Intriguing time for a day on the Hill

Gary Sosniecki

Gary Sosniecki


My first visit to Washington, D.C., was in the summer of 1964, less than a year after President Kennedy’s assassination. I was 13, and Dad had invited me to take a business trip with him to the nation’s capital.

We rode the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Capitol Limited overnight from Chicago to Washington’s Union Station, where, upon our morning arrival, Dad hailed a cab. He asked the cabbie to drop me off in front of the White House and instructed me to meet him back at Union Station, two miles away, at 5 p.m. It was quite a day.

This skinny little kid toured the White House, the FBI and Ford’s Theatre (then an empty shell) by myself. I found my congressman’s office and got a pass to watch the House in session from the gallery, where I was yelled at for reading a booklet about the Capitol (no reading allowed). I made it back to Union Station early and napped on a bench until Dad arrived.

Some have joked that since I made other business trips at a young age with Dad, and he always dropped me off alone at some educational location, maybe he was trying to lose me. I don’t think that was the case, but if it was, I spoiled his plan by always showing up where I was supposed to at the end of the day.

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