Tag Archives: Washington

We Remember Dr. King

Had he lived, Dr. King would have been 83 years old this year.

And he probably would have been gearing up for an amazing 2013 when the nation will mark 50 years since the historic March on Washington and 150 years since the Emancipation Proclamation ended legalized slavery in the United States.

On a personal note, I was eight years old when Congress established the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday in January.

And this year, my son, at eight years old, is visiting the newly completed Dr. King memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

As difficult as it is to talk to children about the harsh realities of our history and about the challenges to equality in our current cultural and economic climate, the Dr. King memorial is a great opportunity to bring these issues to life.

It’s a chance to talk about how precious freedom is, what it means, and why we must be constantly on guard to protect it.

It’s a chance to instill in our children the importance of following their conscience and not the dictates of what society tells us is true or acceptable.

And it’s a chance to remind them of their own inherent self-worth and responsibility to live lives of courage and compassion.

The monument includes quotations from Dr. King’s speeches, including his 1964 speech in Norway upon receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace. You can read the speech in its entirety here. 

Dr. King was only 35 when he received the Nobel – the youngest person ever to receive the award – and he donated the entire amount (about $56,000) to the Civil Rights Movement.

To read Dr. King’s biography on the Nobel website, click here.

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Filed under Holiday, Learn

Cherry Blossom Festival Unites Japan, USA

DC cherry blossomsOn March 27, 1912, American First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, the wife of the Japanese Ambassador to the United States, planted the first two Japanese cherry blossom trees near Washington, DC’s Tidal Basin.

Mrs. Taft was an excellent advocate for bringing the Japanese cherry trees to Washington. For three years, she lived with her husband and children in the Philippines while her husband served as the Governor-General of the Philippine islands. She was considered remarkable at the time because she welcomed the opportunity to learn about the language and culture of the Philippines and to befriend the Filipino people.

In addition, Mrs. Taft enjoyed traveling to Japan and China and she brought a respect and appreciation for other cultures to the White House when her husband was elected in 1908.

Ninety-nine years after the two ladies planted the first cherry blossom trees, visitors to Washington still enjoy them, as well as the 3,000 others that subsequently joined them.

This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival is being conducted while the original givers of this beautiful gift – the people of Japan – are struggling with unbelievable challenges and tragedies.

More than two weeks after an earthquake and a tsunami changed life for people of Japan and set off a nuclear crisis in their country, many Americans are using the National Cherry Blossom Festival to reinvigorate American donations to help the people of Japan.

For more information about the history of the cherry trees in Washington, DC, check out the National Park Service’s website.

More information about the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which runs from March 26-April 10, click here.

The American Red Cross is one of the best options for donating funds to help the people of Japan.

 

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Filed under Asia, Learn

Coconut Chicken & Shrimp Soup

chicken & shrimp soupI can thank Thai food, in part, for my friendship with Chef Danielle Turner of CookingClarified.com.

As staffers at a non-profit in Washington, DC, we used to hang out after work at a nearby Thai restaurant sampling Pad Thai, laab, crab rangoon, and talking about everything from pop culture to politics to – you guessed it – food.

She’s also a fantastic cook; my family still raves about some of the meals she’s thrown together.

So Chef Danielle’s recipe for coconut chicken & shrimp soup, which is based on the shrimp and lemongrass soup known in Thailand as Tom Yum soup, is also a great reminder of how food and friendship can go hand in hand.

Why not put together a pot of soup and invite over your best friend to share a meal and a conversation?

Click here or go to www.cookingclarified.com for Chef Danielle’s recipe.


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