SPOILIN’ THE BROTH
Last week’s pictorial on this page was about the Korean, Vietnam and World War II memorials on the National Mall.
This week’s focus is on the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials.
The Jefferson Memorial walls contain excerpts from documents that define the freedoms of this nation. The Lincoln Memorial honors a man who diligently protected those freedoms.
The Jefferson Memorial
Dedicated to an American Founding Father and the nation’s third president, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial was completed in 1943 and the 19-foot, five-ton bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947. When completed, the memorial occupied one of the last significant sites left in Washington, D.C.
The site of the Memorial was originally created using landfill dredged from the Potomac River in the late 1800s, and it became a popular beach for Washingtonians and other locals. Construction began Dec. 15, 1938 and the cornerstone was laid on Nov. 15, 1939 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. FDR officially dedicated the memorial on April 13, 1943.
The circular walls contain excerpts from the Declaration of Independence (1776), an excerpt from the bill establishing religious freedom (1777), and excerpts from other national historical documents.
The Lincoln Memorial
Two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, Congress formed the Lincoln Monument Association, tasked to build a memorial to honor the man whose turbulent term presided over the Civil War and the abolishment of slavery. Lincoln was determined throughout that war to preserve the Union at all costs, and did so. The Civil War ended in April 1865 with Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender. Six days later Lincoln was shot by an assassin at Ford’s Theater.
Construction on the memorial began in 1914. It was completed in May 1922. Inside the 99-foottall marble temple sits Lincoln’s statue, 19 feet tall. His Gettysburg address, considered one of the most important speeches in American history, is inscribed on the south wall.
Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech was delivered from the Lincoln Memorial.