TwHP Lessons

The Washington Monument: Tribute in Stone

[Cover photo] Washington Monument at sunset
(Library of Congress)

I t rises tall and brilliant, its whiteness emphasized by the green grass and colorful flags that surround it. It stands at the heart of Washington, D.C., near the center of a cross formed by four of America's most famous buildings: the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, the White House and the Jefferson Memorial.

But appearance and location are not the only reasons that the Washington Monument is one of the country's most recognizable structures. Its prominence comes also because it commemorates George Washington, who remains one of the country's most admired leaders more than two centuries after his death. The history of the monument reflects his contributions to the development of the United States and shows how Americans have debated the best way to honor important citizens.


About This Lesson

Getting Started: Inquiry Question

Setting the Stage: Historical Context

Locating the Site: Maps
 1. The L'Enfant Plan for Washington

Determining the Facts: Readings
 1. Washington and the Early Republic
 2. Samuel Blodgett's Broadside
 3. Construction of the Monument
 4. Finishing the Monument

Visual Evidence: Images
 1. Robert Mills's Design for
 the Washington Monument

 2. The Washington Monument
 3. The Washington Monument
 During the Civil War

 4. Alternative Designs for the
 Washington Monument

Putting It All Together: Activities
 1. Qualities of a Leader
 2. Designing a Monument
 3. Local Memorial Study

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Washington Monument

This lesson is based on the Washington Monument, one of the thousands of properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places.




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