Walking from the Lincon Memorial southwards to the West Potomac Park I stopped by a large, white marble and granite monument (Independence Avenue & Ohio Drive) which portrayed a larger-than-life-size figure of a seated guy and three standing allegoric figures representing Vision, Adventure, and Labor behind. The figures surround a Norse Tree of Life.
The monument, dedicated in 1926, commemorates Swedish immigrant to the USA, John Ericsson (1803-1889). He was a naval engineer who perfected the screw propeller, a revolutionary means of moving heavy ships through water which was very important for the Union forces required improved marine transportation during the Civil War (1861 - 1865). He experimented with solar energy and worked on a system of launching underwater torpedoes. It's said that he was so strange person that many Naval personnel disliked working with him. Hmm... many geniuses, especially prominent inventors, scientists and artists were strangers, right? What about travellers and VT-ers? :-)
“Let us not forget that the cultivation of the earth is the most important labor of man. When tillage begins, other arts will follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of civilization.”
— Daniel Webster (1782-1852)
IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD The memorial to Daniel Webster stands near where he lived at 1603 Massachusetts Avenue NW, beside Scott Circle. Our hotel, Hotel Rouge, during our May 2009 visit to DC is located down the street from Scott Circle.
The 12-foot tall likeness of Webster was a gift to the U. S. government from Stilson Hutchins, founder of the Washington Post. This bronze tribute to the New Hampshire native, sculpted by Gaetano Trentanove, was dedicated on 19.January.1900.
101st Screaming Eagles Monument -- The 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) "Screaming Eagles" has a proud history serving in many major military campaigns of the 20th Century. It was founded in 1942, and the division's first action was the night parachute drop into Normandy the night before D-Day in WWII. The 101st's other major campaigns of WWII are chronicled in the famous book and movie "Band of Brothers." The 101st also participated in Vietnam and Desert Storm. The monument for the 101st Airborne stands along the road leading to the main entrance of Arlington National Cemetery.
First Division Monument -- The First Division Monument was erected in 1924 just west of the White House and in front of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. This monument commemorates the Army's First Division's 5,516 World War I dead with a column topped by a statue of Victory and was the first memorial built in Washington, DC, in honor of any group of soldiers who fought in World War I. In 1957, the World War II addition to the monument was dedicated, and it displays the names of all 4,325 First Infantry Division soldiers who died in the war. In 1977 the Vietnam War addition was created with the names of 3,079 war dead, and the Desert Storm plaque with 27 names was placed in 1995.
Navy Seabees Memorial -- The Seabees are the U.S. Naval Construction Battalion, or CBs that were created during World War II to build airfields in the Pacific Theater. During World War Two, 325,000 men served with the Seabees on six continents and more than 300 islands. The monument stands near the entrance to Arlington National Cemetery at the Metro Station escalators. It features a large Seabee reaching out to a child, showing the unit's humanitarian mission. It also has a wall with a sculpture of Seabees at work along with listing of operations that Seabees have taken part in. My favorit quote on the monument reads, "With willing hearts and skillful hands, the difficult we do at once. The impossible takes a bit longer!"
Armored Forced Memorial -- The Armored Forced Memorial was created in 1991 to recognize those who have served in the US Army's Armored Divisions. This monument has a small granite wall depicting some of the important armored vehicles used in combat, and is encircled by a shorter marble wall with patches of the main armored units. The monument is located on Memorial Drive near Arlington Cemetery's entrance.
Second Division Monument -- This unique monument of a hand hoisting a flaming sword sits facing the mall, right in front of the White House. This monument was dedicated in 1936 to honor the division's soldiers who fought in World War I, but has since been expanded to include World War II and Korea.
The Tidal Basin consist of a 1.72 mile walkway that is bordered by the Washington Monument Grounds, West Potomac Park, the Potomac River and East Potomac Park. It is a ideal way of seeing the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, Cherry Blossoms when in bloom, or just a great way to enjoy the day or evening.
It is an ideal place to take a relaxing stroll or an early morning run. Visitors and locals will enjoy the fantastic vistas of Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument. It was built in the late 1900's as part of West Potomac Park to provide recreational space and as a means for draining the Washington Channel after high tide.
If you do decided to stroll around here at night, make sure you are not alone because it is dark and if during the summer months, you might want insect repellant.
This wonderful mural is located within the Lincoln Memorial on the interior walls. Make sure you wonder around inside so you do not miss other wonderful pieces of art.
The public may visit the Lincoln Memorial 24 hours a day. However Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9:30 A.M. to 11:30 P.M. daily.
National Mall and Memorial Parks
900 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20024
Congressional Cemetery was established in 1807 by an act of the US Congress. It was first used as the neighborhood cemetery for DC's Christ Church, and over 200 plus years its 30 acres have been the final resting place for some 80,000 people. Until about 1835 almost all congressmen who died in office while in Washington were buried here, due to the difficulty in transporting their remains long distances.
