It is hard to deny the fact that President Abraham Lincoln is the most beloved President in the United States. He took office in 1861 as the 16th President of the nation. President Lincoln’s tenure came at a time when the United States was dealing with the impacts of the American Civil War.
Perhaps the reason why he remains in the hearts of many is the fact that he was assassinated in 1865 while still serving his term. Lincoln Memorial is a national memorial designed from 1915 and dedicated seven years later to honor the 16th U.S. President. How much do you know about this historical feature? Let’s have a look at some of the most amazing facts you ought to know.
Lincoln Memorial Facts
1. There are 36 columns of Colorado marble
When you visit this memorial site, you’ll notice 36 columns of Colorado marble standing about 44 feet high. Well, this is not just a number; it has its significance in U.S. history. First, it’s worth noting that there were only 36 states at the end of the American Civil War. The columns represent these states.
What about the other fourteen states? Although they are not represented like the first 36 states, they are listed above the colonnade. This list comprises of the 48 states that were already in the union at the time of designing this memorial site. An interesting fact about Lincoln Memorial is that Hawaii and Alaska, which came in decades later, are inscribed on a plaque positioned on the front steps.
2. The 36 columns is a symbolic feature for unity
As stated, these columns are basically a representation of the initial states while Abraham Lincoln was in office. However, what most people do not know is that they have a deeper meaning. Without these columns, there is a chance that the roof would fall. Similarly, the success of the U.S. nation is dependent on the unity of the states without which it would fail.
3. There is a notable spelling error on the carvings
Yes, it might not be a big deal, but imagine being poor in spelling and showing it in a historical object. If you carefully check out the north wall, you’ll clearly see that the word “Future” was initially written with an “E” at the beginning, an interesting Lincoln Memorial fact. Of course, they noticed the error and tried to rectify it, but the impact will remain clear for centuries.
4. Some claim that Lincoln’s hands are signing
People can be too analytical of certain things sometimes, but how true is this claim? Although it has not been officially proven, many visitors have noticed that Lincoln’s hands were designed suggestively. If you look closely, you’ll notice that they seem to sign Lincoln’s name in American Sign Language.
The designer of this statue might have been overwhelmed by American Freedom. As such, he felt that educating the deaf was similar to freeing the slaves. Of course, these are just speculations, but one can never be far from the truth.
5. West Potomac Park was among the rejected sites
Among the suggested construction sites was West Potomac Park. However, this was rejected by Congress for two reasons. One, it was too swampy for any construction. As such, the experts decided against it because no foundation would be stable in such an area.
Another reason was the fact that it was plagued by criminal activities. At the time, West Potomac Park was known for hosting notorious gangs. Therefore, building a memorial site on such a place would have raised many questions.
6. The walls of Lincoln’s Memorial have been dubbed as “speaking walls.”
Well, the walls do not literally speak out words, but you can definitely feel the message being passed. The inscriptions on these surfaces tell the whole story of Lincoln’s tenure as the United States’ President, an interesting Lincoln Memorial fact. His inaugural speech is boldly written on the North Wall of the building. Similarly, his Gettysburg Address is inscribed on the South Wall.
7. The stairs have 87 steps
It might seem like a random number, but the 87 steps definitely represent something. One quote that Abraham Lincoln is known for is the “four scores” and “7” in his Gettysburg Address. These steps, therefore, represent this quote in quite a symbolic manner. The steps start from the Reflecting Pool and heads to President Lincoln’s sculpture in the building.
8. Lincoln’s Memorial is the 7th most-loved building in the U.S.
President Lincoln had a soft spot in the American’s hearts, and they still love him today. One of the main indications is the fact that his memorial site is among the most-loved buildings in the United States. According to statistics, the site receives millions of visitors every year, not only for its beauty but also for the love of the people, an interesting Lincoln Memorial fact.
9. Ceremonies held at the site were segregated
First, it is worth noting that Abraham Lincoln was a lover of all people. In return, he was respected and adored by American citizens and foreigners alike. In fact, this reputation is what led to the name ” The Great Emancipator.”
However, ceremonies that followed the construction of his memorial site did not reflect his actions. People attending the events were segregated with respect to their skin color. In other words, it was almost like a criminal offense for the people of color to mix up with the Whites.
10. Construction of a giant pyramid was among the ideas at the table
Congress considered several ideas on what to construct at the Memorial before assigning Henry Bacon the contract. Among the ideas tabled during the Congress meetings was a consideration to construct a giant pyramid to serve the purpose, an interesting Lincoln Memorial fact. John Russell Pope was another competing architect, and his suggestion was a 250-foot temple constructed in Meridian Hill Park.
Are you planning to explore parts of the United States soon? We would suggest that you consider visiting the Lincoln Memorial site and see these features for yourself. The site operates for 24 hours per day, but you’ll only find a tour guide during the day.
I hope that this article on Lincoln Memorial facts was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Important Places Facts!