Monday, October 12, 2015

12 fun facts about the Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial has stood as one of the most recognizable landmarks in Washington, D.C. It is also one of the more popular monuments on the National Mall with millions of people visiting every year. You can go at any given time of day or night and there's likely to be a crowd.  

This monument is a memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president and the man who served his terms during a very difficult time in U.S. history - during the American Civil War. President Lincoln was assassinated in nearby Ford’s Theatre on April 14, 1865, by John Wilkes Booth. 

An attractive memorial, you can walk the stairs to the top or take the elevator located off to the left-hand side of the memorial. Once inside the Greek-style structure, a massive statue of Lincoln, along with his two of his key speeches inscribed on the walls can be viewed. There is also a bookstore/gift shop on the upper level of the monument. 

Here are 12 other interesting facts about the Lincoln Memorial you may not know:

1. Congress approved funding for a memorial dedicated to Lincoln in 1910, although it was first proposed decades earlier - back in 1867.

2. $2 million was appropriated for the project, but the end cost was $3 million.

3. Work on the Lincoln Memorial commenced in 1915 and it was completed in 1922.

4. There are 87 steps to get to the top, commemorating Lincoln's famous "four score and seven years ago" from the Gettysburg Address.

5. The statue of Lincoln was sculpted by Daniel Chester French. It is 19-feet tall.

6. Architect Henry Bacon designed the building that houses the statue. It has 36 columns, each representing a state that was a part of the union at the time of Lincoln's death.   

7. Jules Guerin painted the two large murals that rest above the engraved speeches. 

8. The memorial measures 204 feet long, 134 feet wide and reaches 99 feet in height.  

9. The memorial was dedicated on May 30, 1922. Present were Lincoln's only surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, hundreds of Civil War veterans and about 50,000 people in all. 

10. Being several more states had joined the union since Lincoln's time, all 48 states are carved on the upper part of the main chamber. Plaques of Alaska and Hawaii were later added. 

11. The original inscription of Lincoln's second inaugural speech was carved in the interior of the memorial once contained a typo. An "E" was carved where it should have been an "F". This was corrected by filling in part of the "E".

12. The Lincoln Memorial is open 24 hours a day. NPS staff is present on site from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Lincoln Memorial statue
Dedication to Lincoln is inscribed behind the statue

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