Confined to plutonium-powered DeLoreans and unwieldy telephone booths, time travel is a dangerous and mischief-baiting activity. Instead, let history repeat itself as often as you can stand it with today’s Groupon: for $7, you get two general-admission tickets to the National First Ladies' Library on Market Avenue (up to a $14 value).
Former congressional spouse Mary Regula founded the National First Ladies' Library after her own research of the subject failed to find a comprehensive resource for first lady lore. The result of Regula's efforts is two brainchildren that seek to bridge first lady-shaped gaps in historical knowledge: the Education and Research Center and the Saxton McKinley House. Guided 90-minute tours include access to each location. Begin by perusing the public portion of the Education and Research Center, which includes a collection of literature written by and about first ladies. Miniature reproductions of first ladies' dresses also make an appearance at select times, having been recovered from sneaky doppelgängers who used slapdash cloning machines to gain VIP gala access. A theater styled in Victorian aesthetic shows documentaries from a stock of more than 500 features starring presidents' leading ladies. Currently on exhibit is the Heroes of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a showcase of female Medal of Freedom recipients including Betty Ford, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, and Chief Wilma Mankiller (showing through September 9).
For a look into 19th-century political life, tours proceed to the former home of former first lady Ida McKinley and her husband President William McKinley, during which guests can visit an office featuring historic touches, many of which were recreated from a photo of McKinley's original study. Tours of the National First Ladies' Library take flight from the Education and Research Center every Tuesday through Saturday at 9:30 and 10:30 a.m. and at 12:30, 1:30, and 2:30 p.m. Sunday tours will be available June through August.