Those buried here include 19 Senators, 71 Representatives, and one Vice President -- Elbridge Gerry, only signer of the Declaration of Independence buried in Washington. Choctaw Chief Pushmataha, who was commissioned in the US Army during the War of 1812, is also buried here, as is famous composer John Philip Souza. The cemetery also contains monuments for some 120 congressmen who died in office, many who are buried at other sites.
The George Washington Masonic National Memorial is a Mason's lodge and memorial for President George Washington, a mason, and former president of the local lodge. The nine story tower is designed after the ancient lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt, and the exterior was built from 1922 to 1932. Work on the interior was not completed until 1970, and the monument and plaques on the front lawn were just completed in 1999. The building's replica lodge room contains Washington's masonic artifacts such as his apron and the silver trowel he used to lay the cornerstone of the Capitol Building. The top floor has an observation deck offering views in all four cardinal directions.
During our visit, we were between tours of the tower, so we stuck to the ground floor and the basement. The ground floor is dominated by a huge hall with a tall bronze statue of Washington flanked by great white columns in front of murals and stained-glass windows. To the left of this atrium is a small room with artifacts and photos of previous Mason commanders, then a modern-day meeting room. Downstairs you will find a central hall with small paintings of some of the great Masonic lodges of America, and there is also a small museum and gallery for the Shriners.
The monument stands on a tall knob called Shuter's Hill, that overlooks downtown Alexandria. In 1781 this was the site of John Mill's plantation house, which burned to the ground in 1842. In the 1850s a large brick house was built on the site, and this was incorporated into the Civil War-era Fort Ellsworth. The brick mansion was destroyed by fire in 1905. It is said that Thomas Jefferson once proposed this hill as the ideal site for the nation's capitol, prior to work starting across the river in Washington.
The monument is open to the public from 9am to 4pm daily with guided tours daily at 10am, 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 3 pm.
The monument has three plaques that read:
"Let prejudices and local interests yield to reason. Let us look at our national character and to things beyond the present period. — George Washington"
"This classic sculpture commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. The bronze bas-relief is a gift from Eastman Kodak Company, and was first commissioned as part of America's Bicentennial observance. It is the work of Isabel Giampietro Knoll. Dedication August 1982."
"This monument erected with the support from Grand Lodge of Ohio; Scottish Rite, Hartford, CT.; Corinthian-Philo Lodge No. 368, Philadelphia, PA.; Scottish Rite, Bridgeport, CT.; Demolay Foundation of New Jersey, Inc.; Mt. Lebanon Lodge, Boston, MA.; Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction; Supreme Council, Scottish Rite, Northern Jurisdiction; Scottish Rite, Southern New Jersey; Holland Lodge Foundation, Inc. N.Y.; to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial."
Columbia Island is home to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac National Monument, Lady Bird Johnson Park, the the Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial, and
Lady Bird Johnson Park - The Island was originally named Columbia Island, but was renamed in 1968 to honor Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon Baines Johnson. She was thus honored because she exerted great efforts to beautify Washington DC during her time as First Lady.
Lyndon Baines Johnson Memorial Grove on the Potomac - a small off-the-beaten-path monument to a recent president. The monument occupies just 17 miles of the park and it features several meandering paths around a 19-foot tall Texas granite pillar. The pillar itself has no engravings, but around its base are four quotes from the former President. About nature he said "All my life I have drawn sustenance from the rivers and from the hills of my native state. .... I want no less for all the children of America than what I was privileged to have as a boy." His quote about education reads, "I believe that every boy and girl in this great land has a right to all the education he or she can use... I intend to work to make this right a reality." He said about equality that "The promise of America is a simple promise: Every person shall share in the blessings of this land." And about his time as President, he stated "I hope it may be said a hundred years from now, that by working together we helped to make our country more just for all its people . . . I believe at least it will be said that we tried."
Navy-Merchant Marine Memorial - honors members of the United States Navy and the United States Merchant Marine who died during World War I. It was designed in 1922 and dedicated in1934. The 35 foot tall aluminum memorial has seven seagulls flying above a wave. The base is made of green granite. The memorial inscription reads: "To the strong souls and ready valor of those men of the United States who in the Navy, the Merchant Marine and other paths of Activity upon the waters of the world have given life or still offer it in the performance of heroic deeds this monument is dedicated by a grateful people."
Washington DC was first surveyed in 1791 and 1792 by Andrew Ellicott. The city was partly in Maryland and partly in Virginia in a square shape 10 miles on each side. Each side of the square was marked by 10 boundary stones for a total of 40 stones around the city. The first stone was placed at Jones Point in Alexandria, VA.
In 1915 the Daughters of the American Revolution protected the boundary stones by placing a fence around each and performing routine maintenance.
Today 37 of the original boundary stones survive. 14 of the original stone locations are in the state of Virginia, in the city of Alexandria or Arlington County since this part of DC was retroceeded back to Virginia prior to the Civil War.
