Today's highlight in History
1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is completed.
The Washington Monument is an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, DC, built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the early Continental Army and the first American president.
George Washington (1732–1799) was 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", He was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1798.
At his death in 1799 he left a critical legacy: he exemplified the core ideals of the American Revolution and the new nation: republican virtue and devotion to civic duty.Washington was the unchallenged public icon of American military and civic patriotism.
In 1832. That year, which marked the 100th anniversary of Washington's birth, a large group of concerned citizens formed the Washington National Monument Society. In 1836, after they had raised $28,000 in donations ($15,700,000 in 2012, they announced a competition for the design of the memorial.
Excavation for the foundation of the Monument began in early 1848. The cornerstone was laid as part of an elaborate Fourth of July ceremony hosted by the Freemasons, an organization to which Washington belonged. Speeches that day showed the country continued to revere Washington. One celebrant noted, "No more Washingtons shall come in our time ... But his virtues are stamped on the heart of mankind. He who is great in the battlefield looks upward to the generalship of Washington. He who grows wise in counsel feels that he is imitating Washington. He who can resign power against the wishes of a people, has in his eye the bright example of Washington."
The monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss,is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet 5
1⁄8 inches (169.294 m) tall. Taller monumental columns exist, but they are neither all stone nor true obelisks.
|2003 view of monument, surrounded by|
a ring of Jersey barriers. The White House is visible at the upper right
. The Lincoln Memorial is beyond the frame, at left.
Construction of the monument began in 1848, was halted from 1854 to 1877, and was finally completed in 1884. The hiatus in construction happened because of co-option by the Know Nothing party, a lack of funds, and the intervention of the American Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted. Its original design was by Robert Mills, an architect of the 1840s, but his design was modified significantly when construction resumed.
Construction resumed in 1879 under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lincoln Casey of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Casey redesigned the foundation, strengthening it so it could support a structure that ultimately weighed more than 40,000 tons. He then followed the society's orders and figured out what to do with the commemorative stones that had accumulated. Though many people ridiculed them, Casey managed to install most of the stones in the interior walls — one stone was found at the bottom of the elevator shaft in 1951. The bottom third of the monument is a slightly lighter shade than the rest of the construction because the marble was obtained from different quarries.
|The monument undergoing restoration in 1999.|
The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884, and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. It officially opened October 9, 1888. Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral. The monument held this designation until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France.
The monument stands due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.
|Crack in a stone at the top of the|
monument after the 2011
On August 23, 2011, the Washington Monument sustained damage during the 2011 Virginia earthquake;over 150 cracks were found in the monument. A National Park Service spokesperson reported that inspectors discovered a crack near the top of the structure, and announced that the monument would be closed indefinitely. A block in the pyramidion also was partially dislodged, and pieces of stone, stone chips, mortar, and paint chips came free of the monument and "littered" the interior stairs and observation deck.
The monument remained closed to the public while the structure was assessed and repaired. After 32 months of repairs, the National Park Service reopened the Washington Monument to visitors on May 12, 2014. Repairs to the monument cost US$15,000,000, with taxpayers funding $7.5 million of the cost and The Carlyle Group funding the other $7.5 million.
1768 – The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica is published.
1790 – The U.S. Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia.
1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, banning slavery.
1877 – The first edition of The Washington Post is published.
1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is completed.
1897 – London becomes the world's first city to host licensed taxicabs.
1967 – Adrian Kantrowitz performs the first human heart transplant in the United States.
1969 – Meredith Hunter is killed by Hells Angels during a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California.
1971 – Pakistan severs diplomatic relations with India following New Delhi's recognition of Bangladesh.
1973 – The Twenty-fifth Amendment: The United States House of Representatives votes 387 to 35 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States. (On November 27, the Senate confirmed him 92 to 3.)
1977 – South Africa grants independence to Bophuthatswana, although it is not recognized by any other country.
1988 – The Australian Capital Territory is granted self-government.
1989 – The École Polytechnique massacre (or Montreal Massacre): Marc Lépine, an anti-feminist gunman, murders 14 young women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.
1991 – In Croatia, forces of the Yugoslav People's Army bombard Dubrovnik after laying siege to the city since May.
1992 – The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India, is demolished, leading to widespread riots causing the death of over 1,500 people.
1997 – A Russian Antonov An-124 cargo plane crashes into an apartment complex near Irkutsk, Siberia, killing 67.
2005 – Several villagers are shot dead during protests in Dongzhou, China.
2005 – An Iranian Air Force C-130 military transport aircraft crashes into a ten-floor apartment building in a residential area of Tehran, killing all 84 on board and 44 more on the ground.
2006 – NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.
2008 – The 2008 Greek riots break out upon the killing of a 15-year-old boy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, by a police officer.