Fraunces Tavern Museum in New York City

Built as the Delancey Mansion in 1719, Samuel Fraunces purchased the building in 1762 and turned it into a tavern, later offering it as a place for political and social gatherings and distribution of news. The tavern became known as the Fraunces Tavern and is most famously recognized as the spot where George Washington said goodbye to his Continental Army officers on December 4, 1783. The tavern is also the spot where the first Sons of the Revolution in the State of New York (who own and oversee the museum) formed and the first offices of the Departments of Foreign Affairs, War, and Treasury. 

The Fraunces Tavern Museum opened as a museum in 1907 and will celebrate its 300th birthday in 2019, with several special celebrations planned (check here for updates). The museum has over 8500 items in the permanent collection and rotates items on display.

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Playing ‘I Spy” in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, a town of less than 10,000 people, is the site of the largest Civil War battle ever fought, lasting three days in early July 1863. Over 51,000 soldiers were captured, wounded, or killed. The Battle is considered the turning point of the American Civil War, as the Union won the battle over Robert E. Lee and the Confederate army.

Each year, over three million people visit Gettysburg to learn about American history; to explore the museums, shops, and restaurants; and to enjoy the outdoors- there are over 31 miles of hiking trails. Many locations around town honor the people who fought in the battle and the civilians who supported them during and after the battle. The town also has strong ties to former Presidents Lincoln and Eisenhower.

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Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee

Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage was the exclusive property of Andrew and his wife Rachel. He lived there from 1804 until his death in 1845. It was bought by a nonprofit organization in 1889 and opened later that year as a museum in his honor. Almost every artifact in the mansion is authentic. The property averages about 600-700 visitors each day, but when we were there, a docent said it had been one of the busiest days of the summer, with over 1,000 visitors by mid afternoon.

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Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg, PA

Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was Supreme Allied Commander, war general, president of Columbia University and ultimately 34th president of the United States, lived in over 40 different homes before finally retiring in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1961. Eisenhower studied the Civil War and had spent time training soldiers at Camp Colt in Gettysburg during World War I. Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie, purchased the 187 acre complex in 1950 and used the home as a “weekend White House” and for an extended time when Eisenhower recovered from a heart attack in 1955. The Eisenhower National Historic Site, now part of the Gettysburg National Military Park, has been open to visitors since 1980 and almost every artifact in the home is authentic to the Eisenhower family. The home reflects the everyday living of the Eisenhower family in the 1950s and 1960s.

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George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas, Texas

Located on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, the George W Bush Presidential Center opened in May 2013 and offers many hands on opportunities to learn about American (and world!) history at the start of the 21st century, Bush’s presidency. The museum is designed around four principles that President and Mrs. Bush valued: freedom, responsibility, opportunity, and compassion. The archives include over 70 million pages of documents and 4 million photographs. Individuals may make appointments for research room access.

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