Lafayette Square Tour of Scandal, Assassination & Intrigue
Take a fun, fast-paced tour of a DC locale, with an ex-Tonight Show writer & historian, that focuses on the scandals, assassinations, and spying during the two centuries of the capital's event-filled existence!
Great for tour groups! Travel & touring enterprise. Copyright (C) 2019 by Edward P. Moser
Great for tour groups! Travel & touring enterprise. Copyright (C) 2019 by Edward P. Moser
We are a touring & hiking club in the Washington, DC area focused on hikes and walks in and around historical and scenic locales. Especially the towns and neighborhoods of Capitol Hill, Alexandria, La
Tour of Historic Congressional Cemetery, D.C., Saturday, January 30, 1 pm!
Congressional Cemetery, east of Capitol Hill and Nationals Stadium, is one of the most historic and fascinating graveyards in the nation. Among those who’ve been laid to rest there are famed musician John Philip Sousa, as well as J. Edgar Hoover and his rumored lover, and D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. And the bodies of Dolley Madison and John Quincy Adams, kept there in a public vault until their burials elsewhere.
Note: We have a permit for this tour.
The graveyard, which dates from 1807, also contains the remains of civilians killed in a horrific munitions blowup, whose funeral President Lincoln attended, and those who died in the U.S. Navy’s worst accident. The place is linked to noted architects Benjamin Latrobe and William Thornton, the original designers of the Capitol Building and to America's first female journalist. For generations Congress itself maintained the cemetery, and today its upkeep is aided by its packs of mascot dogs, and herds of goats, as well as ghostly special events.
Note: This is a Live, not an online, tour.
When: Saturday, January 30, 1 pm!
What: A ghost-filled walking tour of D.C.’s most famed and politically charged graveyard
Where: Meet at Potomac Ave SOUTHEAST and 18th St., Washington, DC 20003
Length. About 2 hours.
Our packed and scary itinerary will draw from:
• Two Presidents who died early in office, and conspiracy theories about their deaths
• The gravesite of D.C.’s “Mayor for Life”, Marion Barry.
• The astonishing memorial to D.C.’s most successful “lady of the evening”
• The more recently deceased, such as FBI founder J. Edgar Hoover and House Speaker Tip O’Neill
• The architect whose beguiling sister bewitched Thomas Jefferson
• The Cabinet officers who were killed in the worst peace-time Navy accident in American history--and the wild funeral that ensued!
• The local resident who composed the Marine Corps marches while hating recorded music
• The mysterious vault that contained the remains of Dolley Madison and John Quincy Adams
• The Choctaw Indian chief of the Battle of New Orleans, plus an Apache chief!
• The Navy commander faced with the toughest decision imaginable
• Intriguing funereal architecture
• The man who taught politics the gerrymander
• A memorial to Irish immigrants slain in one of the Civil War’s worst accidents
• Figures from the largest slave escape in history
• The locale’s famed canine corps
• The great photographer of the War Between the States
• The Lincoln assassination conspirator who hid among the graves, and the final resting place of another major Lincoln killer.
• Where a presidential assassin was hanged, and where Nazi saboteurs were executed
• The man who designed the Washington Monument, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Treasury Building, and his critics’ vicious attacks on his skill
• The Marine Corps’ longest-serving, and possibly bravest, Commandant
• The son of the man who saved the original Declaration of Independence and Constitution
• Ghosts and goblins among the ruins
Your guide is a former writer for the “Tonight Show”, and ex-White House speechwriter, and author of:
• Alexandria’s founding as a port city, for the Ohio Valley!
• The noted architects behind its stunning architecture
• Hometown of famous Founding Fathers
• World War Two spies and ships
• Locale of a famous Confederate, and Union Army, sculptor
• How the town started a world war
• Locale of the biggest slave escape in U.S. history
• The worst accident in Navy history
• George Washington’s secret townhouse
• The site of the first six Presidential inaugural balls
• The town’s close connection to Downton Abbey
• Civil rights sit-downs
• The nation’s narrowest houses
• Where the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were hatched
• The ghostly Mysterious Stranger
• Rigged horse races & crazed drinking bouts from back in the day.
• The real “Father” of his country
• The floating mansion
• An in-town Civil War battle
• The horrific attack on a Revolutionary War hero
Your guide is a former “Tonight Show” writer, an ex-Presidential speechwriter, & author of the new book on D.C.’s history, The White House’s Unruly Neighborhood: Crime, Scandal & Intrigue in the History of Lafayette Square:
There've been at least six other past breaches of or attacks on or in the Capitol Building. From my forthcoming book, Tumult: The Wild, Hidden History of the Capitol Building--
"The haughty yet adept Rear Admiral, George Cockburn, age 42, and the brave, chivalrous Major General, Robert Ross, 48 years old, were weary but confident.
