Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial
Virginia Union University
Image by dbking
Lincoln Memorial
West End of the National Mall

— The Lincoln Memorial is a tribute to President Abraham Lincoln and the nation he fought to preserve during the Civil War (1861-1865).

— The Lincoln Memorial was built to resemble a Greek temple.

—The number of columns surrounding the Memorial (36) represent the number of states that remained in the Union at the conclusion of the Civil War (the time of Lincoln’s death)

—The number of steps to the first landing…13…representing the original 13 colonies…once you cross that landing, then you begin to climb the number of steps which represent Abe’s age at his assassination.

—The number of steps from the base to the area where Lincoln’s statue is located represents the age that Lincoln was when he was assassinated…it’s either 52 or 56—the memory has faded on the correct number.

—The number of steps from the reflecting pool to the chamber where the statue is total 87 which represents the phrase “four score and 7 years ago” (a score of years is 20, so 4 score + 7 = 87) from the Gettysburg Address

—The number of steps to the first landing…13…representing the original 13 colonies…once you cross that landing, then you begin to climb the number of steps which represent Abe’s age at his assassination.

—The statue itself is 19′ tall, as is the statue of Jefferson at the Jefferson Memorial. No statue will ever be any taller than 19’….in deference to "Freedom" atop the US Capitol building which is 19’6" to honor the ideal of freedom as the ultimate ideal. Additionally this is so that no president is shown as being more "important" than any other.

—The statue itself has significant symbolism…look at the hands on the arm-rest of the chair he is seated in

A common belief is:
…the left hand is in the formation of a fist…to represent the strength that it took to go to war to save the union, the right hand is an open palm down—to represent a "welcoming gesture" to the southern states back to the union.

This is much debated….Daniel Chester French had a deaf child, it is also said the hands are in the positions they are to represent the letters "A" and "L" in the American Sign Language so to represent "Abraham" and "Lincoln" for his deaf son. Howver, this has not been proven. The only known statue that French created which has use of ASL is on the campus of Gallaudet Univeristy, the nation’s only university for the deaf in NE Washington DC.

—Around the frieze at the top of the Memorial you will see the state seals of the 48 states that were part of the union at the time of dedication.

—Inscribed on the south wall of the monument is the Gettysburg Address. Above it is a mural painted by Jules Guerin depicting the angel of truth freeing a slave. Guerin also painted the unity of North and South mural on the north wall. Etched into the north wall below the mural is Lincoln’s second inaugural speech. On the north wall there is a spelling error, in the second column about 3/4 of the way down the word "future" is carved as "uture"

—The memorial was dedicated – 1922

—At the dedication ceremony, the freed blacks were sitting off the side — this was a huge insult to those former slaves in attendance especially since the keynote speaker for the dedication was from Dr. Robert Moton, President of the Tuskeegee Institute.

—the sole surviving son of Lincoln (Robert Todd) was in attendance to witness that ceremony

—The bridge we call Memorial Bridge, leading from Bacon Circle/Lincoln Memorial to Arlington National Cemetery is significant in its location since it is a "symbolic link" between the north and the south for which Lincoln went to war to save. This bridge is a significant symbol because, the land that comprises Arlington National Cemetery was owned by the Lee family of Virginia (yes, the Robert E Lee-who led the south in war).

—On Easter Sunday 1939, operatic soprano Marian Anderson sang here in front of 75,000 people after DAR Constitution Hall and the D.C. Board of Education refused to let her perform in their venues.

— In 1963 more than 250,000 participants in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. deliver his magnificent “I Have a Dream” speech from the memorial’s steps. In August 2003, the 40th Anniversary of the “March on Washington for Freedom”, a plaque was added on the steps to commemorate the exact spot where Martin Luther King Jr. stood to deliver his now famous “I Have A Dream Speech” a landing 18 steps below the chamber.)

—The Lincoln Memorial is shown on the reverse of the United States penny. In his treatise Theory and Practise of Numismatic Design, Steve Crooks states that because the Lincoln Memorial is shown in sufficient detail to discern the statue of Lincoln on the reverse of the penny, Abraham Lincoln is the only person to be depicted on both the obverse and reverse of the same United States coin.

The Lincoln Memorial is on the back of the U.S. bill, which bears Lincoln’s portrait on the front.

Lincoln is the only president shown on both the front and reverse of a US coin (the penny). The "heads" side shows his portrait, the reverse shows him, as the memorial built to him does.

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