined roadwith only occasional glimpses of a few [seemingly, mostly hay] farms.


Reaching the city limits of Nashville, our Garmin GPS apparently decided that after having little or no “creative” work over the past week on our relatively uninteresting drive from Gallup, NM, to have some fun with us!  Rather than keeping us on I-4o to TN-155 and a short, but direct trip to our destination campground, we were routed over several area Interstates, through some “interesting” construction zones

Trafficand at one point, down an exit ramp, under the road we’d been on, up the ramp back onto the road, down the next exit ramp and under the same bridge again before finally wending its way finally to Route 155.

Tired, we got hooked up, drank wine, had dinner and went up to the campground office to listen to a very enjoyable C&W group.

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August 29, 2016 – Arkansas State Capitol – Visiting with Friends

The Arkansas State Capitol was chief among our reasons for stopping in Little Rock.

Prior to the construction of the current Capitol, The Old State House in Little Rock was the seat of the Territory and later state’s government. 

Old State HouseAs it is undergoing renovation, we were unable to visit

It is the oldest surviving state capitol building west of the Mississippi River and is perhaps best known as the site of President Bill Clinton’s election night celebration in 1992.

Construction of the current Capitol

State Capitol (a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29took 16 years, from 1899 to 1915.  The Neo-Classical design was by St. Louis architect George R. Mann.  After Mann was fired, accused in bribery in 1909, New York’s Cass Gilbert was called in to complete the building.  The Capitol was built on the site of the state penitentiary and prisoners helped construct the building. They lived in a dormitory that was left on the Capitol grounds while construction was taking place.

The Capitol foundations were aligned incorrectly by their original builder, the future Governor George Donaghey (who was responsible for firing Mann)  centered the building on the centerline of Fifth Street (now Capitol Avenue), but he aligned the building north-south using the still-standing penitentiary walls as a guide without recognizing that Fifth Street was not aligned east-west; like other "east-west" downtown Little Rock streets, it runs parallel to the Arkansas River at a slight angle off true east-west.  Therefore, the structure is situated in a north-south manner from end-to-end, which does not fit the grid street pattern of Little Rock's downtown.  This also led to a slight S-curve in the formal entrance walkway between the foot of Capitol Avenue and the front steps of the Capitol.

State Capitol (Exterior Steps), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The exterior of the Capitol is made of limestone, which was quarried in Batesville, Arkansas.  Though it was initially stipulated a total cost for the envisioned capitol would not to exceed $1 million, total construction cost was $2.2 million or $320 million in 2014 dollars.

The building measures 440’ north-to-south, 196’ east-to-west and covers nearly 287,000 square feet.

Though difficult to see, letters in the five windows above the Capitol’s steps spell, “P E A C E”.

State Capitol (''PEACE'' in Round Windows), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The front entrance doors are made of bronze, which are 10 feet tall, four inches thick and were purchased from Tiffany's in New York for $10,000.

State Capitol (Bronze Doors), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Originally, the dome was to be a copy of Saint Peter’s in Rome, but as costs rose, the plans changed.  Ultimately, the dome was designed from the plans used for the Mississippi capitol dome.

State Capitol (Dome - b), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The distance from the ground to the top of the cupola’s finial 213’.

State Capitol (Dome - a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Copula and Ball Finial), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The cupola’s finial is covered in 24 karat gold leaf.

State Capitol (Copula and Ball Finial), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Upon entering the building and passing through security, you walk across a light projection of the state’s seal

State Capitol (State Seal Projection on First Floor), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29and not too far away is a backlit version.

State Capitol (State Seal - Backlit), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The interior is constructed of marble from three states … the floors and walls from Vermont,

State Capitol (Rotunda - Second Floor from the Fourth Floor), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29the columns around the third floor from Colorado …

State Capitol (Rotunda - Third Floor), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29and the grand staircases from Alabama.

State Capitol (Stairs to the Third Floor), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The dome’s interior rises 160’ above the floor.

State Capitol (Rotunda Dome - a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Rotunda Dome - b), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Rotunda Dome - c), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Rotunda Dome - d), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Rotunda Dome and Chandelier Lights- a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The chandelier is 12’ in diameter, is made of solid brass and weighs 4,000 lbs.

State Capitol (Rotunda Chandelier - a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Rotunda Chandelier - b), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Rotunda Chandelier - c), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The most ornate room is the Governor’s Reception Room. 

