*Includes pictures *Includes contemporary accounts of the monument's construction *Explains the various monument proposals and designs *Includes a bibliography for further reading *Includes a table of contents “This structure, dedicated to the first president of the United States, represents... show more
*Includes contemporary accounts of the monument's construction
*Explains the various monument proposals and designs
*Includes a bibliography for further reading
*Includes a table of contents
“This structure, dedicated to the first president of the United States, represents the simplicity, honor, and heights for which our national ideals strive."
People have always loved symbols and monuments. Even before there was any sort of written language, there were places and things considered sacred, whether it was the Mesopotamians’ ziggurats or the Egyptians’ pyramids. Thus, it had long been a practice to make some sort of memorial to those who had died as a way to remember and honor them, and given the importance of George Washington to the young United States of America, it’s no surprise that plans to build monuments to him began within months of his death.
There are countless ways that Washington, remembered as "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen," has been commemorated across America, but the most famous is the Washington Monument. Congress had actually called for establishing a monument to Washington as far back as 1783, but it would not be until the 1830s that work on the world’s tallest obelisk began in earnest. In fact, while the Washington Monument is taken as a given today, and it was designed to be “unparalleled in the world, and commensurate with the gratitude, liberality, and patriotism of the people by whom it is to be erected,” there were several issues that nearly prevented it from being a reality, including political arguments, costs, and lack of progress. Though it may be hard to believe, the Washington Monument was not dedicated until the 1880s, nearly half a century after an obelisk was first envisioned.
By the time it was finished, however, it was clear that the wait was worth it. Soaring nearly 550 feet into the air, the Washington Monument was the tallest structure in the world upon its completion, and it immediately began drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors, who could either climb stairs to the top or ride an elevator. The monument has remained one of the most instantly recognizable structures in the world ever since.
The Washington Monument: The History of the World’s Tallest Obelisk chronicles the construction and history of one of America’s most famous memorials. Along with pictures of important people, places, and events, you will learn about the Washington Monument like never before, in no time at all.