MISTAKEN IDENTITY: THE ARLINGTON MEMORIAL AMPHITHEATER

May 22, 2009: Barry Cauchon
I received a comment from “Nick” about an article I posted here called The Lincoln Memorial: Construction & Dedication Photographs. He noticed that one of the photos included did not seem correct and wanted to verify whether the image in the photo was, in fact, the Lincoln Memorial. Well, thanks to Nick’s persistence, he convinced me to take a closer look at the photograph. Sure enough, it was NOT the Lincoln Memorial but rather a photograph of the early construction of the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater which is part of the Tomb of the Unknowns (originally called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier).
As this is the Memorial Day weekend and a very important time to remember our fallen troops and soldiers, I wanted to post this photo as well as post the Visitor Information about the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater found on the Arlington National Cemetery web site.
It is important to remember our fallen heroes. On this Memorial Day weekend, take a moment to think about them and their families and what they’ve given for their country.
Thank you.
Barry
The inner structure of the memorial rises (c1916)

A photograph of the early stages of construction of the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater located at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.

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Memorial Day event at the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater in May, 1943.

Memorial Day ceremonies at the Arlington Memorial Amphitheater in May, 1943.

 

Visitor Information

The Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery

front_theater_tn The Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., was dedicated on May 15, 1920. While many ceremonies are conducted throughout the country, many consider the services at Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater to be the nation’s official ceremonies to honor all American service members who serve to keep the United States free.

About 5,000 visitors attend each of the three major annual memorial services in the Amphitheater. They take place Easter, Memorial Day and Veterans Day and are sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. The Easter Sunrise Service begins at 6 a.m. Memorial Day and Veterans Day services always begin at 11 a.m. Many military organizations also conduct annual memorial services in the amphitheater.

The Memorial Amphitheater was the dream of Judge Ivory G. Kimball, who wished to have a place to assemble and honor the American defenders.

Because of Kimball’s campaign, Congress authorized its construction March 4, 1913. Judge Kimball participated in the ground-breaking ceremony March 1, 1915, but did not live to see his dream completed. Ivory Kimball died May 15, 1916, and was buried in Section 3 of the cemetery, near the Memorial Amphitheater he campaigned to build. President Woodrow Wilson placed its cornerstone Oct. 15, 1915.

back_theater_tn One copy of the following items is sealed inside the box placed in the cornerstone that day:

  • The Bible
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The U.S. Constitution
  • U.S. Flag (1915)
  • Designs and plans for the amphitheater
  • L’Enfant’s map design of the city of Washington, D.C.
  • Autograph of the amphitheater commission
  • One of each U.S. coin in use in 1915
  • One of each U.S. postage stamp in use in 1915
  • 1914 map of Washington, D.C.
  • The Congressional Directory
  • Boyd’s City Directory for the District of Columbia
  • Autographed photo of President Woodrow Wilson
  • The cornerstone dedication program
  • The Evening Star newspaper account of the ceremonies, and the campaign to build the Amphitheater

left_theater_tn The Amphitheater is constructed mainly of Vermont-quarried Danby marble. The marble in the Memorial Display Room is imported Botticino, a stone mined in Italy. The Memorial Display Room, between the amphitheater and the Tomb of the Unknowns, houses plaques and other tributes presented in honor of the four service members interred at the Tomb of the Unknowns (first known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). A small chapel is beneath the Amphitheater stage.

The names of 44 U.S. battles from the American Revolution through the Spanish-American War are inscribed around the frieze above the colonnade. The names of 14 U.S. Army generals and 14 U.S. Navy admirals prior to World War I are inscribed on each side of the amphitheater stage.

right_theater_tn “When we assumed the soldier we did not lay aside the citizen,” from then-Gen. George Washington’s June 26, 1775, letter to the Provincial Congress is inscribed inside the apse. “We here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain,” from President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is inscribed above the stage.

“DULCE ET DECORUM EST PRO PATRIA MORI,”a quote from Horace’s Ode III, 2, 13 is etched above the west entrance of the Memorial Amphitheater. Translated from the Latin: “It is sweet and fitting to die for one’s country.”

