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Facts about the Lincoln Memorial for Kids

  • The Lincoln Memorial is an American national monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln.
  • It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument.
  • The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the primary statue – Abraham Lincoln, 1920 – was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin.
  • The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address.
  • The memorial has been the site of many famous speeches, including Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, delivered on August 28, 1963 during the rally at the end of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.
  • Like other monuments on the National Mall – including the nearby Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and National World War II Memorial – the memorial is administered by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks group.
  • The statue of Lincoln, originally designed to be 10 feet tall, was enlarged to 19 feet to prevent it from being overhelmed by the huge chamber.
  • This is to compensate for perspective distortions which would otherwise make the memorial appear to bulge out at the top when compared with the bottom, a common feature of Ancient Greek architecture.
  • Another popular legend is that Lincoln is shown using sign language to represent his initials, with his left hand shaped to form an “A” and his right hand to form an “L”, the president’s initials.