On Saturday I took a day off from the house build as I wanted to join a group who were visiting the Congressional Cemetery and the Navy Yard. I'd visited the cemetery last summer and was curious to see if conditions had improved. My last visit is here:
Ken, who led the group had done a lot of research and peppered the tour with wonderful snippets of information, much of which came from the website history section:
The article by Cathleen Breutkreutz, page 53, mentioned that Senator Vance Hartke had announced at J Edgar Hoover's funeral in 1972 that the cemetery was a 'national disgrace". I had felt the same on my last visit and was hoping conditions had improved.
We left East St and walked down to the Navy Yard on the Anacostia River. After getting our passes we were allowed through the gates into what felt like a little ghost town. There were restaurants and a couple of stores but nobody apart from our group. It seemed like nobody else in DC was aware that this place existed.
I met the others on the jetty by the USS Barry, a destroyer, decommissioned in 1982 after 26 years of service and now a permanent display ship. In 1966 she was the first ship on which a gun was fired using a digital computer.
This was an exceptional visit and we enjoyed it even more because there were so few people on board so we were able to savor the atmosphere of each room. Everything was in an impeccable condition, we were allowed up steep narrow ladders and along a maze of corridors and rooms with many high door sills (fondly referred to as knee knockers) on route. I loved every part of this tour and applaud the Navy for producing such a well planned exhibit. A lot of our group had dispersed once we climbed down onto the quay, so it was time for a quick coffee before taking the metro back to our cars and then leaving DC as the sun was setting.