The amazing Washington Monument

It wasn’t by design, just sheer luck that we missed the week-long hoopla over memorializing Senator John McCain in Washington D.C.  Okay maybe it was only about 2 and a half days, it just seemed like a week (and he was over-memorialized IMHO). We arrived in town just after all that so we were still able to tour the Capitol, the US Supreme Court (without the screaming feminists, “We believe survivors” -thank God!), and the White House as we’d originally planned without blocked off streets and public buildings.

But back to Washington. The Washington Monument was the very first thing I saw as we arrived in the city from the airport and as it turned out, the photo taken out the taxi window was the only blue-sky background to the monument we had all week.

Don’t those flags look tiny? The monument is 555 ft tall.

Construction of the monument began in 1848 to honor the man who led the American colonies in the war of independence against England from 1775 to 1783, and our first president. The 50 flags surrounding the base of the monument (barely visible in the photo) were obviously added at a later date and represent the fifty states.

Look closely at the photos though (especially the the first one) and you can see that the lower approximate one third of the structure is slightly lighter in color than the upper 2/3rds. This is because the construction had to be halted in 1854 when the the Washington National Monument Society ran out of money! It was not until the US government took it over in 1884, (adding it to the national debt??) using marble from a different quarry that the monument was completed.

When completed the Washington Monument was the world’s tallest man-made structure until it was surpassed by the Eiffel Tower, completed in 1889. The cap, a 9-inch pyramid, completes the top of the structure as it narrows to a point. It is 100-ounces of solid aluminum, a lighting rod of sorts and part of the monument’s lightning protection system. When the monument was constructed in the 1880s, aluminum was pretty rare and pretty expensive, so much so that upon completion and before mounting it atop the structure it was exhibited in New York before it was brought to Washington. For two days, the pyramid sat in the window of Tiffany’s in New York City, displayed like a precious jewel. And that’s what I know about the Washington Monument.

Aloha, Mikie ~just a blogger (fightin’ like a girl)

~Psst, tired of politics? Check out Travel in the Categories drop down menu (right side panel) for my blogs posted from interesting locations during my travel adventures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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