Union Station history

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Visitors' & Locals' Guide to Washington, DC

This Christmas Eve, spend the day with WETA TV as we show you the very best of Washington, DC. Are your family and friends in town? Want to show them the area without driving around in the cold? Want to learn more about your city without a trip to the library? Tune into WETA TV26 and WETA HD Monday, December 24 at 8:30am for 9 ½ hours of all original WETA produced local documentaries featuring the best places to visit, behind the scenes footage, and the history of this one-of-a-kind city that we’re so lucky to call home. Use the below list to see what’s on and when to watch it!

Don't forget, we have a wide variety of holiday programming for everyone in the family:

Click here to read our blog post about holiday shows on WETA TV26 & HD including music and kids shows!

Click here to read our blog post about British Christmas specials on WETA UK!

 

8:30am - WETA Guide to Christmas

In this one-hour special, WETA presents an enticing list of ways Washingtonians (and those in the surrounding area) can celebrate the holiday season. What makes the holidays so much brighter in the nation’s capital? Get the inside scoop on Christmas festivities, activities, and traditions specific to the Washington area. We’ll tell you where the best neighborhood light displays are and where to explore historical locations with the most elaborate and beautiful holiday décor. With so many wonderful musical and theatrical performances paying tribute to the merry time of year, WETA narrows down the top five!

Use the WETA Guide to Christmas map to plan out your DC holiday extravaganza! 

Looking for special holiday events? Check out the WETA Community Calendar for the best events in town! 

 

9:30am - WETA Guide to Unusual Attractions

Take a tour of some of Greater Washington's most unique attractions, from mysterious gargoyles at Washington National Cathedral, to a Bavarian style beer hall and medical anomalies at the National Museum of Health and Medicine. See the Washington DC area’s most unusual and fascinating attractions without having to bundle up, fight the traffic, and face the cold weather.

Loving these one-of-a-kind attractions? Check out the WETA Guide to Unusual Attractions map to schedule your next adventure! 

 

10:00am - WETA Guide to More Unusual Attractions

This documentary uncovers more of Greater Washington’s lesser-known landmarks and destinations. A companion piece to the previous show, Unusual Attractions, this show explores 18 local hidden wonders from Dinosaur Land to "The Awakening" and beyond! There’s no better way to see the local area with friends and family during this holiday.

Do something new! Visit  these extraordinary places using the WETA Guide to More Unusual Attractions map! 

 

10:30am - WETA All Access: Metro

Transporting hundreds of thousands of residents, commuters and tourists each day from 5:00am until the” last train out” the Washington, DC subway system, Metro Rail, must ensure that each and every commute runs as smoothly as possible. Learn the history of DC train system, the challenges it faces, and the reasons behind the architecture. Appreciate the complexity involved in maintaining safety aboard Metro trains and buses, and also within the stations.

So you think you’re Metro savvy? Which Red Line station has the longest single-span uninterrupted escalator in the Western Hemisphere? Test your Metro knowledge and learn some great facts about Washington's Metro with this downloadable crossword puzzle.

 

11:00am - WETA All Access: National Aquarium

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the National Aquarium in Baltimore to observe a typical day in the life of the institution's staff, volunteers, and more than 16,500 creatures, from crocodiles' breakfast to shark check-ups. Don’t bother with traffic up I-95, join us here on WETA to enjoy the best of the National Aquarium in a way you’d never get a chance while visiting.

 

11:30am - WETA All Access: The FBI Academy

The Federal Bureau of Investigation was established in 1908 and it employees more than 30,000 employees around the globe. The FBI's mission is to protect and defend the U.S. against terrorist and foreign intelligence threats and to uphold and enforce the criminal laws of the United States. Follow the a class of candidates from day one through graduation at the FBI training center on the Quantico Marine Corps Base in Virginia. Go behind the scenes with the candidates as they undergo testing and rigorous training and find out what it takes to become a FBI agent for the nation's top law enforcement agency.

WETA All Access takes you even further behind the scenes with a bonus five-minute segment about the FBI's forensic science laboratory! 

 

12:00pm - WETA All Access: Union Station

Union Station can be considered the heart and hub of Washington, DC. For many travelers, business people and tourists, Union Station is the first glance at the nation’s capitol. Through the years, Union Station has welcomed royalty, rock stars, and millions of every day travelers. Before the retail shops and restaurants lining the halls, there was a private entrance and designated areas for guests and travelers - from presidents to celebrities.

 

12:30pm - WETA All Access: Washington National Cathedral

Located at the top of Mount St. Alban in Northwest DC, Washington National Cathedral is the sixth largest cathedral in the world and the second largest in the United States. The Cathedral was completed in 1990, 83 years to the day after it was begun. Explore the story of this grand, gothic church, its intriguing architectural and artistic flourishes, and the daily rituals — from morning chapel to evensong — that make Washington National Cathedral a very special place for visitor and worshiper alike. 

 

1:00pm - WETA Guide to Great Views

Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia are known for their beautiful landscapes and imagery. In this local documentary, see the views and vistas that make Washington one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Find out where the best 360-degree views are, which natural vistas are located nearby, and where to go for great sunset spots.

Utilize this map to visit all the best spots while your family and friends are in town! 

Also, download beautiful, high-quality images for your computer and tablet here! 

 

1:30pm - WETA Guide to Memorials

Take an inspiring tour of the many military, war, and presidential memorials of Greater Washington. Visit sculptures, statues and buildings located nearby that memorialize individuals, events, and Americans' service to their country. Also be sure to see the newer memorials in our WETA Around Town videos below: Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial and the The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial.

 

2:00pm - WETA Guide to Neighborhood Eats

It’s the holiday season so taking out-of-towners to the best restaurants in the area might be a tough one, so tune-in for a one-hour visit to dozens of hotspot eateries and landmark restaurants throughout the area. Among the places you'll get to see are DC's Eastern Market, Arlington's Lost Dog Cafe, Rockville's Cuban Corner, and Vienna's Sunflower Vegetarian restaurant.

See a full list of the features in this local documentary here, or you can download this pocket-guide so you can visit them when you’re on the go!

 

3:00pm - WETA Guide to Fine Dining

As Neighborhood Eats gave you the best small local foods, explore the crème de la crème of Washington area establishments for the fancier moments in town. Sample their offerings and their atmosphere in this hour-long production, The WETA Guide to Fine Dining. This show offers a lively, mouth-watering tour as the area's top chefs showcase some of their astonishing creations and explain their philosophies on food.

Check out the full list of restaurants here! 

 

4:00pm - Washington in the ‘60s

We’ve shown you the sights to see and the food to eat, now join WETA as we examine the people and events of the dramatic decade that changed our city, Washington, DC forever. This one-hour documentary looks at the political, social, and cultural events that shaped the history of the Washington area. Two time Emmy winning documentary, Washington in the ‘60s is a one of a kind narrated by Connie Chung.

Go to the WETA website here for loads of extras including photos, music, bonus clips and of course, a place for you the viewer to share your memories from this decade.

 

5:00pm - Washington in the ‘70s

Stay locked in to WETA for a flash back to Washington in the 1970s, a decade that began under a cloud of war, riots, and division and ended with a feeling of promise, calm, and relative harmony. This local documentary charts the District's rise from the ashes of the 1968 riots to its emergence as a world-class city, featuring first-hand accounts from those who shaped the events of the time.

We know you’ll want the soundtrack to this show so head over to WETA.org to see the list of songs used in this film along with featured events and an invitation to share your memories from this momentous time in history.