(Former managing editor of the Beaverton Valley Times and The Times, serving Tigard, Tualatin and Sherwood, Mikel Kelly handles special sections and contributes a regular column.)
This just in. I have been to Washington, D.C.
Not on official news-gathering business or anything. I was on vacation, visiting a brand new nephew and drinking his dad's bourbon, eating their Thanksgiving turkey and gawking at more monuments and museums than you can shake your official visitors' guide at.
It was my first trip there, so let me say right up front: I was extremely impressed. It restores one's faith in one's national institutions to actually see them up close, with your own eyeballs. And, if you haven't been there yourself, let me tell you, everything is huge.
The Capitol is huge. The Lincoln Memorial? Yep, huge. Ditto for the Washington Monument, the Smithsonian museums, Union Station, the Library of Congress. Huge, huge, huge and huge.
OK, enough jibber-jabber. Let's see how well you know your famous national landmarks. Just pick what seems like the most appropriate answer - and no cheating.
1. Arlington National Cemetery is situated on land that was taken from someone who owed the federal government less than $100 in back taxes. That person was:
A. Willie Nelson.
B. Gen. Robert E. Lee.
C. Gen. U.S. Grant.
2. The big, 2-mile-long, grassy open space that runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol is called:
A. The National Mall.
B. The Mall of America.
C. The National Living Room.
D. The National Back Yard.
3. Currently on view at the National Gallery is the only Leonardo da Vinci painting in the Western Hemisphere, a portrait he did in 1474 of:
A. Mona Lisa, only this one with a big wide grin.
B. Mona Lisa's younger sister Shaneekwa.
C. his mom, Madge da Vinci.
D. a comely teenage girl named Ginevra de' Benci.
4. The river that separates the Jefferson Memorial and the Pentagon is:
A. The River Styx.
B. The Hudson.
C. The Potomac.
D. The Mississippi.
5. Who said the following words, which are carved in stone on a monument? 'I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen men coughing out their gassed lungs. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen 200 limping, exhausted men come out of line - the survivors of a regiment of 1,000 that went forward 48 hours before. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.'
A. Principal Skinner.
B. Lyndon Johnson.
C. John F. Kennedy.
D. Franklin Roosevelt.
6. Washington, D.C., was designed by:
A. Pierre Charles L'Enfant, a French architect.
B. Benjamin Franklin, an American know-it-all
C. Gustave Eiffel, another famous French guy.
D. Tommy Hilfiger.
7. In the U.S. Capitol, the Senate is located:
A. on the left end.
B. in the basement.
C. on the right end.
D. in the middle.
8. The big green open space in front of the White House is called:
A. the horseshoe pit.
B. the shootin' range.
C. the front yard.
D. the Ellipse.
9. The Hirshhorn Museum is dedicated to what kind of art?
D. The work of zoo animals and preschoolers.
10. The benefactor of The Smithsonian Institution, English scientist James Smithson, never set foot in this country, which makes it especially ironic that his remains now rest in a crypt:
A. under the Statue of Liberty.
B. in the Grand Canyon.
C. in the Smithsonian Castle, on the National Mall.
D. that is circling the earth in a space station.
(Correct answers: 1-B, 2-A, 3-D, 4-C, 5-D, 6-A, 7-A, 8-D, 9-B, 10-C.)