After an hour or two of rest after listening to all of the principals speak, Mrs. Wheaton and I cleaned up and got ready for the evening reception at the National Archives. Only principals and their guests were invited to this reception. We had to have security clearance in advance to be able to enter. The Rotunda of the National Archives building is absolutely stunning. In this beautiful room is where the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence are displayed. They are all hermetically sealed with argon gas and of course can not be touched. They are automatically lowered each evening into a special storage area that is secure and ensures that the documents will be safe. The lighting is very low in the Rotunda so that further damage to the documents will not occur. We were provided with wonderful food and beverages and heard the Assistant Secretary of State speak to us about the importance of education and our importance as leaders. After the reception time, we were allowed to visit other parts of the building and exhibits. The Archives is a place where every document and book related to our government is stored. Although they have begun digitizing many of the documents, I was told that billions of pages of documents are stored there! I stopped in the gift shop and bought some cool books to donate to our library about the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence that are kid friendly.
After the National Archives reception we returned to our hotel and then walked to the Old Ebbit Grill for a very late dinner with other principals from my region. The National Distinguished Principals from Iowa and Wisconsin and their wives joined us for dinner. As we walked to the restaurant, we stopped to view the White House lit up at night. After dinner, we went to the top of the Washington Hotel and looked out at the Washington Monument and the White House. A beautiful evening!