END
Best
Barry
outreach@awesometalks.com

The Lincoln Memorial: Construction & Dedication Photographs

 March 20, 2009: Barry Cauchon
The Lincoln Memorial built between 1914 and 1922.

The Lincoln Memorial built between 1914 and 1922.

Washington DC hosts many monuments built in tribute to some of the country’s greatest leaders. The Lincoln Memorial is one such structure. The National Park Service administers the memorial and I have reprinted the brief history they post on their website at http://www.nps.gov/history/Nr/travel/wash/dc71.htm.

Once you have read this, scroll down to see some images of approved conceptual drawings, photographs of the memorial and surrounding grounds under construction and the May 30, 1922 Dedication Ceremonies. Enjoy.

LINCOLN MEMORIAL (reprinted from the National Park Service website)

The Lincoln Memorial stands at the west end of the National Mall as a neoclassical monument to the 16th President. The memorial, designed by Henry Bacon, after ancient Greek temples, stands 190 feet long, 119 feet wide, and almost 100 feet high. It is surrounded by a peristyle of 38 fluted Doric columns, one for each of the thirty six states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death, and two columns in-antis at the entrance behind the colonnade. The north and south side chambers contain carved inscriptions of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address and his Gettysburg Address. Lying between the north and south chambers is the central hall containing the solitary figure of Lincoln sitting in contemplation. The statue was carved in four years by the Piccirilli brothers under the supervision of the sculptor, Daniel Chester French. The statue of Lincoln is 19 feet high and weighs 175 tons. The original plan was for the statue to be only ten feet high, but this was changed so that the figure of Lincoln would not be dwarfed by the size of the chamber. A commission to plan a monument was first proposed in 1867, shortly after Lincoln’s death. The design for that plan called for six equestrian and 31 pedestrian statues of colossal size, with a 12-foot statue of Lincoln in the center. That project was never started for lack of funds. Congress approved the bill to construct this memorial in 1910. Construction began in 1914, and the memorial was opened to the public in 1922. The Memorial is visited by millions of visitors each year and is the site of many large public gatherings and protests. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech to a crowd by the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 . Damaged over the years by heavy visitation and environmental factors, the Lincoln Memorial is currently undergoing a major restoration.

CONCEPTUAL DRAWINGS

Conceptual drawing from the approved proposal for the Lincoln Memorial

A conceptual drawing from architect Henry Bacon's approved proposal for the Lincoln Memorial

Approved 1/8" scale drawing of the Lincoln statue from late November, 1921

Statue sculptor Daniel Chester French's approved 1/8" scale drawing of the 19'-0" high statue of Lincoln from late November, 1917

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CONSTRUCTION OF THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL AND SURROUNDING GROUNDS
 
On February 12, 1914 the Ground Breaking Ceremony took place. Within a year of that event, the foundation and base structure were quickly taking form.
Construction moving along in January, 1915.

The foundation construction moving along in January, 1915.

Another view of the foundation construction from January 1915.

Another view of the foundation construction from January 1915.

One year after the Ground Breaking ceremonies, the foundation was ready to receive the first cornerstone of the memorial. It was laid in place on Lincoln’s birthday February 12, 1915.

Laying the cornerstone for the Lincoln Memorial on Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1915.

Laying the cornerstone for the Lincoln Memorial on Lincoln's birthday, February 12, 1915.

The next step was to build the cella (inner chamber of the memorial). This began to take shape by early 1916. It still did not have its now recognizable marble colonnade surrounding it. 
 
By late 1916-17 the Doric colonnade and outer structure began to appear. When completed, the final size of the Memorial would be 201 feet 10 inches wide x 132 feet deep x 79 feet 10 inches high above the foundation.
 
The colonnade and roof structure being constructed (c1916-17).

The colonnade and roof structure being constructed (c1916-17). The Washington Monument can be seen at lower left.

 
Thirty-six fluted columns (each representing a state in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death) plus two at the entrance each measure 7 feet 5 inches in diameter. The height of each column from floor to ceiling is 44 feet. Each column has 20 flutes.
 
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The foundation of the Lincoln Memorial carries an estimated weight of about 38,000 tons of granite and marble. The colonnade and frieze are being worked on in this photo.

