Cyberspace has come to the rescue of tourists stranded by a government shutdown that has closed monuments and museums, through a home page on the Internet that lists options open in the nation's capital.
"Shutdown '95," created this week on the World Wide Web by Business Information Network Inc., lists sights in Washington, Maryland and Virginia still open to tourists in the wake of a weeklong shutdown caused by the lack of a budget agreement.
The Smithsonian Institution also announced late Friday that the National Museum of American History and the theaters at the Air and Space Museum would be open from Dec. 26 until Dec. 31.
The institution "has determined that it can operate for one week in this limited manner without additional federal funds and within the applicable rules," secretary Michael Heyman said.
In Washington, the Corcoran Museum of Art, the Phillips Collection, the Textile Museum, the Washington Dolls' House and Toy Museum and the National Building Museum are open.
The Hillwood Museums and Gardens, once the residence of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post, requires reservations.
All scheduled performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts will be held, and the National Aquarium and the National Arboretum are open.
The Washington National Cathedral and the Woodrow Wilson House are open. Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington in Virginia, is also open.
Business Information Network said the idea for the page surfaced after visitors from Pennsylvania and New Jersey lamented that their vacations were spoiled by the shutdown.
Shutdown '95 can be found at http://www.bizinfonet.com/shutdown. About 700,000 to 1 million tourists normally come to the Washington area during the Christmas holidays.