Washington Monument National Monument

Washington Monument National Monument Check in page for the Washington Monument.
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Temporarily closed for visitation.

Operating as usual

08/03/2020

The flags around the base of the Washington Monument are to be taken down this afternoon ahead of the incoming tropical storm. The National Park Service will remove the flags from the poles to save them from tearing themselves and the pulleys that hold them to the flagpoles, apart in the expected 40-50 mph winds and heavy rain predicted. The flags will be put back up on Wednesday morning after the expected passing of the storm. The Washington Monument is the only site where the flags will be lowered as they are affected the most by wind, being in the open on a raised elevation.

In June of 1775, George Washington was in Philadelphia, PA to serve as a member of the Second Continental Congress.  Why...
06/20/2020

In June of 1775, George Washington was in Philadelphia, PA to serve as a member of the Second Continental Congress. Why were these Congresses consisting of representatives from the 13 American colonies meeting with each other?

One of the first jobs of the Second Continental Congress would have would be to find a commander to lead the American militia that was forming outside of Boston. Who would the Congress choose?

Someone who had experience leading troops during the French and Indian War. Someone from a Southern colony who would help to bring support from the Southern colonies. When George Washington began attending the meetings of the Second Continental Congress, he did so by wearing military uniform. June 1775, the job would be officially given to this man from Virginia 245 years ago.

George Washington has been memorialized in many ways across the United States. At Washington Circle NW in Washington, DC a statue of Washington appears sternly resolute in the face of British troops at the Battle of Princeton, New Jersey, while his horse shrinks back in terror.

Image credit: John DeFerrari

It is Thursday! For today's #ThrowbackThursday, the image below shows the Washington Monument surrounded by large grown ...
06/18/2020

It is Thursday! For today's #ThrowbackThursday, the image below shows the Washington Monument surrounded by large grown trees.

What year do you think this photograph was taken?

Hint: Washington Monument was completed in 1884.

On this day, 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought across the Charles River from Boston, Massachusetts. This hard-f...
06/17/2020

On this day, 1775, the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought across the Charles River from Boston, Massachusetts. This hard-fought clash was deemed a victory for the British, as they suffered significant casualties. This lifted the confidence of the unproven patriot militia. One of the early leaders of the American Revolution was Dr. Joseph Warren, political architect, respected community member, and founding member of the Sons of Liberty. He was killed in the waning moments of the battle. Though Warren is largely forgotten to history, it has been universally acknowledged that he would have played a prominent role in the war and the founding of the new nation, had he lived.

Warren is honored at the Washington Monument in a commemorative stone found at the 120-foot level. The stone was proudly donated by the town of Roxbury, MA, Warren’s birthplace. There are 193 commemorative stones that line the inside walls of the monument, all given from various organizations, countries, states, and other entities.

At Mount Vernon, George Washington himself selected an image of Warren’s death as one of two from the war to hang in his “New Room.” Though Washington was not at the Battle of Bunker Hill, it is believed that he chose this image for a few reasons. He wanted to be supportive of the artist, John Trumbull, who had served as a solider and an aide-de-camp to Washington. In addition, according to Mount Vernon, “it is likely that he (Washington) found the prints’ subject matter to be a powerful representation of the sacrifices made by those who fought in the American Revolution.”

Images: John Trumbull’s painting “The Death of General Warren at the Battle of Bunker’s Hill,” Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
Warren commemorative stone, NPS

Bunker Hill Monument, Boston National Historical Park, George Washington's Mount Vernon

06/14/2020
Ford's Theatre National Historic Site

Throughout the four-year American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln refused to remove any stars from the American flag as he led the fight to preserve the Union. As we celebrate Flag Day, this four-minute video offers a brief history of our “Stars and Stripes,” especially on the years of Lincoln’s presidency.

Throughout the four-year American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln refused to remove any stars from the American flag as he led the fight to preserve the Union. As we celebrate Flag Day, this four-minute video offers a brief history of our “Stars and Stripes,” especially on the years of Lincoln’s presidency.

