Jefferson Memorial in Washington DC is a presidential memorial dedicated to Thomas Jefferson who was one of the founding fathers of America. It is one of the most recognizable monuments in Washington DC. There are so many interesting things about the Jefferson Memorial you may not have known. Let’s see what they are.
When Was the Memorial Built?
The cornerstone of the memorial was laid in 1939. It was built by John Russell Pope who passed away in the midst of the project. The monument was completed by Daniel P. Higgins and Otto R. Eggers with some design modifications.
About the Jefferson Statue
Rudolph Evans designed the statue of Jefferson. This 19 feet tall statue weighing 5 tons is located at the center of the memorial. The original Jefferson statue was made of plaster. But later at the end of the Second World War, it was renovated and reconstructed in bronze.
Marbles Used for Construction
For the construction of Jefferson Memorial, marbles came from four different states including Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, and Vermont.
Why 13 April 1943 is So Important?
It was on this day Jefferson would turn 200 years old. So this day was selected for dedicating the memorial to Thomas Jefferson by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
Once a Site for Most Popular Beaches
Tidal basin located next to the memorial was once a site for most popular beaches. It was a “whites only” facility. Later Congress granted a new swimming area for African – Americans. But when the debate over the new area got worse, the Tidal basin was closed. Also, the memorial was built on the land which was created by landfill, dredged from the Potomac River.
Cherry Tree Rebellion
The construction of the Jefferson memorial caused the removal of famous cherry trees on the site which was gifted by the mayor of Tokyo in 1912. As a protest against this, a group of 50 women marched to the white house and on the next day, they chained themselves to a tree at the construction site and this is popularly known as cherry tree rebellion.
Quotes on the Walls
Four famous quotes of Jefferson were inscribed on the walls of the memorial. Among this, one quote on the southwest wall does not belong to Jefferson. It is actually from Declaration of Independence.
Dome of the Jefferson Memorial
The memorial building is a circular open-air structure which features a shallow dome. The dome has a diameter of 165 feet and has 26 pillars.