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The large cranes have now been removed as the roof is now completed. Work on the outer structure still continues.

 

The main cranes which towered over the structure were removed once the roof was completed.
 
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The carvings on the exterior of the Lincoln Memorial were done by Washington D.C. sculptor, Ernest C. Bairstow. These carvings included eagles, festoons, wreathes and the states.

Carving on the frieze by architectural sculptor dkfl

A close up of a carving on the frieze by architectural sculptor Ernest C. Bairstow.

Where Henry Bacon was the architect who designed the Lincoln Memorial, several sculptors and artists were responsible for the statues and carvings found throughout the building.  Ernest C. Bairstow was a Washington D.C. architectural sculptor who was brought on to do the exterior carvings which included eagles, states, festoons and wreathes. He also did the carved letters on the interior.

Daniel Chester French from Massachusetts was the sculptor who designed the 19 foot seated statue of Abraham Lincoln inside the Memorial. He, along with the Piccirilli Brother studio from Brooklyn, NY created the Lincoln statue from 28 blocks of white Georgia marble.
The Piccirilli family and Daniel Chester French work on the assembly of the Lincoln statue.

The Piccirilli family and Daniel Chester French work on the assembly of the Lincoln statue.

Royal Cotissoz was the New York Herald Tribune art critic who wrote the copy carved behind and above the Lincoln statue. The words read “In this temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.” The carving of the words for this, and the Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address on the flanking walls were carved by Ernest C. Bairstow.
Evelyn Beatrice Longman was a student of Daniel Chester French and was responsible for the interior decorative carvings surrounding the Gettysburg Address and Second Inaugural Address.
Two large canvas murals grace the walls of the interior. The themes are Emancipation and Unity. These were done by Jules Guerin. Each are 60 feet long x 12 feet high and weight about 600 lbs.
The completed statue of Lincoln (c1943) with the Cotissoz inscription above. The inscription was carved by Ernest C. Bairstow.

The completed statue of Lincoln (c1943) with Mr. Royal Cotissoz's inscription above. The inscription was carved by Ernest C. Bairstow.

 The grounds of the Lincoln Memorial slowly  took shape. The Reflecting Pool does not exist as of yet.
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Construction on the marshlands dedicated for the Lincoln Memorial slowly take shape. The Reflecting Pool doesn't exist at this point and the area is used to hold materials and construction sheds.

Work well underway on the steps and surrounding exterior elements on the site.

Work well underway on the steps and surrounding exterior elements on the site. The steps lead down to the Reflecting Pool which currently hasn't been built yet.

The Reflecting Pool was ready on the day of the Dedication Ceremonies on May 30, 1922.

The Reflecting Pool

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THE DEDICATION CEREMONIES – MAY 30, 1922
 
The Dedication Ceremonies for the Lincoln Memorial were held on Tuesday, May 30, 1922. To begin, Dr. Robert Moton presented the keynote address. Dr. Moton was the second president of Tuskegee Institute in Alabama who had succeeded Booker T. Washington as president of the institute. Chief Justice William Howard Taft officially turned over the memorial to President Warren Harding who received it on behalf of the people of the United States.  President Harding then spoke to the crowd. To conclude the ceremonies, Poet Edwin Markham read a revised version of his poem “Lincoln the Man of the People” . Robert Lincoln, who did not speak on this occasion, was a special guest and received a loud ovation from the crowd upon his arrival.
In attendance, but also not presenting were Vice President Calvin Coolidge (who would later become the 30th President of the United States), and Alice Roosevelt Longworth (Theodore Roosevelt’s eldest daughter). 
The crowd gathered for the Lincoln Memorial Dedication Ceremonies on May 30, 1922.

The crowd gathered for the Lincoln Memorial Dedication Ceremonies on May 30, 1922.

 
Special guest Robert Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln's eldest son) arrives at the Dedication Ceremonies.

Special guest Robert Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln's eldest son) arrives at the Dedication Ceremonies. The crowd gave him a loud ovation.

Chief Justice William H. Taft (former President), President Harding and Robert Lincoln

Chief Justice (and former President) William H. Taft, President Warren Harding and Robert Todd Lincoln.

