Jefferson Memorial - The Tidal Basin, Washington D.C.

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South bank of the Tidal Basin (202) 426 - 6841

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  • cjg1's Profile Photo

    Jefferson, Jefferson, Jefferson

    by cjg1 Updated Apr 19, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    My wife and her Favorite Memorial
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    The Jefferson Memorial is always a stop for Liz and I when we are in D.C. Jefferson is Liz's favorite President and she likes to "stop in and visit" with him as she puts it.

    The Jefferson Memorial was completed in 1943. John Russell Pope designed this large neoclassical structure but died before its completion. In 1947, the large bronze statue of Jefferson was added to the memorial , completing it.

    Jefferson was a man who loved architecture and he would be proud of this memorial to him. The circular steps of mable, the portico, the Ionic colums, the dome and rotunda...would have made him quite happy.

    Inside the memorial stands a 19 foot high bronze statue of Jefferson by Rudolph Evans. The walls inside have some passages from Jefferson's writing engraved in the marble. Below the dome is written "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." Jeferson believed in free thought and that no person should hold sway over another's beliefs. He wrote this at a time when the government wanted to declare a state religion much to Jefferson's dissaproval. As much as he had beliefs he felt that no man should force his beliefs onto another.

    The memorial overlooks the Tidal Basin of the Potomac River and many D.C. sights are within view. It is always a pleasure to sit on the steps with the Washington Monument soaring above the treeline.

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  • von.otter's Profile Photo

    Old World Architecture in a New World Capital

    by von.otter Updated Jan 17, 2010
    von.otter at the Jefferson Memorial, 05/09
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    “God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish a law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state and on a general plan.”
    — This quote, which appears on the third panel inside the Jefferson Memorial, is a compilation from writings by Jefferson, “A Summary View of the Rights of British America” and “Notes on the State of Virginia”

    This is one of three buildings associated with Jefferson whose design is inspired by Ancient Rome’s glorious Pantheon. The other two, in Virginia, are Jefferson’s beloved home, Monticello, and the Rotunda, which Jefferson designed, at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville (see von.otter’s Things-To-Do Tip for Charlottesville for more information and photos on both sights).

    The Jefferson Memorial’s site was originally created with landfill dredged from the Potomac River in the late 1800s. It is situated in West Potomac Park, on the shore of the Tidal Basin of the Potomac River.

    John Russell Pope, selected in 1935, served as the architect for the Memorial; Pope died in 1937, one year before construction began on December 15, 1938; and two years before President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone on November 15, 1939. The building was completed in 1943.

    At the center of the Memorial stands Rudulph Evans’s 19-foot tall, 10,000 pound bronze of Thomas Jefferson (see photo #5).

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  • abi_maha's Profile Photo

    White Beauty- Jefferson Memorial

    by abi_maha Written Sep 10, 2009

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    The words of Thomas Jefferson, some written more than 200 years ago, have shaped American ideals. Today, many of these impressive, stirring words adorn the interior walls of his memorial. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial stands as a symbol of liberty and endures as a site for reflection and inspiration for all citizens of the United States and the world. We didn't have the time to see the interiors though, so am just posting pics from the outside as we fleeted by!

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    Thomas Jefferson Memorial Panel 4 Quote

    by Yaqui Written Jun 6, 2009

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    Dedicated in 1943 on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth. Thomas Jefferson was our 3rd President of the United States of America from 1801-1809. He is one of our forefathers of the Declaration of Independence and sponsored the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1826 at his Monticello home.

    ~"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    Presidents of the United States Of America

    Open All Year

    Closed on December 25th

    Exhibits
    Museum located in the lower lobby of the memorial.

    Available Facilities
    Bookstore and Restrooms located in the basement of the memorial. Elevator access

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    Thomas Jefferson Memorial Panel 3 Quote

    by Yaqui Written Jun 6, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Dedicated in 1943 on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth. Thomas Jefferson was our 3rd President of the United States of America from 1801-1809. He is one of our forefathers of the Declaration of Independence and sponsored the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1826 at his Monticello home.

    ~"God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than that these people are to be free. Establish a law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state and on a general plan." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    Presidents of the United States Of America

    Open All Year

    Closed on December 25th

    Exhibits
    Museum located in the lower lobby of the memorial.

    Available Facilities
    Bookstore and Restrooms located in the basement of the memorial. Elevator access

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Thomas Jefferson Memorial Panel 2 Quote

    by Yaqui Written Jun 6, 2009

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Dedicated in 1943 on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth. Thomas Jefferson was our 3rd President of the United States of America from 1801-1809. He is one of our forefathers of the Declaration of Independence and sponsored the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1826 at his Monticello home.

    ~"Almighty God hath created the mind free. All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens . . . are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion . . . No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively."~ Thomas Jefferson

    Presidents of the United States Of America

    Open All Year

    Closed on December 25th

    Exhibits
    Museum located in the lower lobby of the memorial.

    Available Facilities
    Bookstore and Restrooms located in the basement of the memorial. Elevator access

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Thomas Jefferson Memorial Panel 1 Quote

    by Yaqui Written Jun 6, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    Dedicated in 1943 on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth. Thomas Jefferson was our 3rd President of the United States of America from 1801-1809. He is one of our forefathers of the Declaration of Independence and sponsored the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1826 at his Monticello home.

    ~"Panel One:
    "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We . . . solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and independent states. . . And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    Presidents of the United States Of America

    Open All Year

    Closed on December 25th

    Exhibits
    Museum located in the lower lobby of the memorial.

