As the federal government shutdown shutters taxpayer-supported monuments and museums throughout Washington D.C., Mount Vernon, the home of the nation’s first president, remains open to visitors.
The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which owns and operates the historic site of George Washington’s home, prides itself on having never accepted taxpayer funds.
“We receive no funding from federal or state governments. We are not a national park or monument,” its website states. “We rely solely on the generosity of caring people to whatever degree they are able.”
“No shutdown here,” the website says.
“George Washington's Mount Vernon is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association and will remain open despite the threat of a shutdown of the federal government. We stand ready to welcome all visitors to the home of our founding father and first president,” it adds.
Former Speaker of the House and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, author of To Try Men's Souls: A Novel of George Washington and the Fight for American Freedom, took to Twitter on Tuesday to encourage tourists visiting Washington to stop by Mount Vernon:
DC Tourists frustrated by shutdown Smithsonian should visit Mount Vernon. Ladies of Mount Vernon have NEVER taken govt money. Still open
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) October 2, 2013