Military Tours of the National Capital Region

As Seen in AAA World Magazine

In preparation for Destination DC’s upcoming member’s (virtual) trivia night, I was asked to sponsor the event by submitting a small number of trivia questions.  So here’s a chance to test your area knowledge.  (A slow scroll down is recommended so that answers are not exposed prematurely):

1. There are four Presidents buried in the National Capital Region. George Washington is buried at Mount Vernon and John Kennedy is buried at Arlington. Who are the other two?

a. Jefferson and Lincoln
b. Taft and Eisenhower
c. Taft and Wilson
d. Taft and Coolidge

Answer: (C) William Howard Taft is buried at Arlington and Woodrow Wilson is buried in the nave of the Washington National Cathedral. Relevant experience

2. President Lincoln authored the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. At what place did most of the drafting take place?

a. The White House
b. The Capitol
c. Camp David
d. Lincoln Cottage

Answer: (D) Camp David did not exist in the 19th Century. It was up to First Families to find an informal spot of respite and the Lincoln’s chose a summer home on the grounds of the United States Soldiers’ Home in Northwest DC. It is now known as Lincoln’s Cottage. Relevant experience

3. On a visit to Mount Vernon, a patron may view an actual set of George Washington’s dentures. President Washington’s false teeth were made primarily of:

a. Human cadaver and animal bone
b. Walrus Ivory
c. Wood
d. Horse hooves

Answer: (A) Depending on what town Washington was in when he lost a tooth, and what that town’s dentist had available in his inventory, Washington’s new teeth may have included human cadaver teeth, elephant or rhinoceros ivory, or cow bone added to his pewter bridge. Relevant experience 

4. Which countries’ embassy has a near century long tradition of patronizing up and coming jazz artists in DC and inviting select DC musicians to perform at the embassy?

a. Turkey
b. Sweden
c. France
d. Great Britain

Answer: (A) Brothers Ahmet and Nesuhi Ertegun, sons of the 1930’s Turkish Ambassador, often brought jazz musicians from U Street back to their father’s mansion residence in Sheridan Circle for jam sessions. To this day, the Embassy of Turkey (capacity: 150) has periodic local jazz concerts. Fans in the DC area are advised to follow the Facebook page of the Embassy of Turkey for ticket availability to the general public. Relevant experience

5. Speaking of embassies, which is the only state to have an embassy in DC?

a. Texas
b. California
c. New York
d. Florida

Answer: (D) The Florida House on Capitol Hill, just behind the Supreme Court, is the only state embassy in Washington. It is open to all Floridians and Floridians at Heart! Stop by for a complementary glass of cold Florida Orange juice! Relevant experience

6. After his assassination of President Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth broke his leg during his flight from Ford’s Theatre therefore needing medical assistance. Where did he stop to have his leg set?

a. Mudd Farm
b. Surratt’s Tavern
c. Washington Navy Yard
d. St Elizabeth’s Hospital

Answer: (A) The Dr. Samuel Mudd Farm in Waldorf, MD was an unscheduled stop that Booth and his accomplice David Herold made as the fled south out of Washington. Booth’s broken leg required attention, and Mudd was an acquaintance of Booth who set his leg the morning after the assassination. Mudd was later found guilty of conspiracy and sentenced to life in prison but paroled three years later by President Johnson. Relevant experience

7. This Washington resident was the most photographed person in the 19th Century

a. Abraham Lincoln
b. Frederick Douglass
c. Ulysses S. Grant
d. Grover Cleveland

Answer: (B) At 160 known photographs, Mr. Douglass far outpaces even Presidents of his day. Relevant experience

8. The only Civil War battle to take place in the District of Columbia and the only battle in American history in which a sitting President (Lincoln) was an observer took place at:

a. Fort Totten
b. Fort Reno
c. Fort Stevens
d. Fort Stanton

Answer: (C) The Battle of Fort Stevens on 11-12 July 1864 was an attempt by a Confederate Army led by General Jubal Early to take the city of Washington. They (ironically) invaded from the north side of town and Fort Stevens was hastily maned by city policemen, fire fighters, civil servants, and invalid soldiers. Lincoln arrived to take a look, stood atop the parapet in his top hat as a nearby soldier yelled “Get down you fool, you’ll have your block knocked off!” Relevant experience

9. This war memorial on the National Mall was the first one constructed.

a. Vietnam War Memorial
b. Korean War Memorial
c. World War II Memorial

Answer: (A) Ironically, the most recent conflict represented by a memorial in Washington (Vietnam 1982) was built first and we have then gone back in time in order to build the others (Korean 1994), (World War II 2004), and now being built at Freedom Plaza the World War I Memorial. Relevant experience

10. This Washington attraction served as the de facto White House for President and Mrs. Madison for six months after the British burned the original Executive Mansion.

a. Octagon House
b. Marine Corps Commandant’s Quarters
c. Custis-Lee Mansion
d. Carlyle House

Answer: (A) The Octagon House at 1199 New York Avenue, NW was unmolested by the British and was the nearest fashionable home to the White House available to the first family. Relevant experience

11. How many sides does the Octagon House have?

a. Five
b. Six
c. Eight
d. Nine

Answer: (B) The reason behind the naming of the six-sided building as the Octagon House is unknown. Though the main room is a circle, one possibility is that it resembled octagonal rooms common in England, which were also circles but called octagon salons because they were constructed of eight walls and then plastered heavily in the corners to make a circle. Another explanation is that the eight angles formed by the odd shape of the six walls are an old definition of an octagon.
Relevant experience

12. Which of these dining establishments is NOT open to the public for lunch?

a. Supreme Court Café
b. Fort Myer Officers Club
c. National Press Club
d. Army Navy Club

Answer: (D) The Army Navy Club is a private venue but the others listed above are open for lunch to the general public and amongst our favorites to impress our clients with an authentic, high-quality Washington experience.