A geographical blessing we in Maryland share is our proximity to our nation's capital.
Regardless of politics,Washington, D.C., is a majestic city whose stature in national and world history is on par with the likes of London, Rome, Tokyo, Madrid, Alexandria and Constantinople.
A key reason for its standing, in addition to the moral and economic strength of the nation behind it, is that it serves as more than a political capital. It also is home to a repositories of publicly-accessible documents and artifacts that are arguably the greatest collection of human knowledge ever compiled. These vast storehouses of information are kept safe by a network of related organizations: the Smithsonian Institution, the Library of Congress, the National Archives and a collection of libraries kept by other federal institutions like the Department of the Interior.
Living in Maryland means making a trip to take in a sliver of these artifacts of the American experience is relatively easily done. Even so, there are so many bits of fascinating information in the nation's capital that getting a look at some of the interesting, yet not-so-flashy items is difficult even for people living nearby.
Thus, the recently concluded traveling Smithsonian exhibits collectively entitled Journey Stories, which brought bits of U.S. history, often seen through the eyes of just plain folks like you and us, to the Harford County Public Library system and other local public venues, came as a welcome addition to our view of our own and our county's history. Subject matter was diverse, as it featured the serious enterprise of the Underground Railroad and its efforts to free African Americans from bondage to a more lighthearted look at the influence of Marilyn Monroe on American popular culture.
"It went wonderfully," Bethany Hacker of the Harford County Public Library said last week. We couldn't agree more. The Journey Stories program was a tremendous way to bring a wealth of knowledge from the nation's capital to those of us living a few miles away. No doubt, it was even more well-appreciated by those living farther away from the Smithsonian and other repositories of U.S. history.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun