The Henry Ford, which includes the Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village, Benson Ford Research Center, Ford Rouge Factory Tour, and Imax Theater is worth driving, say... 810 miles. From Brainerd, Minnesota to Dearborn, Michigan, that's what Dick and I did. Think of the experience as a pop-up book. Our nation's history unfolding and coming to life in 3-D like a page from my Chronicles of Narnia book.
The displays in the Henry Ford Museum feature original objects representative of decades as well as specific events within. 1)This flashy Holiday Inn sign was used when the hotel chain opened in 1952. It was designed as a "beacon in the night" for travelers on the new interstate highways. In 1982, the sign was replaced with a small plastic one that was more energy efficient. 2)In 1994, the number of hamburgers sold exceeded 99 billion. It was decided to cease counting and change signs to read billions and billions served.
The actual bus that Rosa Parks rode when refusing to give up her seat to a white passenger is open to sit and ponder. My entrance onto the bus triggered a ceiling light to shine above the third seat in the right hand row where Rosa was seated. As I sat down in the rear, Rosa's voice describing that day could be heard as clear as if she was present still.
I was naturally drawn to the displays that impacted my life as a child such as 1)President Kennedy's limousine that he was riding in when he was fatally shot and 2)Written on a school classroom's chalkboard, instructions to follow during a routine civil defense drill implemented when the Soviet Union began nuclear testing. The drill became as routine as reciting the morning's Pledge of Allegiance.
The professionally constructed displays at the Henry Ford Museum summarize historical events sensitively with maximum impact. Viewing the impressive preservation of irreplaceable artifacts at this museum triggers memories and a respect for those who played a role in shaping our nation. I highly recommend a visit.