In the twilight of a baking-hot evening, they and their sailors and Royal Marines paused outside the Sewall-Belmont house, then the stately home of their foe’s Treasury Secretary, Albert Gallatin, on land once owned by Daniel Carrollton. The commanders were at Constitution Avenue and 1st St., N.E., only two blocks from the Capitol Building.
The hundred or so light infantrymen of the invading British force looked like “flames of fire, all red coats…the stocks of their guns painted with red,” noted Michael Shiner, an enslaved worker of the nearby Navy Yard.
In the open land in front of the officers loomed the two linked wings of the legislature, the House and the Senate, that had been waging war on mighty Britain since the conflict’s declaration there on June 17, 1812.
That day, August 24, 1814, had already been quite eventful. The commanders’ overall army of 4,000 soldiers were hardened veterans of the wars against Napoleon. It had crushed a poorly led and barely trained force of 7,000 militiamen, regular Army troops, and U.S. Marines and sailors. The battle, which happened just nine miles to the northeast, at Bladensburg, Maryland, had flung open the door to Washington.
Suddenly, shockingly, as the two looked toward the impressive if unfinished Capitol, shots rang out. From the Gallatin house, and perhaps elsewhere.
One or two Britishers were killed, and several were wounded. A bullet just missed Ross, and hit his horse. The bay mare was killed, with the General tumbling off it, shaken yet unhurt. Another bullet killed the horse of his trumpeter.
According to some sources, several Maryland militiamen had fired from inside the Gallatin residence, then scurried off into the rough countryside behind it.
Whoever was responsible for the fusillade, Admiral Cockburn was enraged. He ordered the Gallatin house burned down. Five British sailors rushed inside and torched the place.
General Ross sent for reinforcements. And, if there had been any doubt, Cockburn commanded the destruction of the 67-foot-high Capitol Building.
The British soldiers rushed toward the houses of Congress. To their left was a hotel, a site where Congress would make its temporary quarters, and where much later the Supreme Court Building would stand.
The Royal Marines broke open the doors on the east front of the Capitol. They swarmed into the House wing on the south side. The red-curtained chamber had the shape of a compact, slanted octagon, bracketed by Greek columns.
Mounting the House Speaker’s podium, Cockburn was like a fiery preacher addressing his flock from the pulpit. He harangued his men with a challenge, with words like the following:
‘Shall this harbor of Yankee Democracy be burned? This Mobocracy, this insult to our King? All for it will say, ‘Aye’!’..."
"...The four persons paused at the east steps of the Capitol Building. The three men among them were hesitant. One of them remarked they were behind schedule, and it might be wise to hold off until another day.
But their slim, smartly attired leader, a former beauty pageant queen, reacted with bitterness.
“Yo soy solo,” she complained in her native Spanish. “I’ve been left all alone.”
Shamed, the men agreed to follow Lolita Lebrón into the House of Representatives, on that cloudy afternoon of March 1, 1954.
The building then had no metal detectors. The security guards simply asked them if they had cameras, which were not allowed. They replied they did not. They were not checked for weapons. They were waved inside.
34-year-old Lolita Lebrón entered the Capitol, accompanied by Rafael Cancel Miranda, Andres Figueroa Cordero, and Irving Flores Rodríguez. They walked up stairs to the Ladies’ Gallery, as the second-floor visitors balcony was called. They sat down next to some Maryland sixth graders.
The quartet anxiously peered down into the well of Congress, which was in session. The House was debating a bill to reauthorize entry into the U.S. of Mexican migrant workers. Some 240 Congressmen milled about, waiting to vote.
At 2:30 p.m., the four visitors took out three German Lugers and one rapid-fire pistol.
They quickly recited The Lord’s Prayer.
They pointed downward, and began firing..."
"...The recorded message came into the Senate’s switchboard at 10:48 p.m. on November 7, 1983. A voice informed the operator:
“Listen carefully, I’m only going to tell you this one time. There is a bomb in the Capitol Building. It will go off in five minutes. Evacuate the building.” The phone line went dead.
About the same time, the news desk of the Washington Post received a similar message.
At 10:58 p.m., the bomb went off in a hall on the second floor of the Senate side. It blew up ten yards from the Senate chamber, and near the office of the Senate Minority Leader, Democrat Robert Carlyle Byrd of West Virginia.