Check out our page tomorrow to learn more about one of the flags that was in the presidential box at Ford’s Theatre on the night of the assassination.

#DYK that there are a few locations in the United States where the flag is flown 24 hours a day, by either presidential proclamation or by law?

These locations are:
Fort McHenry National Monument & Historic Shrine, The Star-Spangled Banner Flag House, the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, the Lexington Town Green (part of Minute Man National Historical Park), President's Park (White House), United States customs ports of entry, The National Memorial Arch at Valley Forge National Historical Park, and the Washington Monument National Monument.

#HappyFlagDay

On this day, June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed the Committee of Five. The time had come for the c...
06/11/2020

On this day, June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed the Committee of Five. The time had come for the colonies to declare independence from the British Crown and the committee was asked to summarize the reasons.

The Committee of Five consisted of:
- Roger Sherman, Connecticut
- Benjamin Franklin, Pennsylvania
- Robert R. Livingston, New York
- John Adams, Massachusetts
- Thomas Jefferson, Virginia

However, none of these illustrious statesmen actually wanted to write the document. Adams finally convinced Jefferson to take the lead through this logic: “Reason first, you are a Virginian, and a Virginian ought to appear at the head of this business. Reason second, I am obnoxious, suspected, and unpopular. You are very much otherwise. Reason third, you can write ten times better than I can.”

Although Congress and the committee made 86 changes to the original draft, including shortening the overall length by more than a quarter, Jefferson is credited as the author of one of the most important documents in history: the American Declaration of Independence.

NPS images from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial: inset is the Committee of Five bas-relief found within the pediment.

On this and every Memorial Day, we remember those who have paid the highest price defending the nation Washington helped...
05/25/2020

On this and every Memorial Day, we remember those who have paid the highest price defending the nation Washington helped create.

The Purple Heart is the universal symbol of sacrifice in the military. Awarded to those wounded or killed in service to our country, it is a badge of honor for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.The Purple Heart has its roots in the American Revolutionary War.

In his General Orders on August 7, 1782, General George Washington directed "that whenever any singularly meritorious action is performed, the author of it shall be permitted to wear on his facings over the left breast, the figure of a heart in purple cloth, or silk, edged with narrow lace or binding. "

Inspired by the original created by Washington, a redesigned medal was authorized in 1932. The new design featured a Purple Heart, a profile of George Washington in the center, hung on a purple ribbon. The shield at the top of the medal is the Washington coat of arms.

The Purple Heart is one way the nation continues to fulfill Washington's desire to "cherish virtuous ambition in his soldiers, as well as to foster and encourage every species of Military merit."

#OTD (May 25) in 1787, George Washington was elected president of the Constitutional Convention. Over the four months th...
05/24/2020

#OTD (May 25) in 1787, George Washington was elected president of the Constitutional Convention. Over the four months that followed, he presided over every session of the convention where delegates from all 13 states engaged in fiery discussions and impassioned debates, ultimately achieving compromise and writing a document that created a new form of government for the young nation.

The United States Constitution became the supreme law of the land and established several basic principles: “We the People” affirmed that the government exists to serve its people; “to form a more perfect Union” fusing together what had previously been 13 individual and separate states; and to “secure the blessings of liberty” that are to be enjoyed by all generations, now and forever.

#USConstitution
#WeThePeople

Image: Collection of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Public Domain)

Cows at the Washington Monument?  Did you know, during the Civil War the Union Army fenced in the uncompleted Washington...
05/21/2020

Cows at the Washington Monument?

Did you know, during the Civil War the Union Army fenced in the uncompleted Washington Monument and used the grounds to graze cattle to feed the troops?

Due to lack of funding, the monument sat in this stump-like form throughout the Civil War and for over 20 years until construction finally resumed in 1876. This is also the reason for the change in color of the monument’s marble, since a new quarry had to be found.

