porch that once offered a clear sightline all the way to downtown Washington, and walk up the stairs where his footsteps were heard when he couldn't sleep. Through April 30, an exhibit here displays one of just 26 existing signed copies of the Emancipation Proclamation.
Located on the grounds of one of the country's first federally funded homes for soldiers, known today as the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Entrance at Rock Creek Church Road NW and Upshur Street NW, near 140 Rock Creek Church Road NW. Free parking. Closest metro station, nearly a mile (1.2 kilometers) away, Georgia Avenue/Petworth stop on green/yellow lines. From the metro, the local H8 bus takes four minutes and stops at the site's front gate. Open 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday (first tour 10 a.m., last 3 p.m.) and 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sundays (tours 11 a.m.-3 p.m.). Guided tour tickets required, $15 ($5 for children ages 6-12).
SMITHSONIAN'S NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY: Lincoln's famous top hat, brown and glossy with age, is currently on display here in the “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963'' exhibit (second floor east through Sept. 15). Lincoln was tall at 6 foot 3 (1.9 meters) and the hat made him even taller. He wore the hat to Ford's Theatre the night he was murdered.
The “Changing America'' exhibit portrays the sweep of history from the abolition of slavery to the civil rights movement. When Martin Luther King Jr. made his famous “I Have a Dream'' speech during the March on Washington, he stood at the Lincoln Memorial and echoed Lincoln's famous Gettysburg Address, which began, “Four score and seven years ago.'' King's opening line: “Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the Emancipation Proclamation.''
Another treasure is in the museum's ``The First Ladies'' exhibit (third floor): Mary Todd Lincoln's purple velvet gown with white satin piping, mother of pearl buttons and an enormous hoop skirt. The dress was made by her seamstress and confidante, Elizabeth Keckley, an African-American woman who had purchased her own freedom.