Congressional Cemetery: a High-Spirited Walk with Stories of Extraordinary Lives

About this activity

Audio tour
Audio tour in English
Route length: 1 mile
Instant confirmation
Duration 1h
Audio tours on your smartphone
After purchase, you will receive the link to download the app to take this tour
Control your experience
With the in-app audio guide, you decide when to start, pause, and finish your tour
No internet is required
All audio tours and tickets can be downloaded to your device anytime

Tour preview

Hosted by Liz Ruskin
Instant confirmation
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  • You'll receive a self-guided audio tour right after booking
  • Stroll through the famous historic cemetery guided by your own in-app audio tour
  • Hear stories and personal accounts told by journalists, tour guides, activists, and presidents
  • Spot the Accordion, the Library Card, and other quirky headstones of those who are still alive
  • Learn the mechanics of grave robbing at the tomb of the oddest celebrity in Washington of the 1830s
  • Find out how Dr. Thornton wanted to bring President George Washington back to life after his death
Walk through the cemetery where the stories of the famous come to life with this in-app audio tour! Led by a public radio reporter, this tour will introduce you to the colorful characters for whom the Congressional Cemetery became a final resting place. From the Prince of Bummers to the designer of the U.S. Capitol, each stop on the tour offers a unique perspective on Washington's history. You'll start at the Accordion headstone, one of the cemetery's quirkiest features, before paying your respects at the grave of John Philip Sousa, the King of the March. From there, you'll "meet" the charming 19th-century grifter and learn about the mechanics of grave robbing. You'll also hear the story of a pioneer in photojournalism whose work you may carry in your pocket every day. As you wander through the cemetery, you'll hear Dr. William Thornton, the designer of the U.S. Capitol, "speaking" about his attempt to resurrect George Washington. You'll also "meet" John Edgar Hoover, the legendary FBI director who took down some of the most notorious gangsters of the 20th century. The tour ends at the grave of Leonard Matlovich, the "face of homosexuality in America" in the 1970s. Matlovich's bravery and activism for gay rights made him a symbol of hope for a generation.

What's included

  • Self-guided audio tour for your smartphone on the WeGoTrip app
  • Detailed route from stop to stop with live GPS map on your smartphone
  • Insightful narration by a public radio reporter
  • Earphones – please bring your own
  • Earphones and smartphone are not included – bring your own
  • In-person tour guide

Places you will visit

The route of the tour goes within circle
Congressional Cemetery
E Street Southeast, 1801

Attractions on the route

Download the app and the digital audio tour on your smartphone before the visit. You will find recommendations on how to get to the staring point in the first step of the tour. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please email us at
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