    Available Facilities
    Bookstore and Restrooms located in the basement of the memorial. Elevator access

    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Historical Travel
    • Family Travel

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  • Yaqui's Profile Photo

    Thomas Jefferson Memorial

    by Yaqui Updated Jun 6, 2009

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

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    Dedicated in 1943 on the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birth. Thomas Jefferson was our 3rd President of the United States of America from 1801-1809. He is one of our forefathers of the Declaration of Independence and sponsored the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence July 4, 1826 at his Monticello home.

    ~ I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tryranny over the mind of man." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    Presidents of the United States Of America

    Open All Year

    Closed on December 25th

    Exhibits
    Museum located in the lower lobby of the memorial.

    Available Facilities
    Bookstore and Restrooms located in the basement of the memorial. Elevator access

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • Ewingjr98's Profile Photo

    Jefferson Memorial

    by Ewingjr98 Updated Nov 1, 2008

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    Construction on the Jefferson Memorial began in 1938 after Franklin Delanor Roosevelt pushed for several years to create this structure in memory of one of our nation's greatest Presidents and a key founding father. The memorial was completed in 1942, but the bronze statue of Jefferson could not be created until after WWII due to a shortage of copper.

    From the outside the monument resembles some of Jefferson's own domes at Monticello and the University of Virginia. Inside is open and empty except for the 19 foot tall, 10,000 pound statue of the president. There are four of Jefferson's quotations on the walls facing the statue and one more inside the base of the dome over the head of the statue. One of the four large quotations is from the Declaration of Independence, another deals with religious freedom, the third slavery, and the fourth is about progress and changes in government which ends by saying "We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." The engraving below the dome reads "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

    Under the monument are public restrooms, a few historical displays, and a gift shop.

    The Jefferson Memorial is less visited than many other big monuments because of its difficult to reach location and distance from the Metro.

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  • Faiza-Ifrah's Profile Photo

    Paying homage to Thomas Jefferson

    by Faiza-Ifrah Updated Sep 12, 2008

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    The Memorial from outside
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    We thought that the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial are laid out in a similar pattern.

    A 19 foot high statue of this 3rd President of the United States and the Author of the Declaration of Independence is housed in the white-domed, colonnaded building on the south bank of the Tidal Basin.

    The bronze statue portrays Jefferson addressing the Continental Congress. It stands on a six foot high pedestal of black Minnesota granite. The Memorial was dedicated in 1943, only after a group of angry women chained themselves to an uprooted cherry tree to protest removal of the trees to make way for the Monument. Only 83 trees were actually cut down while thousands remained.

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    Jefferson Memorial

    by apbeaches Updated Jul 15, 2008
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    The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial in Washington, D.C. that is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson, an American Founding Father and the third president of the United States. The neoclassical building was designed by John Russell Pope. It was built by Philadelphia contractor John McShain and was completed during 1939-1943; the bronze statue of Jefferson was added inside in 1947. When completed, the memorial occupied one of the last significant sites left in the city.

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    Jefferson Memorial

    by besbel Updated Jul 1, 2008

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    Thomas Jefferson was the third President of the United States, and one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence. To me that was enough reason to visit its memorial, ten to fifteen minutes away from the Washington Monument. But what I found left me speechless. Not only the magnificent building and location (the view of the Memorial and the Tidal Basin on a summer day is magical) but also the brilliance of Jefferson's ideas. After reading excerpts from his letters and the Declaration of Indepence in the interior walls of the memorial, I kept fascinated that, more than two hundred years ago, there was a man sticking to values like the respect of human rights, freedom of expression and religion.
    As for the Memorial itself, it goes along the same line as the Lincoln Memorial: a Roman-styled building in which you could find a monument and parts of his speeches in the walls. The access is free, and open until midnight.

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  • AKtravelers's Profile Photo

    The Jefferson Memorial is a Favorite

    by AKtravelers Updated May 28, 2008

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    Paddlers move toward the Jefferson memorial

    Of all of D.C.'s memorials, the Jefforson Memorial is my favorite. Located at the south end of the Tidal Basin, it is the least visited of the big monuments on the Mall, except when the cherry blossoms are blooming -- then it's packed!
    Thomas Jeffreson's likeness stands in the center of the rotunda, modeled after his house in Charlottesville, Virginia. His words -- and what great words they are -- are carved into the wall. When you read his speeches, keep in mind the contradictions of the man who wrote so eloquently about freedom while keeping slaves himself.
    One favorite story about the Jefforson Memorial comes from the Kennedy Administration. President Kennedy was hosting a dinner for all the American Nobel Prize winners and when he toasted the guests he remarked that this was probably the finest assemblage of American intellect ever to dine in that room with the possible exception (and JFK pointed out the window towards the Jefferson Memorial) of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone.

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    Jefferson Memorial

    by travelfrosch Written Mar 30, 2008

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    The Jefferson Memorial
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    The Jefferson Memorial is in honor of the third President of the United States and author of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson. The memorial is designed in the shape of Monticello, Jefferson's estate in Charlottesville, Virginia. The statue of Jefferson inside the Memorial is easily seen from most areas of the Tidal Basin. Engraved inside the memorial itself is a number of Jefferson's most famous quotes. The view of the rest of the city is quite impressive from the steps as well.

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    Memorial

    by tim07 Written Mar 22, 2008

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    The memorial has a superb setting on the south bank of the Tidal Basin. Inside the domed monument is a 19ft bronze statue. Excerts from Jefferson's writings are etched into the walls. On a sunny day sitting on the steps you get the Washington Monument reflecting in the water.

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