Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Day in Cincinnati, and the William Howard Taft National Historic Site Junior Ranger Program

Here's our trip to Ohio so far:

We spent the first day at the Girl Scout National Convention in Columbus.
We spent the second day touring Native American mounds near Chillicothe.
We spent the third day sightseeing aviation history in Dayton.

And we spent the last day of our trip in Cincinnati!

Syd's ballet schedule this semester allowed us to spend just one more day on fall break, and we chose to go back to Cincinnati, where we'd had so much fun on an overnight with our Girl Scout troop a couple of months ago. Unlike that troop trip, during which the weather was so beautiful that we did all outdoor experiences, on this day it was still pretty wet and gross, and Syd was still pretty sniffly, so we stuck to indoor activities.

Such as the William Howard Taft National Historic Site! I didn't actually have the kids do any prep work on any of the places we'd be visiting on this trip, so their only experience with William Howard Taft is that time that I had Will memorize all of the presidents in order (I'd consider having them memorize this again, as Will has forgotten it and Syd never learned it, but we're currently memorizing exponent rules and The Fifth of November, so we're full up on memory work).

Fortunately, there's nothing better for giving a thorough biography of a person than a National Park visitor center and introductory film:



And even better when there's a house tour!








Fun fact: William Howard Taft didn't really have ambitions to be president--his dream was to be Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. His second wife, however, always had her eye on the White House, and consistently pushed him there until he was elected:


But in May of that same year, she suffered from a stroke, and had a long, hard recovery. She wasn't able to do any of the fun hostessing duties anymore, and Taft no longer had her help with decision-making. And since she was the power behind the throne, as you say, his next election--


--did not go well:


The good news, though, is that guess who eventually became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court?!?

YAY for Taft!

And here's a fun fact that illustrates term limits: Washington established the first Supreme Court. We know that from Washington to Trump (sigh), there have been 45 presidents of the United States. Want to guess how many Chief Justices of the Supreme Court there have been in that exact same time?

Seventeen. It's a lifetime appointment.

So even though we knew nothing about this site before we got there, and the kids weren't super enthused about going, we found it to be a fascinating house--


--and a fascinating man:


After becoming the William Howard Taft National Historic Site's newest Junior Rangers, there was only one single thing that the kids wanted to do before going back home to see their much-missed pets: 

Just last night, we watched Goosbumps for Family Movie Night and ate some of the international treats we bought there: sweet basil potato chips from Thailand, cappuccino cream-filled cookies from Italy, dinosaur-shaped corn puffs also from Thailand (that country has great snacks!), Jammie Dodgers from Great Britain, and lemon cookies from Canada!

We're saving the horror-themed sodas from the US for another night.

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