A Brief History
On December 6, 1884, the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. was completed. A spectacular structure, the tall white obelisk was the tallest man-made structure in the world when complete, over 554 feet tall, losing that title to the Eiffel Tower in 1889, although it still is the world’s tallest monumental column.
Some other magnificent American monuments include:
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota, carved into bare rock to depict the likenesses of four of our greatest presidents. Completed in 1941, each head is about 60 feet tall with eyes 11 feet wide!
Crazy Horse Memorial, South Dakota, dedicated to a great Oglala Lakota Chief, it is another massive sculpture carved into a mountain and will be the second largest sculpture in the world when it is finally complete. Work started in 1948.
Devil’s Postpile National Monument, California, a natural rather than man-made structure, this rock formation has 60 foot high columnar basalt formations that make a breathtaking view.
Question for students (and subscribers): What is the greatest American monument? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Alison, David. Controversial Monuments and Memorials. RL, 2018.
Quinn, Maureen. The Grand Monuments of Washington, DC. BrightPath Tours, LLC, 2013.
The featured image in this article, P. H. McLaughlin setting the aluminum apex with Thomas Lincoln Casey (hands up), is in the public domain in the United States. This applies to U.S. works where the copyright has expired, often because its first publication occurred prior to January 1, 1928, and if not then due to lack of notice or renewal. See this page for further explanation.
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