The explosion sent a “shower of splintered wood, plaster and brick flying across the hall, shattering the windows of the Republican cloak-room,” reported Congressional Quarterly. “The doors to Byrd's office were blown off their hinges, nearby windows were blown out, and surrounding walls were pockmarked with fist-sized holes.”
Chandeliers shattered. The hands on a grandfather clock that had kept time for 124 years stopped. Daniel Webster’s face was blown off a venerable portrait of the 19th-century Senator. (Aides painstakingly collected its fragments from trash bins, and the image was reconstructed.) Pedestrians outside the Capitol heard a noise like a sonic boom.
Detonated late at night, when the Capitol was mostly empty, the bomb caused no casualties. But it might have.
“It was indeed fortunate,” reacted the Senate Majority Leader, Republican Howard Baker of Tennessee, that “the Senate was not in session…as had been announced. Had we been in session at 11 o'clock, undoubtedly there would have been grave injury and perhaps loss of life.”
The bomb blew up near the Mansfield Room, named for a former Senator Majority Leader, Michael Joseph “Mike” Mansfield of Montana. A reception had taken pace there not long before the explosion.
On the morning after, a group that claimed to be the “Armed Resistance Unit” sent a “Communique” to National Public Radio. It read: “Tonight we bombed the U.S. Capitol…We attacked the U.S. government to retaliate against imperialist aggression that has sent the Marines, the CIA, and the Army to invade sovereign nations, to trample and lay waste the lives and rights of the peoples of Grenada, Lebanon, El Salvador, and Nicaragua...”
The message echoed the events of the time. In October 1983, President Reagan sent U.S. troops into the Caribbean island of Grenada, to oust its Cuban-backed government. Two days before that invasion, the terrorist group Hezbollah, with support from the Islamic Republic of Iran, blew up a U.S. Marines base in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 241 Americans. During this period, the Administration was supporting guerillas fighting the socialist Sandinista government of Nicaragua.
The Communique added: “We purposely aimed our attack at the institutions of imperialist rule rather than at individual members of the ruling class and government. We did not choose to kill any of them at this time. But their lives are not sacred and their hands are stained with the blood of millions.”
Despite the threat, both houses convened the next day. “The Senate will not be deterred from its business,” said a defiant Baker, adding he and his colleagues would meet “in the rubble” if need be...."
Our current book, on the wild, hidden history of the White House neighborhood: https://www.amazon.com/White-Houses-Unruly-Neighborhood-Lafayette-ebook/dp/B082ZVDCD7/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1555118270&sr=1-1-catcorr
Stories from our book, The White House's Unruly Neighborhood: Crime, Scandal and Intrigue in the History of Lafayette Square.The podcast is based on our tours of the Washington, D.C. region's wild, hidden history and on our other books. Our book is available at: https://www.amazon.com/White-Houses-U...
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A tour of George Washington's Alexandria, Virginia.
Our tours take place in Washington, D.C.--Lafayette Square, Capitol Hill, Georgetown, et al.--Alexandria, Virginia, and other historic sites such as Civil War battlefields in Antietam, Maryland. The tours last about 2 hours, and typically cost $15 per person.
Lafayette Square--White House, Andrew Jackson statue, Stephen Decatur House, slave annex, Dolley Madison House, St. John's Church, Frederick Douglass bank, Lafayette statue, Blair-Lee House, Renwick Gallery, Treasury Dept., Eisenhower Executive Office Building...Learn about: The assassination attempt on a President-one block from the White House!…The war-hero congressman who murdered his wife’s lover…The tragic suicide of the wife of America’s most esteemed author…The brutal stabbing of a Secretary of State…The ruthless spy who lost the U.S. Army a major battle…The scandal that caused the entire presidential Cabinet to resign!..And much more! And it all happened in Lafayette Square, across from the White House in Washington, D.C.
This tour starts and ends at the Andrew Jackson statue.
Old Town Alexandria, Virginia--the Torpedo Factory, the John Carlisle mansion, the Stabler-Ledbetter pharmacy museum, Lawrence Washington's House, George Washington's town house, Founder's Park, the City Hall, the John Wise tavern, Gadsby's Museum and restaurant, Christ Church, Robert E. Lee's boyhood home, the Lee-Fendall House, the old cotton mill, the Presbyterian Meeting House.
This tour typically starts at the Torpedo Factory and ends at Christ Church.
Capitol Hill--the Supreme Court, the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Library of Congress, the 9/11 memorial, the Anne Frank memorial, the Peace Memorial, the President Garfield statue, the Inauguration steps, the Ulysses S. Grant memorial, the Frederick Law Olmstead grotto, the Sullivan Brothers memorial, the hidden cornerstone of the Capitol...
