Follow in Footsteps of Greatness at the Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. | Photo Credit: Pixabay - pierre9x6
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Situated at the western end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial has been an iconic American landmark for over a century. It was built to honor the 16th President Abraham Lincoln who was assassinated just days after the end of the Civil War. Since it’s dedication in 1922, this memorial has served as a popular landmark in Washington D.C. and a location for several important events. Today, visitors can explore this memorial and witness its amazing architecture and historical significance.

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About

The Lincoln Memorial was built in honor of the United States 16th President Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865 while attending a performance at Ford’s Theatre with his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. Following being shot, he was taken to the Peterson House directly across the street from the theatre where he passed away the following morning. Many people respected Lincoln for his leadership through the Civil War, building the Republican Party and freeing the slaves.

For years following Lincoln’s death, various proposals to build a grand monument in his honor were made. Finally in 1910, President Taft served on the commission to create the Lincoln Memorial. Approximately $300,000 was granted for the memorial’s design and construction. Architect Henry Brown designed the structure. Daniel Chester French is credited with designing the interior statue of President Lincoln that was carved by Italian brothers and stands 19 feet tall.

Between the years of 1914 and 1922, the memorial was constructed. The completion revealed an over 27,000 square foot building that overlooked the Reflection Pool. The memorial is 99 feet tall and is surrounded by 36 fluted Doric columns, one for each of the U.S. states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. To the left of Lincoln’s statue is the entire Gettysburg Address and to the right is his second inaugural address1.

President Taft, President Harding and Robert Todd Lincoln at Lincoln Memorial Dedication Ceremony in 1922
President Taft, President Harding and Robert Todd Lincoln at Lincoln Memorial Dedication Ceremony in 1922 | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – Public Domain

To celebrate the completion of the memorial, a dedication ceremony was held on May 30, 1922 during the Presidency of Warren G. Harding. Also in attendance at the ceremony was former President Taft and President Lincoln’s only living son, Robert Todd Lincoln who was 78 at the time.

In the years since the memorial was unveiled, several other significant events have taken place at the location. On August 28, 1963, Civil Rights activist, Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the memorial. The location is marked by an inscribed stone to this day.

Fun Fact: The Lincoln Memorial has been on the $5 bill of U.S. currency since 1929.

Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C.
Lincoln Memorial, Washington D.C. | Photo Credit: Pixabay – 12019

Plan Your Visit

The Lincoln Memorial is located at the western end of the National Mall at 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20002. The memorial is open 24 hours a day with park rangers on site during the daytime hours. Each year, over 7 million people visit the memorial.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited the Lincoln Memorial before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

  1. Wikipedia – Lincoln Memorial ↩︎
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