72 Hours in Washington, D.C.

72 Hours in Washington, D.C.
Alpha Phi Alpha Greek fraternity and family and friends view the MLK Memorial in D.C.

Venturing into the nation’s capitol on any ordinary occasion is special in and of itself. The District of Columbia is one of America’s most visited destinations. The monuments, the Capitol building, the Washington Monument that stretches its pointy head toward the skies and the White House draw millions of visitors every year. But this visit was extra special because of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Dedication on the National Mall.

11. a.m. – Landed at Washington Dulles International Airport at 11 a.m. Thankfully, the Washington region boasts three airports — including Reagan National and Baltimore-Washington International — because flights were tight getting into the District for the official Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication Week.

1 p.m. – Checked into the Washington Hilton hotel on the eclectic northwest side of D.C.

2 p.m. – Ventured to the historic landmark, Ben’s Chili Bowl, for some of their famous chili. Publisher Munson Steed imbibed on some turkey burger with chili and cole slaw. “Ro’s” director of new business, Al Weems, had the beef chili cheeseburger and chili-cheese fries, while I staked my claim to a turkey sausage decorated with sloppy chili. We talked to some of the residents and tourists in this hallowed eatery about the significance of sitting in the place where Martin Luther King and his civil rights comrades strategized on the nonviolent war for equality.

4 p.m. – We visited the Apple store in Georgetown, which has been transformed into an upscale, Beverly Hills-type shopping district in the last two decades.


Noon – I attended a Cadillac-sponsored “Celebration of Civil Rights Heroes of Yesterday and Today” at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in downtown D.C., not far from the White House. Particularly poignant was the speech delivered by General Motors’ senior executive Ed Welburn. This vice president of global design became the first African American to ever hold such a position at any of the world’s major automakers. He is responsible for the look of all GM products, including Cadillac, Chevrolet, Buick and GMC.

4 p.m. – Kicked back at the Washington W Hotel, a spectacular edifice of rest and relaxation. It is located across the street from the Department of the Treasury, which is right next door to President Obama’s current residence, the White House.

5 p.m. – Rolled into the District’s Chinatown to lunch on some New Orleans seafood — tilapia and shrimp — across the street from the Verizon Center where the NBA’s Wizards play basketball.


8 a.m. – I ventured onto the National Mall, adjacent the King memorial, to attend a private celebration for Dr. King held by the Greek fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, which King was a member of. Ambassador Andrew Young and two of King’s surviving children, Rev. Bernice King and Martin Luther King III, spoke before the fraternity and thousands of others, that included Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton and Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of civil rights giant, Medgar Evers, the Mississippi field secretary for the NAACP who was gunned down in his driveway in 1963.

Noon – Members of Steed Media Group and rolling out facilitate the final leg of the Chevrolet-General Motors’ “Table of Brotherhood” Tour at the Washington Convention Center. The program featured the likes of actor Laz Alonso, Rev. Jesse Jackson, BET President Debra Lee, Huffinton Post founder Arianna Huffington and inspirational speaker Lisa Nichols.

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