This tour starts at the Supreme Court Building and ends at the Ulysses S. Grant memorial.
Your host is a former presidential speechwriter and former writer for “The Tonight Show”, a licensed tour operator, and the author of the books, “America from A to Z” (http://www.amazon.com/Patriots-America-Things-American-Should/dp/1596525495), “The Politically Correct Guide to American History”, and “Foundering Fathers: What Jefferson, Franklin, and Abigail Adams Saw in Modern D.C.!” (http://www.amazon.com/Foundering-Fathers-Jefferson-Franklin-Abigail/dp/0615739881)
What We Do--"Walking history seminars": walking group tours of the most historic venues in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and other towns.
Where We Go--We tour historic, atmospheric neighborhoods and sites such as Lafayette Square, the Capitol Building grounds, Georgetown, Old Town Alexandria, the Navy Yard area, and the Antietam Civil War battlefield.
Price--$15, payable at the tour. Approximate time: 2 hours minutes. RSVP to: savvyveteran at gmail dot com. Tours are both regularly scheduled, and given on demand.
Great for school kids, company team building, & tour groups!
• Lafayette Square and White House Area Tour of Scandal, Assassination, & Intrigue
• Lafayette Square Tour of the Civil War
• Lafayette Square Tour of the Life of Thomas Jefferson
• Lafayette Square Tour of Andrew Jackson
• Lafayette Square Tour of the Presidents
• Lafayette Square Tour of the Presidents at War
• Lafayette Square Tour of African-American History
• Lafayette Square Tour of Southern History
• Lafayette Square Tour of Famed Females
• Lafayette Square Tour of Famous French-Americans
• Lafayette Square Tour of Famous Irish-Americans
• Lafayette Square Tour of the War of 1812’s British Invasion & Burning of D.C.
• Lafayette Square Tour of Military History
• Lafayette Square Tour of Abraham Lincoln
• Lafayette Square Tour of Deadly Duels
• Lafayette Square Ghosts and Murders Tour
• Lafayette Square Children’s Tour
• Thomas Jefferson & Martin Luther King Memorials & Lives Tour
• White House Area Tour of the First World War
• Downtown D.C. Tour of the Lincoln Assassination
• Downtown D.C. Tour of the Civil War
• Downtown D.C. Tour of Presidential Assassinations
• Downtown D.C. Ides of March 15th Tour of Presidential Assassinations
• National Portrait Gallery Tour: The Stories Behind the Portraits
• National Portrait Gallery Civil War Tour: The War-Time Stories Behind the Portraits
• D.C. Tour of Famous German-Americans
• Tour of Historic Foggy Bottom D.C.
• Hidden History of the National Mall Tour: Capitol to Washington Monument
• Hidden History of the National Mall Tour: Washington Monument to Lincoln Memorial
• National Mall Tour and Lecture on the Second World War
• Tour of the Air and Space Museum
• Capitol Hill to Ford’s Theater Deluxe Tour of the Civil War
• Lafayette Square to Capitol Hill Grand Tour of the Civil War
• Tour of Eastern Market, Barracks Row, & Navy Yard History
• Capitol Hill Grounds Tour of Scandal, Murder, & Spies
• Capitol Hill Grounds Tour of the Civil War
• Congressional Cemetery History Tour
• Old Town Alexandria, Virginia History Tour
• Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Tour of Military History
• Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Tour of George Washington & the American Revolution
• Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Tour of African-American History
• Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Tour of “Mercy Street” and the Civil War
• Old Town Alexandria, Virginia Ghost Tour
• Georgetown History Tour
• Georgetown Tour of the Civil War
• Tour of Annapolis, Maryland
• Tour of First and Second Manassas (Bull Run), Virginia Civil War Battlefields
• Tour of Downtown Fredericksburg Virginia & Civil War Battlefield
• Tour of Antietam, Maryland Civil War Battlefield
• Tour of Gettysburg Battlefield
• Tour of Monticello, University of Virginia, & Charlottesville
• Tour of Lower & Mid-town Manhattan & Brooklyn
• Tour of Boston, Massachusetts
• Tour of Nashville & Memphis
• Tour of New Orleans
• Tour of Ancient Greece & Sicily
• Tour of Rome, Florence & Venice
• Tour of Berlin, Munich & Salzburg
• Tour of Prague and Vienna
• Tour of Normandy & the D-Day Beaches
• Tour of Paris, Brussels, & Bruges
• Tour of London, Oxford, & Cambridge
• Tour of Copenhagen, Oslo & Stockholm
• Tour of Cambodia & Laos
Lafayette Square Tour of Scandal, Assassination & Intrigue. Copyright (C) 2018 and 2019