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Word on the Hill: JFK and Memorial Day Weekend

Logistics for Saturday’s parade and spottings this week

The Kennedy Stamps. (©2017 USPS)
The Kennedy Stamps. (©2017 USPS)

Happy Memorial Day weekend, which is also President John F. Kennedy’s Centennial weekend.

Kennedy was born 100 years ago Monday. To celebrate, the United States Postal Service released a commemorative “forever” stamp to honor the late president.

The stamp is a Ted Spiegel photo of Kennedy campaigning in Seattle for president in 1960. To accompany the stamp is another famous photograph of the late president in a reflective pose, which Aaron Shikler painted in 1970 and is now part of the White House Historical Association.

Memorial Day Parade logistics

If you’re in town for the long weekend, the National Memorial Day Parade is Sunday. Performers include singers Scotty McCreeryVanessaWilliams, Five for Fighting, Renée Fleming and Auli’i Cravalho on the West Lawn of the Capitol, beginning at 8 p.m.

There are a few things to know before you go, courtesy of the Capitol Police.

•  Gates open to the public at 5 p.m. Sunday. There is a full dress rehearsal  that’s open to the public at 8 p.m. Saturday and the doors for that open at 5 p.m.

• Public entrances to the West Front are:

  • From the Senate side of the Capitol: Third Street NW, and Pennsylvania Avenue NW.
  • From the House side of Capitol: Third Street SW, and Maryland Avenue SW.

• Alcoholic beverages and glass bottles are prohibited.

Other prohibited items include bicycles, signs, posters, pepper spray, umbrellas larger than 36 inches in diameter, sealed packages, suitcases, duffle bags, and drones.

As of today at 12:01 a.m., no parking is allowed on First Street NW and SW from Independence Avenue to Constitution Avenue; Maryland Avenue SW from First Street to Third Street; and Pennsylvania Avenue NW from First Street to Third Street.

Condom handout in D.C.

The condoms being handed out at Capitol South and Union Station. (Photo courtesy of the Keep Birth Control Co-Pay Free campaign)
The condoms being handed out at Capitol South and Union Station. (Courtesy Keep Birth Control Co-Pay Free campaign)

Did someone offer you a condom on your way to work yesterday? In D.C. and New York, the Keep Birth Control Co-Pay Free campaign passed out the condoms to people they assumed were Capitol Hill staffers getting off at Capitol South and Union Station. Distributions also took place by the White House, the Health and Human Services building, Farragut Square, as well as New York’s Trump Tower and Washington Square Park. 


Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was spotted in the basement of the Capitol on Thursday. She was sitting at a table with three men in the House side carryout and they were discussing politics. Overheard was a mention of the continuing resolution and Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii.

Rep. Jimmy Panetta, D-Calif., was reportedly spotted trying to hide the fact that he wasn’t wearing a tie during the final House vote on Thursday. He was crouched over and covering his neck with his hand.

Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Tenn., got down with some acoustic country at the Country Music Awards’ Songwriters Series at the Kennedy Center on Wednesday night.

Lewis commencement address

Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., will deliver the commencement address to the Class of 2017 at Bard College in New York on Saturday. He will receive an honorary doctorate of civil law.

Staffer shuffle

Carolyn Fiddler will join Daily Kos as its new political editor and senior communications adviser. She was previously national communications director at the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee.

Happy Birthday to …

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., 73.

On Saturday:

Rep. Alma Adams, D-N.C., 71. Rep. Peter A. DeFazio, D-Ore., 70. Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., 55.

On Sunday:

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., 46. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, 68. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., 57.

On Monday:

Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., 63. Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, 60.

Correction: A spokeswoman for Panetta said the congressman was wearing a tie.  “We have no idea who the Spotter thinks they spotted, but it wasn’t Congressman Panetta,” she said.

What’s going on?

Have any tips, announcements or Hill happenings? Send them to

Sean McMinn contributed to this report.