The first place we headed was the Washington Monument.
WHERE: Washington D.C.
WHAT: The Washington Monument
Here’s some facts …
*588 feet tall.
*Construction began July 4, 1848
*Foundation is 36 feet deep
*When the wind blows 30 miles per hour, the monument has .0125 inch sway
*Built of Maryland marble
*897 steps to the top
*flags from every state surround it
*world’s tallest stone structure
*tallest building in Washington.
AND: Back in 1848 when the cornerstone was being put in place, Winthrop, the Speaker of the House said, “The storms of winter must blow and beat upon it … the lightnings of Heaven may scar and blacken it. An earthquake may shake its foundations … but the character which commemorates and illustrates it is secure.”
And indeed, in 2011, an earthquake did shake its foundations – closing the monument for 32 months.
The cornerstone has secrets (well, not actually secrets because anyone who does any research knows about them), but a portrait of George, copies of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are all hidden inside.
Abraham Lincoln, James Buchanan and Andrew Jackson all attended the cornerstone ceremony back in 1848.
Ok, this is weird. People had to climb 898 steps to the top (when it first opened), so an elevator was added. But the elevator was “dangerous for women and children so they can’t ride.” Why would an elevator be dangerous to women and children, but not men? At first, the elevator took 10 minutes, now it takes 70 seconds. (We did not go up the elevator, nor the steps — tickets were gone.)
KID FACTOR: Good place for kids. Lots of room to run around and I imagine the trip to the top would be fantastically cool, but even though I’ve been to D.C. a few times, I’ve never been to the top.