OverviewThe Lincoln memorial honors one of the country's greatest presidents, Abraham Lincoln. The sixteenth president of the United States, Lincoln guided the country through a tumultuous Civil War during the 1860s that arose around the questions of state secession and domestic slavery.
Anchoring the western end of the US National Mall in downtown Washington, DC, the memorial stands with the Potomac River on its western side and the National Reflecting Pool on its eastern side.From Lincoln’s efforts in promoting freedom and equality, the memorial has become the site of demonstrations, rallies, and vigils for innumerable social, economic, and political causes in the United States over the last 100 years. Created in the style of Greek temples and designed by Henry Bacon, the memorial to the great President is 190 feet in length, 119 feet in width, and rises to almost 100 feet. It has thirty-six Doric columns that line its exterior. Inside, the marble shrine is a 19-foot high statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting in a chair. The spaces on the north and the south of the site’s interior have engraved writings of the Gettysburg Address and also Lincoln’s second Inaugural Address.
In 1915, builders laid the cornerstone, and the memorial opened to the public on May 30, 1922. During the opening ceremony, Warren G. Harding, who was the sitting US President at the time, and various dignitaries gave formal speeches dedicating the memorial.Over the years, there have been many speeches at the Lincoln Memorial, the most famous being the "I Have a Dream” speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is estimated that as many as a quarter of a million people were there that day in 1963. By October 15, 1966 the Lincoln Memorial was registered on the National Register of Historic Places.
Each year, millions from around the world visit to see the Lincoln Memorial and reflect on the president’s life and work.