Washington Monument

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The Symbols of the USA


There are many symbols that represent the United States of America. Some of the most popular ones are the Stars and Stripes (the US flag), the Great Seal of the USA,the bald eagle (our national bird), the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the US Capitol, the White House, Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Statue of Liberty (a gift from France), the Gateway Arch (in St. Louis, Missouri), Mount Rushmore (carved on a mountain in South Dakota), the Alamo, The Star Spangled Banner (the national anthem of the USA), The Pledge of Allegiance, Yankee Doodle , Uncle Sam (a cartoon figure designed by Thomas Nast), the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, Gettysburg, Monticello, Mount Vernon, the Golden Gate Bridge, the World War 2 Memorial, and many others.

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is an obelisk-shaped building in Washington, D.C. that was built to honor the first President of the United States of America, George Washington. This 555-foot-tall obelisk is the tallest building in the District of Columbia - by law, no other building in D.C. is allowed to be taller.

Pierre Charles L'Enfant (the architect who designed Washington, D.C.) planned in 1783 to have a prominent statue honoring George Washington near the White House and Capitol. But exactly how to honor the first President of the USA was not an easy decision, and in 1833, the Washington National Monument Society was formed with the purpose of deciding upon an appropriate memorial. This group had a design competition, and in 1836, the architect Robert Mills' obelisk design won the contest.

Work on the stone monument to George Washington did not begin until July 4, 1848 (because of a lack of funds). Work on the monument was stopped in 1854 (when the monument was only 152 feet tall), after donations dropped off. The project was almost abandoned, but work finally began again in 1876 (you can see the slight difference in color of the marble on the bottom third and the upper two-thirds of the monument). Also, the Army Corps of Engineers, who started working on the monument after the Civil War, determined that the foundation was not sufficient for the 600-foot-tall obelisk that was originally planned, so a 550-foot-monument was built.

The exterior of the Washington Monument was completed on December 6, 1884; it was opened to the public on October 9, 1888 (after the interior was completed). The giant obelisk contains 36,491 blocks and weighs 90,854 tons.

Inside the Washington Monument are an elevator and a 897-step stairway. There is an observation deck at 500 feet. At the top of the monument there is a nine-inch tall aluminum pyramid (when the monument was built, aluminum was newly-discovered, scarce, and very expensive). Lightning rods at the top protect the monument from lightning strikeThe completed monument stands 555 ft 5 1⁄8 in (169.294 m) tall,[n 1] with the following construction materials and details: Phase One (1848 to 1858): To the 152-foot (46 m) level, under the direction of Superintendent William Daugherty. Exterior: White marble from Texas, Maryland (adjacent to and east of north I-83 near the Warren Road exit in Cockeysville). Phase Two (1878 to 1888): Work completed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, commanded by Lt. Col. Thomas L. Casey. Exterior: White marble, three courses or rows, from Sheffield, Massachusetts. Exterior: White marble from Beaver Dam Quarry (now Beaverdam Pond) near Cockeysville, Maryland.[53]:63[54][55] Structural: marble (0–555 feet (0–169 m)), bluestone gneiss (below 150 feet (46 m)), granite (150–450 feet (46–140 m)), concrete (below ground)[1] Commemorative stones: granite, marble, limestone, sandstone, soapstone, jade[26] Aluminum apex, at the time a rare metal as valuable as silver, was cast by William Frishmuth.[6] Before the installation it was put on public display and stepped over by visitors who could later say they had "stepped over the top of the Washington Monument". Cost of the monument during 1848–85: $1,187,710 Cost of the monument during 1848–88: $1,409,500[56]s.

History of the Washington Monument


Hailed as the father of his country, and the leader who was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen", George Washington (1732–1799) was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1797, leading the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander in chief of the Continental Army, and presiding over the writing of the Constitution in 1787. As the unanimous choice to serve as the first President of the United States, he built a strong and financially secure nation that earned the respect of the world.

In colonial Virginia, Washington was born into the provincial gentry in a wealthy, well-connected family that owned tobacco plantations. Strong, brave, eager for combat and a natural leader, young Washington quickly became a senior officer of the colonial forces, during the French and Indian War in 1754–1758. Washington's experience, his military bearing, his leadership of the Patriot cause in Virginia, and his political base in the largest colony made him the obvious choice of the Second Continental Congress in 1775 as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army to fight the British in the American Revolution. After the colonial victory over the British was finalized in 1783, Washington resigned from the military rather than become an American king, and returned to his plantation at Mount Vernon. This prompted his erstwhile enemy King George III to call him "the greatest character of the age".

Washington presided over the Constitutional Convention that drafted the United States Constitution in 1787 because of his dissatisfaction with the weaknesses of Articles of Confederation. Washington became President of the United States in 1789 where he successfully brought rival factions together to create a unified nation. President Washington built a strong, well-financed national government that avoided war, suppressed rebellion, and won acceptance among America’s natural citizens. George Washington's farewell address was a primer on republican virtue and a stern warning against partisanship, sectionalism, and involvement in foreign wars. Two years after his presidential term ended, Washington died at Mount Vernon in 1799, leaving America and the world a legacy of republican virtue and devotion to civic duty. Washington was a public icon of American military and civic patriotism.

See also

Famous symbols of the USA

Symbols of America: quizes and games

Funny quiz, questionnaire and games for examining your new knowledge.


Representation of famous symbols of the USA


Ecker, Grace Dunlop A Portrait of Old George Town. — The Dietz Press, Inc., 1951. — P. 11.

Humphrey, Robert L., Mary Elizabeth Chambers Ancient Washington: American Indian Cultures of the Potomac Valley. — George Washington University, 1977. — P. 27.

"Символы Америки"http://greencard.by/services/library/3878/

"Утраченый символ" (Ден Браун) http://ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%A3%D1%82%D1%80%D0%B0%D1%87%D0%B5%D0%BD%D0%BD%D1%8B%D0%B9_%D1%81%D0%B8%D0%BC%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%BB

--Елена Прекрасная 19:05, 09 апреля 2012 (EET)

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