Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a symbol of freedom and stands as a place for inspiration for all peoples of America and the world. The sayings of Thomas Jefferson, some over 200 years old, have influenced American thoughts. Now, many of these stirring words are on the inside walls of his memorial.

By 1930, there were monuments in Washington D.C. celebrating several U.S. president. President Franklin Roosevelt felt that there should be a memorial for Thomas Jefferson, the third president and one of the founding fathers. Because of Roosevelt's urging, congress approved a bill to create the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on June 26, 1934.

The building was designed by John Russell Pope, who was also the architect of the original building of the National Gallery of Art. The design is similar to buildings Jefferson designed such as Monticello and the Rotunda, which shows his interest with neoclassical elements. The Jefferson Memorial was finished in 1943 and resembles the Pantheon of Rome.

The memorial on 18.36 acres is made of circular marble steps, a portico, with columns, and a shallow dome, the building is exposed to the outdoors. It is located in West Potomac Park, on the Potomac River. The Jefferson Memorial and the White House located directly north, are one of the main points in this location of the National Mall in D.C. The Washington Monument just east of the center on the National Mall was meant to be at the crossing of the White House and the site for the Jefferson Memorial to the south but swampy ground which threatened nineteenth century engineering made it necessary to be to the east. The Jefferson Memorial is maintained by the National Park Service under its National Mall and Memorial Parks division and has over two million visitors a year.


Washington D.C. has a moderate climate representative of the Mid-Atlantic United States, with four separate seasons. Summer is very hot and humid with highs in July and August in the 80's to 90's. Because of the humidity there can be many thunderstorms, some with tornadoes. Spring and fall are very pleasant with low humidity and temperatures in the 60's to 70's. Many trees and bushes are in bloom, most notably the cherry blossoms. Winter can feature cold temperatures, snow and freezing rain and sometimes sizable snowstorms. Average highs are in the low 40's and lows in the mid 20's from mid-December to mid-February. The temperature can occasionally drop into the teens.


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