Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We The People

OK, enough with the sculpture and the silly observations of Washington, DC for a moment. How about something serious? The National Archives maintains the official records of the United States of America. And in a large rotunda, under lights so dim I am amazed I was able to get pictures, in cases made of titanium and filled with inert argon, lie the documents that laid the groundwork for our country. Above is the Bill of Rights, containing the first ten amendments to the Constitution.

Above is the first page of the Constitution of the United States, with it's famous preamble beginning We The People.

And this is the top of The Declaration of Independence. Not a copy, but the original, the one with all the signatures at the bottom. The signatures are extremely faint and hard to see, with the exception of John Hancock. It was so dark in there that I didn't even try to get a picture of them. It was also pretty crowded, so I only got a few seconds to take a shot without a tourist in the way.

This is a view of the rotunda that contains the documents. To the left and right, outside the frame, are cases containing many more historic documents, arranged in chronological order, I believe. Note the two guard that are standing to either side of the Constitution.

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