The Lincoln Memorial , located in the West Potomac Park , National Mall , Washington , is a memorial built in honor of the 16th President , Abraham Lincoln , who fought to preserve our nation during the Civil War, from 1861-1865. The Lincoln Memorial has been the site of many famous speeches and events since its dedication in 1922.
Abraham Lincoln was born February 12, 1809, in a log cabin near Hodgenville, Kentucky . Soon after Lincoln became president, in April 1861 the Civil War started. During the war, Congress approved the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in the United States. Lincoln saw slavery as hypocritical for a Nation founded on the principle that “all men are created equal.” The Civil War ended in April 1865 with the surrender of General Robert E. Lee . Only six days later, Abraham Lincoln was shot by an assassin in Ford’s Theatre. Lincoln left a legacy to freedom that is one of the most important rights Americans possess.
Two years after his assassination, Congress formed the Lincoln Monument Association with a purpose to build a memorial dedicated to Abraham Lincoln. In 1911 the Lincoln Memorial Bill was signed by President Taft, providing $2 million funds for the memorial.
Construction started in 1914 and was designed by the New York architect Henry Bacon as a Greek temple with 36 Doric columns. Each column is representing one state of the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. When the memorial was completed in May 1922, the Union had expanded with 12 more states, so the names of the 48 states were carved on the outside of the memorial’s walls. After the admission of Alaska and Hawaii, a plaque was added with the names of the new states. The building was dedicated On May 30, 1922 , 57 years after Lincoln died with about 50,000 people attended the ceremonies, including hundreds of Civil War veterans and Robert Todd Lincoln, the president’s only surviving son.
The memorial stands 190 feet long, 119 feet wide, and almost 100 feet high. Lying between the north and south chambers is the central hall containing the solitary figure of Lincoln sitting in contemplation . The 175 tons, 19-foot larger than life-size marble statue of Lincoln sits in the center of the memorial and the words of the Gettysburg Address , considered one of the most important speeches in American history , and the Second Inaugural Address are inscribed on the walls.
The memorial is administered by the National Park Service and it is open to the public 24 hours a day. The Memorial is visited by millions of visitors each year and is the site of many large public gatherings and protests. Park rangers are available to answer questions and give speeches about Abraham Lincoln and the memorial. They can also answer questions about other National Park Service sites in and around Washington . Books and educational materials may be purchased at the bookstore on the chamber level. Handicap access to the chamber and restrooms is located in the lower level of the memorial.
The Lincoln Memorial is one of the most popular attractions on the National Mall that’s why parking is very limited in this area . The best way to get to the Lincoln Memorial is on foot or taking a tour. The Lincoln Memorial is less crowded at night .