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Table of Contents
Recognized as an important symbol of the American nation, the Washington Monument is a large white obelisk located at the National Mall in Washington, DC. The monument was built to commemorate George Washington, the first president of the United States of America.
See the fact file below for more information on the Washington Monument or alternatively, you can download our 18-page Washington Monument worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The motivation for building the Washington Monument was George Washington himself. Washington was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States who led the way for American freedom from Great Britain.
- Washington was appointed as commander of the Continental Army in 1775 and in 1787 was appointed president of the Constitutional Convention. He helped establish a government that has lasted for more than 200 years. He was appointed as the first president of the United States of America two years later.
- When Washington died in 1799, plans were made to honor him. Even when he was alive, the Continental Congress had already made plans to erect a statue of Washington but it was never done.
- Ten days after Washington’s death, a Congressional committee proposed that a tomb for him in the capitol be built instead. A lack of funds and his family’s reluctance to move his body, however, prevented any progress on such plans for a monument.
- In 1833, the year marking the 100th anniversary of Washington’s birth, the Washington National Monument Society was established with the goal of raising funds for the construction of Washington’s monument. They began collecting donations and were able to raise $28,000 by the middle of the 1830s.
- The Society ran a competition for designs of the memorial in 1836. The winner was architect Robert Mills. His design called for a 600-foot tall obelisk, a four-sided upright pillar that gets narrow as it rises, with a nearly flat top. This obelisk would be surrounded by a colonnade with a sculpture of Washington and his chariot on top.
- However, there was hesitation over Mills’ design due to its $1 million dollar estimated price tag. Nevertheless, the Society proceeded with the obelisk’s construction and left the colonnade for later. It was their belief that once construction began and people saw the monument’s appearance, they would be encouraged to give out more donations to finish the entire structure.
- The Congress donated 37 acres (150,000 square meters) of land for the monument. The spot was elevated, enabling the finished monument to be seen from all surrounding areas.
- Excavation of the site where the Washington Monument would be erected began in the spring of 1848. A Fourth of July celebration was hosted by the Freemasons, a worldwide fraternal society to which Washington belonged, where they laid the cornerstone for the monument.
- In 1854, the donated funds for the monument ran out and they had to stop construction. Congress then decided the following year that $200,000 would be set aside for the construction. However, this was never spent because the Society adopted a new policy encouraging all states to donate memorial stones that would be fitted into the structure.
- Blocks of marble, granite, and sandstone immediately began appearing in the site, although many contained inscriptions that were irrelevant to a George Washington memorial. The halt in construction lasted until after the Civil War ended in 1865.
- Finally in 1879, construction for the monument resumed under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lincoln Casey who redesigned the foundation so it could support a weight of 400,000 tons. The builders however were unable to find the same quarry stone used in the obelisk’s early construction, resulting in a different color for the rest of the monument.
- The construction was officially completed on December 6, 1884, almost thirty years after Architect Robert Mills’ death. The Washington Monument was opened to the public on October 9, 1888.
- During the period of its construction, the Washington Monument was the tallest building in the world. Today, it still stands as the tallest building in Washington, DC, measuring 555 feet (170 meters). Antique obelisks like those found in Egypt or Europe only reached around 100 feet in height.
- The Washington Monument was already popular with visitors even before it officially opened to the public. As early as 1888, around 55,000 people went to the top of the monument every month. Today, the Washington Monument sees 800,000 visitors each year. On October 15, 1966, the monument was registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
- In September 2004, the monument’s external lighting was upgraded and on July 4, 2005, a security and landscape enhancement project for the monument was completed amounting to $15 million dollars.
Washington Monument Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Washington Monument across 18 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Washington Monument worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the important symbol of the American nation, the Washington Monument which is a large white obelisk located at the National Mall in Washington, DC. The monument was built to commemorate George Washington, the first president of the United States of America.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Washington Monument Facts
- Monument in DC
- Washington Who?
- Washington Monument FAQs
- More Questions
- Tell Me More
- Other Monuments
- Two Obelisks
- Defining Elements
- Invitation to Washington, DC
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Link will appear as Washington Monument Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 4, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.