Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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February 13th
The Lincoln Memorial
The Linco ln Memorial, which stands beside the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., is not only one of the nation’s most beloved monuments but also one of its most widely publicized, by virtue of the fact that it appears on the back of every penny and five-dollar bill. The cornerstone of the majestic temple, built of white Colorado marble in the style of a flat-roofed Greek temple, was laid in February 1915. The monument was dedicated in 1922, fifty-seven years after Lincoln died.

The thirty-six Doric columns surrounding the monument symbolize the thirty-six states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death. Inside, a colossal statue of a seated Lincoln, carved from blocks of white Georgia marble, looks east toward the Washington Monument and Capitol Building. The statue by Daniel Chester French, nineteen feet high and weighing 175 tons, is the second most famous sculpture in America, after the Statue of Liberty. (Look at a penny with a magnifying glass, and you can see a tiny representation of the statue engraved in the monument’s center.)

Two of Lincoln’s most famous speeches, the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address, are inscribed on the memorial’s walls. Above the solemn figure of Lincoln, visitors can read these words emblazoned in stone:

IN THIS TEMPLE
AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE
FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE UNION
THE MEMORY OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN
IS ENSHRINED FOREVER
American History Parade
1635
Boston Public Latin School, the nation’s oldest public school, is founded.

1795
The University of North Carolina, the first state university to open its doors in the new United States, begins operating.

1826
The American Temperance Society, the first national organization to advocate prohibition, is founded.

1935
Bruno Richard Hauptmann is found guilty of murder in the kidnapping and death of Charles and Anne Lindbergh’s infant son.

2000
Charles Schulz’s last Peanuts comic strip runs the day after the cartoonist dies at age seventy-seven.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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