#TBT #FindYourPark

Image Description: Images from the Washington Monument in 1862, 1876, and 2019 show it at various phases of completion. Around the bases of each photo cows, construction equipment, and flags can be seen respectively.

Congratulations to our partner, Eastern National - 73 years young today! Eastern operates our bookstore (and others arou...
05/06/2020

Congratulations to our partner, Eastern National - 73 years young today! Eastern operates our bookstore (and others around the National Mall), providing educational materials for our visitors and funding for interpretive services and programs.

#OnThisDay in 1947, a group of National Park Service rangers gathered at Gettysburg National Military Park to create a shared-resource retail and educational network for America’s most special historical, cultural, and natural places.

Since then, Eastern National’s family has grown, and so has our impact. Thank you to everyone who has helped us contribute more than $156 million to our public lands partners over the last 73 years. Here’s to many more! 🎉🎈

Ranger Nate reflects during sunset on how different the National Mall could have been."Across the reflecting pool, stand...
05/03/2020

Ranger Nate reflects during sunset on how different the National Mall could have been.

"Across the reflecting pool, stands the memorial to Abraham Lincoln. Some of the proposed designs for the Lincoln Monument included a Mayan style temple or a Pyramid. The designers eventually decided on a Parthenon like design. Could you imagine looking down the National Mall at a pyramid like monument with this sunset?"

Ranger Nate reflects during sunset on how different the National Mall could have been.

"Across the Reflecting Pool stands the memorial to Abraham Lincoln. Some of the proposed designs for the Lincoln Monument included a Mayan style temple or a Pyramid. The designers eventually decided on a Parthenon like design. Could you imagine looking down the National Mall at a pyramid-like monument with this sunset?"

It's Flashback Friday! Facing southeast, this photo of the Washington Monument was taken in 1898.
05/01/2020

It's Flashback Friday! Facing southeast, this photo of the Washington Monument was taken in 1898.

Today in 1789, George Washington is sworn in as the first President of the United States of America under the new Consti...
04/30/2020

Today in 1789, George Washington is sworn in as the first President of the United States of America under the new Constitution in the temporary capital of New York City.

On the steps of Federal Hall, Washington will take the oath of office from Chancellor Robert Livingston, the highest judicial officer in the state of New York because no federal judges had been appointed yet. Shown below is a painting depicting Washington, dressed in a brown suit, taking the oath.

Today, Federal Hall National Memorial looks much different, but the historic location is preserved thanks to the National Park Service.

Painting: General Washington Delivering His Inaugural Address to New York, April 30, 1789

Artist: Ramon de Elorriaga

04/29/2020
National Mall and Memorial Parks

Did you know, George Washington planted buckeye trees at his home in Mount Vernon?

In an entry, he wrote, "planted & sowed in boxes placed in front of the Green House the following things—Box No. 1 partition No. 1 Six buck eye nuts, brought with me from the Mouth of Cheat River..."

Enjoy a moment of zen with beautiful bright pink flowering Ohio Buckeye trees

It's #FriendshipFriday! Using this digital image of a vintage Washington, DC postcard:what messages or poem will you sen...
04/24/2020

It's #FriendshipFriday!

Using this digital image of a vintage Washington, DC postcard:
what messages or poem will you send to your friends and family?

What was the last photograph you took with the Washington Monument in the background? #ThrowbackThursday
04/23/2020

What was the last photograph you took with the Washington Monument in the background? #ThrowbackThursday

Today in 1783, George Washington’s general orders informed his soldiers that the war was over. This announcement was exa...
04/19/2020

Today in 1783, George Washington’s general orders informed his soldiers that the war was over.

This announcement was exactly eight years after “hostilities” began with the battles at Lexington and Concord, regarded as the launch of the American Revolutionary War.

“Nothing now remains” the orders read, “but for the actors of this mighty scene to preserve a perfect, unvarying consistency of character through the very last act; to close the drama with applause; and to retire from the military theatre with the same approbation of angels and men which have crowned all their former virtuous actions."