State Capitol (Governor's Reception Room - a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

At each end of the room are ornamental fireplaces with Arkansas marble mantles, each framed by identical carved heads … those at the east end representing the state’s historic Native American populations

State Capitol (Governor's Reception Room - d), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Governor's Reception Room - Fireplace Carving - Native Americans), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29and at the west end they call to mind early European explorers.

State Capitol (Governor's Reception Room - c), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Governor's Reception Room - Fireplace Carving - Eurpoean Explorers), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29decorative beams,

State Capitol (Governor's Reception Room Decorative Beams), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29stain glass door panels

State Capitol (Governor's Reception Room Stain Glass Door Windows), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29silver chandelier,

State Capitol (Governor's Reception Room Chandelier), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29and inlaid wooden floors add to the rooms beautiful décor.

State Capitol (Governor's Reception Room Inlaid Floor), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Throughout the building, as is typical of nearly every capitol, are photographs, or busts, of former governors … tow of which are easy to identify.

Former Governor Mike Huckabee

State Capitol (Portrait of Governor Mike Huckabee), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Former Governor Bill Clinton

State Capitol (Portrait of Governor Bill Clinton), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Although, as is the case in the vast majority of states, the Supreme Court is located in a separate judicial center located nearby the Capitol.  However, while the Original Supreme Court Chambers are used for hearings today, it is still decorated close to when the court regularly met there.  Original furnishing include its brass handrails, mahogany “bar”, light fixtures, and high-backed judges’ chairs (increased from 5 to 7 in 1920 when the court size was increased).

State Capitol (Supreme Court Chamber - Original), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Shapes and symbols drawn from classical architecture ornamentation decorate the chamber’s ceilings and cornices.  The latter feature a recurring pattern of three metopes, or decorative panels, bearing the symbols believed to illustrate principals of justice and law.

State Capitol (Supreme Court Chamber -Decorative Shields - a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29Green shield (defense or watchfulness)

Terra Cotta Lamp  (the lamp is a traditional symbol of wisdom or enlightenment, the guiding principal of true justice and good law)

The Gray Shield (The anchor represents safety and sureness while the dolphin is variously described as symbolizing truth, intelligence, amity and purity.   Intertwined, the mean “more haste- less speed” implying good law must balance timeliness and diligence)

The 35-member Senate Chamber is traditional and voting is not done electronically, but by voice vote (something we’ve discovered is fairly common in State Senates in the West).

State Capitol (Senate Chamber), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Chandelier is a small duplicate of the one in the Rotunda

State Capitol (Senate Chamber Chandelier), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The stain glass skylight is partially draped as a noise baffle

State Capitol (Senate Chamber Skylight), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The100-seat House Chamber was locked and the Gallery undergoing renovations so we were only able to see it through the entrance doors.

State Capitol (House Chamber - a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

It too has a stain glass skylight and chandelier larger than the one in the Senate but smaller than the one in the Rotunda

State Capitol (House Chamber Skylight), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Four murals hang above the two grand staircases leading to the House and Senate Chambers, respectively.  They are the only public artwork commissioned for the building.  Over the Senate staircase are

State Capitol (Mural - Education), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29Education

State Capitol (Mural - Justice), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29Justice

And over the House stairs are the seemingly oxymorons of

State Capitol (Mural - Religion), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29Religion

State Capitol (Mural - War), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29War

There are a series of interesting exhibits in the Office of the Commissioner of State Lands including land records dating back to the beginning of the state as a Territory.

State Capitol (Land Office - Original Plats), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The Office of the State Treasurer was extremely interesting with its original vault (not just the safe door).

State Capitol (Treasurer's Office - Safe Door - a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The vault is secured by a series of two doors and three time locks. 

State Capitol (Treasurer's Office - Safe Door - b), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

The 22,000 lb. main vault door presented a stiff challenge to construction crews.  Ultimately, after conventional animal-drawn wagons proved unable to move it from the railroad to the capitol a dedicate rail spur was laid and then it was hoisted through a hole in the west wall using blocks and tackle and a steam engine.

The main vault door, once locked cannot be opened after hours until the next business days and controlled by four independent and synchronized time locks.  We wondered what would happen if someone was accidentally locked in the vault over night or, worse, over a weekend.  There was a solution … a mechanical (now driven by an electric motor) air pump.

State Capitol (Treasurer's Office Safe  - Emergency Air Vent), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

 While there, Dennis Milligan, the State Treasurer, spend 15-20 minutes chatting with us … not the first time state officials have taken time to talk to us.

