"First in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen" was a phrase that Henry Lee stated as part of his eulogy at George Washington's funeral in 1799.
The Washington Monument was built between 1848 and 1884 as a tribute to George Washington's military leadership from 1775-1783 during the American Revolution. Its construction took place in two major phases, 1848-58, and 1876-84. A lack of funds, political turmoil, and uncertainty about the survival of the American Union caused the intermittent hiatus.
Here are some interesting facts provided by the National Park Service about the Washington Monument:
1. The corner stone was laid on July 4, 1848. The same trowel was used that George Washington used to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol way back in 1793. Thousands gathered around the construction site to celebrate the moment.
2. The walls of the monument are 15 feet thick at the bottom and 18 inches thick at the top.
3. The walls are covered with white marble that was brought in from Maryland.
4. While the monument is hollow on the inside, the inner walls are set with 189 memorial stones that are carved and were presented by individuals, cities, states, societies and other countries.
5. The point at which construction was stopped in 1858 can be identified as the stones used above 152 feet have a darker tone of color when compared to the original ones.
6. The Washington Monument is surrounded by flagpoles, each flag representing a state of the United States.
7. The total cost of building the monument was $1,817,710.
8. The construction of the monument was completed 30 years after the death of its architect, Robert Mills.
From the archives...........Photo captured May 5, 2010.
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