Fourth Grade Visits the Capitol

100_8047Students in Mrs. Hauck’s Fourth Grade class traveled to Concord on Thursday February 6, 2014 for a private tour of the State Capitol Building. The field trip is part of Mrs. Hauck’s lessons on New Hampshire State History. Many parents also joined us for the day.

The students arrived on the front lawn of the Capitol and gathered in the shadow of the statue of New Hampshire statesman Daniel Webster before ascending the steps of the Capitol for a group picture. Students walked through the granite-pillared portico and remarked on a plaque indicating that the Capitol his home to America’s oldest state house in which the legislature still occupies its original chambers.

Student were ushered through Doric Hall – renamed the Hall of Flags – into the Visitors’ Center to meet our tour guide, Virginia. Virginia provided a wealth of information throughout the tour and answered our students’ many questions.

100_8051The tour began in the Visitors’ Center where students learned about New Hampshire’s role in the Civil War. Students learned that the Visitors’ Center was originally part of the state’s military offices. Indeed, the second-story vault which used to house important documents was visible from the gift shoppe.

Students continued into the Hall of Flags. The hall features 107 battle flags flown for New Hampshire regiments in the Civil War, the Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, and the Vietnam War. While they were in the lobby, the students had the opportunity to speak with Senate Majority Leader Senator Joseph Bradley.

From there, students proceeded to the Senate Chamber where they participated in the opening of today’s morning session of the Senate from the balcony. Students prayed with the Senators and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Senator Lou D’Allesandro introduced the students from Saint Benedict Academy to his colleagues in the Senate and remarked that he was married at Saint Raphael Church over 50 years ago.

After time in the Senate, the students proceeded to the Governor’s Office and the Executive Council Room. As Governor Maggie Hassan was preparing to deliver the State of the State address, the students did not get to meet the governor; however, students had the opportunity to sit in Governor Hassan’s seat in the Executive Council Room and learn more about the role of the Council.

The final stop on the tour was the House Chamber. The students learned that the New Hampshire House of Representatives is the largest state legislative body in the country with 400 members. Students sat in on a Continuing Education Program with the University of New Hampshire and looked at the large portraits of presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and New Hampshire statesmen John Hale, Daniel Webster and President Franklin Pierce.