Once inside the safe, they have hand-written cash journals dating to 1899,

State Capitol (Treasurer's Office Safe  - Journals), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Treasurer's Office Safe  - Oldest Journal - 1899), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Exquisite handwriting!

two inner vaults where gold bullion was once stored,

State Capitol (Treasurer's Office Safe  - Inner Safe for Gold Bars - a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol (Treasurer's Office Safe  - Inner Safe for Gold Bars - b), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29a pre-Prohibition whiskey bottle uncovered during a renovation of the building,

State Capitol (Treasurer's Office Safe  - Pre-Prohibition Whiskey Bottle), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29and a safe containing perhaps $1,000,000 …

State Capitol (Treasurer's Office Safe  - Inner Safe for Cash), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Three Hundred and Eighty Thousand dollars of which were handed to Debbie!

2016-08-29 - Dick and Debbie with $380,000 in Cash, State House Treasurer's Office Safe, Little Rock, AR

Unfortunately, no samples were being handed out today!

 On the Capitol grounds:

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

State Capitol Grounds (Arkansas Vietnam Veterans Memorial), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Confederate Soldiers of Arkansas Monument

State Capitol Grounds (Confederate Soldiers of Arkansas), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Confederal Women of Arkansas

State Capitol Grounds (Confederate Women of Arkansas Monument), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

War of 1812 Memorial

State Capitol Grounds (Arkansas War of 1812 Memorial), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

American Legion Eternal Flame Memorial

State Capitol Grounds (American Legion Eternal Flame - b), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Replica of the Liberty Bell

State Capitol Grounds (Liberty Bell Replica), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Arkansas Medal of Honor Memorial

State Capitol Grounds (Medal of Honor Memorial - Eight of Twenty-six Plaques), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-2912 of 26 Plaques

State Capitol Grounds (Medal of Honor Memorial - Douglas MacArthur Plaque), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29General Douglas MacArthur

Fire Fighters Memorial

State Capitol Grounds (Fire Fighters Memorial - a), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

State Capitol Grounds (Fire Fighters Memorial - b), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Little Rock Nine

State Capitol Grounds (Little Rock Nine Memorial - b), Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

We’d originally planned to next visit the Central High School

Central High School

Museum which tells the story of the civil rights movement in Arkansas with a primary on the nine black students to tried to attend the previously all-white Little Rock Central High in 1957.  While the Brown v. Board of Education had been the law for three years at the time, then Governor Orville Faubus called out the state’s National Guard to block any attempts to integrate Central High School.  Woodrow Wilson Mann, the mayor of Little Rock, asked President Eisenhower to send federal troops to enforce integration and protect the nine students.  On September 24, the President ordered the 101st Airborne Division of the U.S. Army, without its black soldiers, who rejoined the division a month later, to Little Rock and federalized the entire 10,000-member Arkansas National Guard, taking it out of the hands of Governor Faubus.

Central Students

This was one of the dark period of American history which we lived through and watched unfold on the evening news!

Meantime, we had connected with Bill and Sonja McCauley,

2016-08-29 - Dick and Debbie with Bill and Sonja McCauley, Little Rock, ARone of the incredible couples we’d traveled to Alaska with in 2011 and who live in Little Rock.  So, we quickly canceled our afternoon plans a drove to their beautiful home with its views in all directions,

View (b) from Sonja and Bill McCauley's House, Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29 flowers (Sonja has an incredible green thumb),

[Unknown] Purple Flower, Sonja and Bill McCauley's, Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

[Unknown] White Flower, Sonja and Bill McCauley's, Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

[Unknown] Orange and Pink Flowers, Sonja and Bill McCauley's, Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

Pink Flox, Sonja and Bill McCauley's, Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29

White and Pink Flox, Sonja and Bill McCauley's, Little Rock, AR - 2016-08-29and more hummingbirds that we’d ever seen in one place before.

Hummingbird (c), Bill and Sonja McCauleys, Little Rock, AR - 2106-08-29

Hummingbird (g), Bill and Sonja McCauleys, Little Rock, AR - 2106-08-29

Hummingbird (b), Bill and Sonja McCauleys, Little Rock, AR - 2106-08-29

Hummingbird (a), Bill and Sonja McCauleys, Little Rock, AR - 2106-08-29

Hummingbird (e), Bill and Sonja McCauleys, Little Rock, AR - 2106-08-29

Now, we’ve got more reasonsthan ever to return to Little Rock in the future!

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