Built in honor of America’s 16th
president, the Lincoln Memorial is located on the National Mall in Washington. Abraham Lincoln was in office from March 1861 to April 1865. He was most notable for leading the United States through its moral, military, and constitutional crises. He is remembered for the abolition of slavery following the American Civil War, the preservation of the Union, the strengthening of the national government, the modernization of the economy.
The monument was sculptured by Daniel Chester French, and it was dedicated in 1922. The magnificent structure was designed by Henry Beacon, and it stretches to about 44 feet high, with a seven-foot diameter columns. Its design style is similar to that of a Greek Doric temple and it comprises of 36 columns that represent the 36 states that were a part of the Union at the time of Abraham Lincoln’s death. At the center of the memorial sits a larger than life-size 19-foot statue of Lincoln that is made out of marble. The statue sits at the center of the memorial and has the words of the Second Inaugural Address as well as the Gettysburg Address inscribed on its walls. The Gettysburg Address is inscribed on the southern wall with a mural that depicts the angel of truth freeing a slave above the inscription while the Second Inaugural speech is inscribed on the northern wall of the Lincoln memorial statue.
The memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day, and it has been the site to many famous speeches, most notably the “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King in 1963 following a rally that marked the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The Lincoln memorial is best viewed in the night time when its designs are impressively illuminated by lights. Since its dedication in 1922, the site has seen a number of events, speeches, and protest marches in addition to political rallies.
Legend has it that Robert E Lee’s face was carved into the back of Abraham Lincoln’s head. It is also said that in the statue, Lincoln used the sign language to represent his initials, with his right hand shaped into an “L” and his left hand shaped into an “A”. Both the legends are however denied by the National Park Service which attributes them as false.
The Lincoln memorial grounds have become a sacred place for movements especially the Civil Rights Movements. At the base of the memorial is the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool, this pool is the largest reflecting pool in Washington and is its iconic image that drastically reflects the Lincoln memorial alongside the Washington monument and the mall’s tree depending upon the viewer’s point of focus. As with the Lincoln memorial, the reflecting pool was designed by Henry Bacon and constructed in 1922. It stands as about 618m long and 51m wide with a depth of 46cm and 76cm on the sides and the center respectively.
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