Five Facts About: Presidential Memorials
- On the morning of July 4, 1827, the residents of Boonsboro, Maryland, began construction of a memorial to George Washington. At a height of 34 feet, it is dwarfed by the better-known Washington Monument in the district of Columbia [555 feet high]. Yet, because it was built at an elevation of 1,394 feet, it is the highest monument to the first U.S. president.
- There are nine national memorials dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president. The longest is the Lincoln Highway, which was dedicated in 1913. When completed, the "Main Street Across America" ran from Times Square in New York City to Lincoln Park in San Francisco--a total of 3,389 miles.
- Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial, authorized by Congress in 1932, lies in the Potomac River in the District of Columbia. Accessible only by foot bridge from the Virginia side of the river, it offers fine opportunities for watching birds, a fitting memorial for the naturalist-statesman who became the 26th U.S. president.
- The Harding Tomb in Marion, Ohio, is the burial place of Warren G. Harding and his wife, Florence. Built in 1927 in the Greek style, it is unroofed, as the Hardings wished to be interred outdoors. Because the 29th U.S. president's administration was marked by scandals, it was not dedicated until 1931.
- In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt told a friend that the only memorial he wanted should be about the size of his desk. "I don't care what it's made of," he added. Just such a memorial, near the National Archives in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 1965, on the 20th anniversary of his death.
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