Honestly, the Newseum was something I had never heard of before this trip. It is six floors of pretty much any kind of news source you can think of. One could easily spend an entire day looking at everything inside, but considering we went closer to closing, our group was only there for about two hours.
The area that left the lasting impression on me was the Pulitzer Prize winning photos, beginning back in the 1940s. I think it left the biggest impression because it showed photographs that so accurately represented history through the years, so as a History major I was enthralled.
On display there was the best photo from each year, with a description of where it was, who took it, and small back-story to the situation. I recognized so many of them, as they were prominent photos from wars, natural disasters, or some sort of attack. The image that hit home with me the most was from the Columbine High School massacre back in 1999. Columbine High School is in Littleton, CO, only about an hour away from where I grew up. My dad worked for a program called Rachel’s Challenge back when I was in Middle School. Rachel Scott was the first person to be shot and killed that day, and because of her kindness towards others her father and brother, who was also almost killed at Columbine that day, created this program. They go around to High Schools across the nation teaching students about how they need to be kind to one another. The picture that won the Pulitzer Prize was of two guys embracing in a hug while sobbing. I feel like the rawness from that kind of image so accurately represents the emotions of what went on that day. I was only three-years-old when the two shooters entered Columbine High School killing 13, injuring over 20, and then taking their own lives, so while I may not have understood the problem then, these photos will never let me forget it.
Not every image that won was negative. There were a few that were taken at the Olympics. The one that left the biggest impression was a group of Nigerian girls in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. It was taken after they had just discovered that they won bronze in the 4×100 relay. They were more excited to receive the bronze than the Soviets were to receive the silver, or even the Americans were to receive the gold. It was such a heartfelt story and so accurately represented their joy and hard work.
Overall, the Newseum was super powerful, and an incredible experience. I wish I could spent more time there, but there are so many things across DC to see. Here’s to the rest of the short time we have left on this trip.