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National Grange News
National Grange helps celebrate Inauguration
  FEBRUARY 2009 --

As Americans around the country gathered around their television sets on January 20th to witness history in the making, the National Grange Headquarters and staff had a front row seat to the action leading up to that historic day.

Leading up to the Inaugural
When the Obama Family took temporary residence at the Hay Adams Hotel, which is a block away from the National Grange Headquarters, changes around H Street and Pennsylvania Avenue started to take shape. Construction of the Presidential Viewing Stand and bleachers for the Inaugural Parade began, so Lafayette Park and Pennsylvania Ave. were shut down to pedestrians. Due to the very special guests staying at the Hay Adams Hotel, H Street was shut down to vehicles and security was increased. Grange staff with vehicles had to check in with security officials so that they could get to work. Receiving deliveries was a challenge also, since all trucks had to be cleared in order to drive to the National Grange Headquarters.
Not all of the staff found the road closures to be an inconvenience. “I actually liked the fact that H Street was closed!” laughs Sales, Benefits, and Programs Manager Samantha Johnson. “I didn’t have to worry about getting hit by cars walking from the metro during rush hour. We could just walk across worry-free!”
Despite the inconveniences caused by our new neighbors, everyone was in very good spirits. Flags were put up around the city, and the days leading up to President-Elect Obama’s Inauguration were spent transforming the city into a place of goodwill and hope.

Welcome Mr. President!

With the National Grange headquarters overlooking the White House and the upcoming festivities, it was only natural that such a patriotic organization like the Grange would contribute to the Inaugural celebrations. On January 15 th, the National Grange hung a 39-foot long banner outside its 11 th floor offices facing the White House. “Welcome to Washington D.C. President & Mrs. Obama!” was the message that could be read from blocks away, and seen from the Presidential Viewing Stand during the parade. The National Grange logo was also prominently displayed.
For your own piece of Grange history, contact Samantha Johnson to receive your 12-inch square piece of the Grange’s Inaugural Banner! It will come complete with photographs showing the banner hanging on the Grange Building, plus the view President Obama had of it from the viewing stand. We are offering this FREE to Grange members, with $5.00 shipping and handling. Place your order by emailing sjohnson@nationalgrange.org or calling 1-888-4-GRANGE, ext 109. Only one square per member will be granted. Order quickly as there are only 100 available.

Shut Down

Being the only privately owned building in Executive Square does have its advantages. It also has its disadvantages. At the request of the Secret Service, the National Grange Building had to be shut down the day of the Inauguration. No staff or other tenants were allowed inside. Tenants were informed ahead of time of the closure so that they could plan accordingly. “This is the sixth time that I have experienced the building being closed for Inaugurations,” explained Legislative Director Leroy Watson. “It lends itself to the whole Washington, D.C. experience.”


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