Interesting Facts about the Washington Monument

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The Washington Monument located at the center of the nation’s capital is built to honor George Washington, the first president of the United States. This 555 feet tall monument which was construced in 1884 was the world’s tallest structure until it was overtaken by the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Washington monument has so many interesting facts which you may not have known. Let’s see some of them.The trowel used for laying the cornerstone of Washington monument was the same trowel used for laying the cornerstone of Capitol building in 1793 by George Washington.

For the construction of the monument, three different types of stones from Maryland and Massachusetts were used.

There are a total number of 896 steps to the top of Washington Monument.

Until 1889, Washington monument which was 555 feet tall was the tallest structure in the world. But later this record was broken by the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The initial design for the monument by Robert Mills was a flat-topped obelisk with the statue of George Washington along with statues of 30 founding fathers.

A cost equivalent to today’s $30 million dollars was spent for the construction of Washington Monument.

Washington Monument is an engineering marvel as there was no mortar used for holding the marble blocks together. Marble blocks of the monument are held together by gravity and friction.

The elevator ride to the top of the monument takes 8 – 10 minutes. Only men were allowed for elevator ride as it was believed unsafe for women and children.

Surrounding the building, there are 50 flags representing each state of the United States.

-View from the top of the monument includes views over 30 miles away.

A color change at the 152-foot mark was caused by the shortage of fund. When there was a lack of fund, construction of the monument had stopped at 152 mark and when it restarted, they used marble from a different quarry.

In 1982, a protestor who threatened to blow up the Washington Monument was shot and killed.

Three future presidents of the United States including James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, and Abraham Lincoln had attended the cornerstone ceremony in 1848.

Initially, it was not the government who funded for the monument. A private organization named the Washington National Monument Society was founded in 1833 to raise funds for the construction of the Washington Monument. But they were not able to raise enough money to complete the project and in 1854, the construction was stopped temporarily.

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