I have visited the capital city of the United States, Washington, D.C. on three occasions. The monument I am most impressed with in the city is the Lincoln Memorial. It also has a most interesting history.
Congress authorized it’s construction on February 9, 1911. It was dedicated on May 30, 1922 by former president and Chief Justice William Howard Taft. The ceremony was attended by Robert Todd Lincoln. He was Lincoln’s only surviving child at the time.
The architect was Henry Bacon, sculptor was Daniel Chester French, with the painter of the interior murals being Jules Guerin.
The scupture of Lincoln seated inside the memorial is the centerpiece. It is 19 feet, 9 inches tall and 19 feet wide. It was carved from 28 blocks of white Georgia marble.
The memorial has been the site of many historical events. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered on August 28, 1963 to a crowd of approximately 250,000 people from the steps of the memorial. Today the tile where Dr. King stood is engraved to commemorate the event. The following dedication appears on the wall behind the statue and over Lincoln’s head.
In This Temple
As In The Hearts Of The People
For Whom He Saved The Union
The Memory Of Abraham Lincoln
Is Enshired Forever
The memorial is depicted on the reverse of the five dollar bill. Since 1959 the memorial has been on the penny. That was the centennial of Lincoln’s birth.
Gazing up at Lincoln in that chair, reading his words on the walls, and standing on the steps is awe inspiring. As I stood there looking out over the reflecting pool a shiver came over this history buff.