I’m not exactly sure what inspired my recent interest in museums, but I must have visited five or six of them within a week’s time recently. Part of the reason was my road trip through Texas where I managed to stop at the Holocaust Museum and Museum of Natural Sciences in Houston and the Dallas History Museum and Dealey Street JFK Museum in Dallas.
The Holocaust Museum was my first stop and definitely worth the trip. Having visited the Auschwitz concentration camp a while ago, I have a memories of the setting and environment where these events occurred. The history and stories depicted in the museum definitely give insight into the personal aspect of the time. Specifically, stories of Houston-area Holocaust survivors are told. It’s truly hard to imagine the extent of evil and wickedness necessary to such an operation; I guess I didn’t realize there were literally dozens of concentration camps throughout Germany and surrounding areas.
The Museum of Natural Sciences was also a good experience. I thought the exhibits with the different animals and geography examples was pretty cool. I’m not a huge fans of dinosaurs, gems, or mummies, but there were definitely enough exhibits to keep me occupied for a couple hours.
I then proceeded to Dallas and the Dallas history museum. Surprisingly, this place was actually pretty cool. I guess I didn’t realize how new Dallas was to the national stage. Granted, Boston, New York, and some of the East Coast cities have much more history, so Dallas was at a disadvantage there. I guess the railroads and airlines really spurred growth in this area. The museum has four different areas with each dedicated to a different time period from founding to modern day.
Of course, the Dealey Plaza JFK Memorial Museum is also a must see for Dallas, and this place was also pretty neat. I definitely learned a lot of new information during this tour to include the many alternative theories of other suspects for the assassination. It seems awfully convenient that Lee Harvey Oswald was a Soviet sympathizer during the height of the Cold War, but what do I know. Nonetheless, definitely a tragic event in history. I liked how the exhibits examined the events of the day in quite a bit of detail; From JFK’s travel arrangement to the assassination the all witnesses, all pieces were really described in-depth. Overall, definitely worth the admission cost.
The final stop on my whirlwind museum tour was the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. Granted, I remember almost none of Bill Clinton’s presidency, but this tour provided a good overview. Basically, there is a timeline of major events as well as highlights of certain achievements while in office. I really likely the foreign policy historical parts dealing with Northern Ireland, Bosnia, Africa, etc… Some of the other parts included economic policy, crime reduction, environment, etc… I do think it is pretty amazing that Bill Clinton rose from small-town Arkansas to the President of the U.S. I guess that’s what education, political savvy, and good public speaking skills can accomplish. Overall, it was definitely an enjoyable time learning about the events of these eight years.
After these visits, I think my museum meter will be pegged for a while. Nevertheless, I feel much more enlightened about historical events and will continue to visit interesting historical sites as the opportunity arise.