the war, Congress approved the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in
the United States.
The Civil War ended in April 1865 with the
surrender of Gen. Robert E. Lee. Six days later, Abraham Lincoln was
shot by an assassin in Ford's Theatre.
Two years after his assassination, Congress formed the Lincoln
Monument Association. Its task was to build a memorial dedicated to
Abraham Lincoln. It would take until 1901 before a site for the
memorial was chosen. In 1911 the Lincoln Memorial Bill was signed by
President Taft, providing $2 million funds for the memorial.
Construction started in 1914. The design by New York architect
Henry Bacon was based on a Greek temple with 36 Doric columns. Each
column represents one state of the Union at the time of Lincoln's
death. When the memorial was completed in May 1922, the Union had
expanded with 12 more states, so the names of the 48 states were
carved on the outside of the memorial's walls. After the admission
of Alaska and Hawaii, a plaque was added with the names of the two
Inside the 99-foot (30-meter) tall marble temple is a large
sculpture of Abraham Lincoln seated in a chair. The sculpture,
designed by Daniel Chester French, was originally intended to be
10-feet (3 meters) tall. Henry Bacon realized the statue would be
dwarfed inside the large building, so the size was almost doubled to
19 feet (5.8 meters). The northern wall contains an inscription of
Lincoln's second inaugural speech; the southern wall has the
Gettysburg Address inscribed. Above the inscription is a mural
depicting the angel of truth freeing a slave.
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The memorial is often used as a gathering place for protests and
political rallies. The most famous was the March of Washington in
1963, when Martin Luther King delivered his famous speech "I have a
dream" from the Lincoln Memorial.
The Lincoln Memorial is located at the west end of the National
Mall. From the top of the stairs in front of the memorial, there is
a great view of the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol.
A View on Cities]