Near Union Station, on one of Capitol Hill's residential streets, stands a small, white building that blends in well with the local residential architecture. The small sign above the door reads Ronald Reagan Republican Center and just inside the main entrance you might see the bust of the former president. This is the headquarters of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee is the Republican political committee that works to elect republicans to the United States Senate. It was founded in 1916 as the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, then reorganized in 1948, and renamed the National Republican Senatorial Committee. In 1989 the committees facility, called the Ronald Reagan Republican Center, was dedicated by Ronald Reagan.
Behind the building is a small square courtyard visible from E Street NE. Walk up to the fence and you can see the Ronald Reagan eternal flame, which I think they call the "Eternal Flame of Freedom." This area is called the Republican Victory Monument. On one wall are inscribed the names of those who help out the party a lot (probably if they give enough money). The east wall is labeled the Founders Wall and has many more names.
I don't think this monument is open to the public unless you become a Republican member of the Senate or if you want to donate some cash to the cause.
The Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center is at 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, just a few blocks from the White House. The building houses USAID (the U.S. Agency for International Development), U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. When completed, its total cost was $768 million, making it the most expensive federal building ever built. It is also the second largest federal building behind the Pentagon.
And don't forget that Reagan National Airport is also named after this former President.
When I first saw the Taft Memorial on a map, I thought "I didn't know President Taft had a monument on the mall." I even visited the monument (in my defense it was long after dark) and still had no idea it was not for the President. As it turns out this monument is for Robert A. Taft, the son of President and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court William Howard Taft. Robert A. Taft was most famous as a senator from Ohio, and he served as Senate Majority Leader. He also failed in three attempts to garner the Republican Presidential nomination, losing once to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was named as one of the five greatest senators in US history, despite his opposition to successful programs such as the New Deal, the Nuremberg Trials, and even US involvement in World War II and NATO.
The Taft Memorial is located just north of the US Capitol, and it is comprised of a 10 foot bronze sculpture of Taft, a 100 foot tall marble tower, and 27 French bells in the tower, all surrounded by gentle fountains. The Taft Memorial was built in 1959.
Above the statue you will see these words: "This Memorial to Robert A. Taft, presented by the people to the Congress of the United States, stands as a tribute to the honesty, indomitable courage, and high principles of free government symbolized by his life." There are other quotes
My girlfriend said the Einstein Memorial was her favorite off-the-beaten-path monument in the city so I went out of my way to find it on back-to-back days. She told me that if you stood in the middle and spoke to Einstein your voice would be amplified back, but only you could hear it. I couldn't figure out what she was talking about when I was there the first time, so I called her and went back the next day to try again. Sure enough, stand in the center of the constellation, look right at Einstein and speak, and you will hear your voice oddly amplified. I guess its the semi-circular base of the monument that creates that effect.
The memorial was dedicated in 1979 and consists of the aforementioned semicircular granite base, with a platform containing 2700 metal studs representing the stars of the sky the day the memorial was dedicated. The centerpiece is a bronze sculpture of Einstein where he looks like a chubby Muppet holding a bronze book with his most important equations etched into it. He must have written his works with a chisel. The equations on his pad describe the the photoelectric effect, the theory of general relativity, and most famous is E=mc2, the equivalence of energy and matter.
The Einstein Memorial sits in front of the National Academy of Sciences on Constitution Avenue, near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
I have been hunting for this memorial since I moved to NoVa five months ago. Today (23 Feb 2008) I finally caught and asked a Park Ranger at the Lincoln Monument where it was. So many trips to DC in the past five months and I was often so close, but no cookie! When I visited the memorial during my university days, it was so easy to find! Twenty years later, the trees and bushes are all grown up around the memorial and is hiden from view. Albert Einstein was one of the most influencial scientists (more correctly Physicist) of the 20th century and is still one of the many people I will always admire and respect.
The memorial can be found at the corner of Consistution and 23rd. Just to the north of the Lincoln and Viet Nam Memorials. Adjoins the National Academies building.
This is one of the oldest cemeteries in the U.S., and it's home to The Adams Memorial, also known as "The Statue of Grief." Henry Adams, grandson of former president John Quincy Adams, built the memorial for his wife after she committed suicide. It's a beautiful statue, and there are dozens of other 18th-19th century graves around the area. This cemetery also has the largest number of mausoleums I believe I've ever seen in one place. It's a bit out of the way, but there is always someone in the church office during the day, and they'll be happy to point you in the right direction.
I was lucky enough to stumble upon this hidden gem the last time I was in Old Town Alexandria. It's a small cemetery located behind a little old Presbyterian church. This cemetery is home to some of the oldest graves I've seen in the U.S. Rumor has it that George Washington personally knew many of the people who are buried here. As you can imagine, several Scottish immigrants are buried in this place, although the actual number of people buried in this cemetery is unknown. There are gravestones in all sorts of strange places, and if you visit during the day you're bound to find children playing nearby at the day care center behind the cemetery. Of particular interest is the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary Soldier, whose remains were excavated at a Catholic church in 1829 and relocated at the Old Presbyterian Meeting House.