Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Of all the monuments in America, few are as famous as the Washington monument. In the early 19th century, the country decided to pay tribute to the man who led the fight for independence against the British. After leading the Continental Army, Washington was elected as the president of the United States in 1789. In 1833, Congress formed the Washington National Monument Society. After three years of raising money, the Society had accumulated $28,000 dollars, which they used to hold a competition for the design. In the end, Robert Mills won. With an estimated cost of $ 1 million, the tower would stand 555 feet and 5.5 inches tall and would be 55 feet and 1.5 inches wide. The construction of the obelisk started on July 4, 1848, but stopped in 1854, when the monument was only 152 feet tall. This halt was partly due to the slowing of contributions and partly because of the beginning of the American Civil War, but in 1876, when the country celebrated 100 years of being independent, Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill for the government to fund the completion of the monument. The dedication ceremony took places the day before Washington's birthday in 1885, but the public was not allowed in until 1888. The Washington Monument now stands over the National Mall in Washington, D.C., across from the Lincoln Memorial, showing the greatness and glory of the nation's first president.