Robert Lincoln took an active interest in the Lincoln Memorial while under construction. He often had his driver pass by to view it. On at least one occasion he obtained permission to enter the building during construction.

Robert Lincoln took an active interest in the Lincoln Memorial while under construction. He often had his driver pass by to view it. On at least one occasion he obtained permission to enter the building during construction.

A view of the proceedings from the side of the Reflecting Pool.

A view of the proceedings from the side of the Reflecting Pool.

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Chief Justice Taft officially turns over the Lincoln Memorial to President Warren Harding who receives it on behalf of the people of the United States. Robert Lincoln looks on (seated lower left).

 
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President Harding overlooks the crowd surrounding the Reflecting Pool.

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The presenters are dwarfed by the Lincoln Memorial's massive marble columns.

Poet Edwin Markham reads a verse to the crowd at the Dedication Celebration. Behind him sits Vice President Calvin Coolidge, President Warren Harding and Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

Poet Edwin Markham reads a verse from his revised poem "Lincoln the Man of the People" to conclude the Dedication Ceremonies. Behind him sits Vice President Calvin Coolidge, President Warren Harding and Chief Justice William Howard Taft.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth (daughter of Teddy Roosevelt)(right) departs at the conclusion of the ceremonies.

Alice Roosevelt Longworth (daughter of Teddy Roosevelt)(right) departs at the conclusion of the ceremonies.

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DID YOU KNOW (Part 4) ABRAHAM LINCOLN

 

In the FOURTH installment of “Did you know” Abraham Lincoln series, here are a few more unique facts about our 16th President of the United States. 

1. Did you know … that at the time of his election in 1860 in Springfield, Illinois, Abraham Lincoln and his family owned a dog named FIDO. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the Lincoln’s had to moved to Washington DC, they gave it away to two young neighborhood boys named Frank and Johnny Roll with instructions to take very good care of him. Just before leaving, the Lincoln’s took Fido to a local photographer to have his pictures taken. 

2. Did you know … that Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln’s oldest son, lived until 1926. In 1922 he retired from politics but made his last public appearance on May 30, 1922 at the dedication ceremony for his father’s memorial in Washington DC (the Lincoln Memorial). 

Chief Justice Taft, President Harding and Robert Lincoln at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. Chief Justice William Howard Taft (27th President of the United States), President Harding (29th President of the United States), and Robert Lincoln at the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. 

3. Did you know … that Robert Todd Lincoln had a series of strange coincidences that related to Presidential Assassinations. According to Wikipedia, the following facts are listed: 

“There is coincidence in regard to Lincoln and presidential assassinations. He was either present or was nearby when three of them occurred. [4] 

  • Lincoln was invited to accompany his parents to the Ford’s Theatre the night his father was shot by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. Citing fatigue from riding in a covered wagon for an extended period of time, he declined and remained behind at the White House, where he immediately went to bed. He was informed of the President’s being shot just before midnight.

4. Did you know … that even a stranger coincidence exists between Robert Todd Lincoln and the Booth family. According the Abraham Lincoln Research Site, in 1863 or 64, Robert Lincoln fell onto the railroad tracks at a New Jersey train station and was saved by Edwin Booth, John Wilkes older brother.  To read the full story which includes a first hand account by Robert Lincoln, please link to: http://rogerjnorton.com/Lincoln59.html 

Best

Barry 

outreach@awesometalks.com 

  

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To see the entire series, click here “SUMMARY OF THE “DID YOU KNOW” ABRAHAM LINCOLN SERIES (Parts 1-15)”           

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If you are interested in Abraham Lincoln, you should read these interviews by three Lincoln experts: 

  

“An Awesometalk With” ROGER NORTON, Webmaster of the ‘Abraham Lincoln Research Site’ (posted on December 30, 2008) 

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“An Awesometalk With” DR. THOMAS SCHWARTZ, Illinois State Historian (posted on December 08, 2008) 

  

“An Awesometalk With” HAROLD HOLZER, Lincoln Scholar (posted on November 10, 2008) 

  

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Published in: on Wednesday, June 4, 2008 at '7:53 pm'  Leave a Comment  
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