Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Located in our nation’s capital of Washington, D.C., the Thomas Jefferson Memorial honors and preserves the legacy of one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson. The only attraction at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is the memorial itself. The exterior of the Memorial features marble steps and an open concept with a dome. In addition to the architectural elements of the Memorial, an array of Japanese cherry trees are planted around the Memorial. These trees were gifted from Japan in the early 1900s. Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/Fotolia
Although the site of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial was used since 1901, it wasn’t until 1934 that the site became dedicated to Jefferson and plans for the official memorial was drafted. In 1934, President Franklin Roosevelt pitched the idea of the site to become Jefferson’s memorial to the Commission of Fine Arts. A member of congress, John J. Boylan, supported Roosevelt’s pitch, and encouraged the Commission to fund the project. Later in the year, $3 million was funded to create Jefferson’s memorial.
In 1935, architect John Russell Pope began drafting design plans for the Memorial. Pope’s plans were situated along the Tidal Basin and incorporated a design that resembled a pantheon. By the time construction began in late 1938, Pope had passed away. So, Daniel P. Higgins and Otto R. Eggers, Pope’s partners, oversaw the construction.
On April 13, 1943, President Roosevelt dedicated the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. This happened to be on the same day of Jefferson’s 200th birthday. The White House is in a close proximity, and in a directly straight line, as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Many people praise the Memorial’s design dedication to Jefferson’s personality and style, as it resembles two buildings Jefferson designed: the University of Virginia Rotunda and Monticello. Photo: Paul Lemke/Fotolia
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Inside of the Memorial, visitors can find a bronze statue that is 19 feet tall, and weighs approximately 10,000 pounds, of Jefferson. This statue was created by renowned sculptor Rudulph Evans. Another statue located in the Memorial is that of Alexander Hamilton, who was known to be the rival of Jefferson. Jefferson’s statue is positioned in a way that looks back at Hamilton’s statue.
One of the most renowned elements of the Memorial is the array of words that are inscribed to the dome’s walls. Two of the most notable quotes include, “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man” and “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”. Photo: romanslavik.com/Fotolia
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Since notable moments in Jefferson’s personal life and career are inscribed on the Memorial’s walls, there are no formal educational opportunities at the Memorial. People are encouraged to visit the Memorial to gain an in-depth insight into Jefferson’s accomplishments and legacy, as well as honor those accomplishments and his legacy. Many people and school field trips visit the Thomas Jefferson Memorial during walking tours of Washington, D.C. that feature other monuments and memorials, such as the White House. Photo: faustasyan/Fotolia
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The Thomas Jefferson Memorial regularly hosts special events throughout the year, such as the Easter Sunrise Service and memorial activities. One of the most notable events that take place at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Every year, Washington, D.C. celebrates spring with the National Cherry Blossom Festival. In addition to celebrating the season, the National Cherry Blossom Festival honors and embraces the United States’ relationship with Japan, and Japan’s gift of cherry blossom trees to the United States.
While the National Cherry Blossom Festival is home to the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, other locations around Washington, D.C. are home to events for the Festival. Every year, about a week before the Festival officially starts, the Pink Tie Party occurs to raise extra funds for the Festival. Events that take place during the actual Festival include the opening ceremony, kite festival, performances, parade, and fireworks.
There are a ton of other event opportunities during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which occur on a daily basis. This year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival occurs from March 25, 2017 to April 15, 2017.
In addition to public special events, such as the National Cherry Blossom Festival, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial is home to a select number of ceremonies. For more information about the National Cherry Blossom Festival, ceremonies, and any other special event at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, check out the National Park Service’s official website, or contact them during standard business hours.
Address: 900 Ohio Drive SW , Washington , DC 20024, Phone: 202-426-6841 Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/Fotolia
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Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.
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