Of all the places I wanted to visit on the Washigton DC trip, this was number one.
It opened to the public on September 24, 2016; I tried to get online tickets beforehand to no avail. At our hotel, the desk personnel advised me to just show up at the museum three hours before it opened (and don't bother to do this on a Friday or weekend). As one of the "hottest" free tickets in town, and part of the Smithsonian campus, I had high hopes to get inside and experience what others raved about.
And luck was certainly with me and I made it in!
I honestly felt changed and challenged by everything I saw.
In most museums, the dwell time is 45 minutes to two hours. Not so in this museum. With three floors on the Concourse levels pertaining to history from 1400 to 1968 and beyond, and four more floors above this with interactive gallery, sports, military, stage, musical, visual arts and theatre, it's mind-boggling on how to take it all in. And take it all in.
An unexpected exhibit tucked away where fewer museum goers (and school groups) were visiting was
one of my favorite gems: the hats of Mae Reeves.
How well I remember a time when women wore hats to church and for dress-up occasions.
And how well Dorothy Mae Reeves will be remembered for her gumption in opening up her own millinery shop in the 1940s in Philadelphia and serving customers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, and Marian Anderson.