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Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC

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The Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial

Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

The Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC is a dome-shaped rotunda that honor’s our third president, Thomas Jefferson. A 19-foot bronze statue of Jefferson is surrounded by passages from the Declaration of Independence and Jefferson’s other writings. The Jefferson Memorial is one of the most popular attractions in the nation's capital and is located on the Tidal Basin, surrounded by a grove of trees making it especially beautiful during Cherry Blossom season in the spring. From the top steps of the memorial, you can see one of the best views of the White House. During the warmer months of the year, you may rent a paddle boat to really enjoy the view.

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Location: 15th St., NW, Washington, DC, at the Tidal Basin, South Bank (202) 426-6821 The closest Metro station is the Smithsonian. See a map of the Tidal Basin

Jefferson Memorial Hours: Open daily 8:00 a.m. to midnight

History of the Jefferson Memorial

A commission was created to build a memorial to Thomas Jefferson in 1934 and its location on the Tidal Basin was selected in 1937. The neoclassical building was designed by architect John Russell Pope, who was also the architect of the National Archives Building and original building of the National Gallery of Art. On November 15, 1939, a ceremony was held in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Memorial. It was intended to represent the Age of Enlightenment and Jefferson as a philosopher and statesman. The Jefferson Memorial was officially dedicated by President Roosevelt on April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birthday. The 19 foot statue of Thomas Jefferson was added to the memorial in 1947 and was sculpted by Rudolph Evans.

Official Website: http://www.nps.gov/thje

Attractions Near the Jefferson Memorial

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