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Library Offers Special ‘Treasures’ Viewings

As the 10-year-old exhibit “American Treasures of the Library of Congress” comes to a close this month, the Library is offering two celebratory events.

An ice cream social for Members, Congressional staff and the press will be held today from 6 to 8:30 p.m in the Southwest Gallery of the Library’s Jefferson Building. The exhibit, which according to the Library has been viewed by more than 2.5 million people and featured more than 2,700 historical items since opening in 1997, will be open for the evening event.

To make reservations, e-mail

There also will be extended viewing hours for the public on Aug. 7, with the exhibit remaining open until 8 p.m.

Items displayed in the past decade include the original rough draft of the Declaration of Independence and the contents of Abraham Lincoln’s pockets from the night of his assassination.

The exhibit is closing to make room for a new “interactive experience” that will open in 2008, Librarian of Congress James Billington said in a release.

The exhibit is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Aug. 18.

Surface Parking for Nats Fans Approved

The parking plan for the new Washington Nationals baseball stadium became a little clearer this week when the D.C. Zoning Commission approved temporary surface parking for several Southeast lots.

The parking lots will help accommodate the estimated 5,000 cars that could flood the neighborhood for baseball games. City officials say the fix is temporary; permanent underground garages in planned developments eventually will take over the job. But until then, officials at the Nationals, the Sports and Entertainment Commission, and the Office of Planning are hoping to use the lots of future development for surface parking.

The plan has gone relatively smoothly so far, with residents objecting only to including the land of the future Canal Park in the rezoning effort. Officials said the inclusion was a mistake, and they since have removed that parcel.

The Sports and Entertainment Commission recently released a transportation and parking plan for the 2008 Nationals season — it indicates that the number of available parking spaces is not yet known. The Zoning Commission’s approval is a step toward assessing that number.

— Daniel Heim and Emily Yehle

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