Soldiers could “drink perpetual peace, independence and happiness in the United States of America.” ”

Image: "George Washington at Verplanck's Point" by John Trumbull
Photo Credit: Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library

7:22 a.m.President Abraham Lincoln died of the gunshot wound he received the night before, 155 years ago.
04/15/2020

7:22 a.m.
President Abraham Lincoln died of the gunshot wound he received the night before, 155 years ago.

7:22 a.m.
President Abraham Lincoln died of the gunshot wound he received the night before, 155 years ago.

His death rattled a nation that had started pulling itself back together following 4 years of bloody Civil War. Lincoln’s Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, said it best with the remark, “now he belongs to the ages.”

Today, Abraham Lincoln is immortalized by the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall.

04/13/2020
National Mall and Memorial Parks

For Thomas Jefferson's birthday, we present this video and audio description of the memorial built in his honor. Audio description allows people who are blind or have low vision to experience visual.

For Thomas Jefferson's birthday, we present this video and audio description of the memorial built in his honor. Audio description allows people who are blind or have low vision to experience visual.

04/13/2020

Experience the views of the National Mall from the 500 foot level of the Washington Monument.

Happy National Siblings Day!George Washington had nine siblings; three half-brothers, one half-sister, three brothers an...
04/10/2020

Happy National Siblings Day!

George Washington had nine siblings; three half-brothers, one half-sister, three brothers and two sisters.

Butler Washington (1716-1716)
Lawrence Washington (1718-1752)
Augustine Washington, Jr. (1720-1762)
Jane Washington (1722-1734)

Betty Washington Lewis (1733-1797)
Samuel Washington (1734-1781)
John Augustine Washington (1736-1787)
Mildred Washington (1737-1740)
Charles Washington (1738-1799)

George Washington was particularly close to his brother Lawrence. After their father's death, George Washington looked to Lawerence as a paternal influence, as well as brother. Lawerence introduced Washington to the Virginia gentry of the time, which aided Washington in being part of a world that otherwise would have been unattainable to him. It was also through Lawerence that Washington inherited Mount Vernon.

Charles Washington, George's youngest sibling, was a successful member of the Fredericksburg, VA community where he and his wife, Mildred, made their home. He was involved in public life and served as magistrate in Spotsylvania County, vestryman and warden at St. George's Episcopal Church and a trustee of Fredericksburg. He owned several lots in the town and ordered the construction of the Rising Sun Tavern. Charlestown, WV was established by Charles Washington. He donated four lots for the construction of public buildings where years later, in 1859, the trial of John Brown and his allies would take place after their unsuccessful raid on the U.S. Armory and Arsenal at Harpers Ferry.

September 16, 1799, Charles passed away. George Washington wrote, "I was the first, and am now the last, of my father's children by the second marriage who remain...When I shall be called upon to follow them is known only to the giver of life." Barely three months later George Washington followed his brother in death.

Pictured below: Betty Washington Lewis, Charles Washington, John Augustine Washington, and Samuel Washington.

Here's a great throwback: Our rangers reenacting the setting of the aluminum capstone that sits at the top of the Washin...
04/09/2020

Here's a great throwback:

Our rangers reenacting the setting of the aluminum capstone that sits at the top of the Washington Monument!

#tbt #throwbackthursday

04/08/2020
Ducks

A male and female mallard duck enjoy the flooded shore of the Tidal Basin. The Washington Monument looms in the background.

#TriviaTuesday: How tall is the Washington Monument?
04/07/2020

#TriviaTuesday: How tall is the Washington Monument?

04/06/2020
Blossoms in the Basin

Cherry blossoms fill the edge of the Tidal Basin. The Washington Monument stands in the distance.

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Open! Tickets (free) required. Get them online at recreation.gov up to 90 days in advance, or by “walk up” to ticket window at Washington Monument Lodge, just east of the obelisk, on 17th Street (opens daily at 8:30 A.M.) Queue up early. First come first served.

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