Jefferson Memorial
Overview
 
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial
United States presidential memorial
The Presidential memorials in the United States honor the various Presidents of the United States and seek to perpetuate their legacies.-Living and physical elements:...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 that is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

, an American Founding Father
Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some...

 and the third President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

.
The neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 building was designed by John Russell Pope
John Russell Pope
John Russell Pope was an architect most known for his designs of the National Archives and Records Administration building , the Jefferson Memorial and the West Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.-Biography:Pope was born in New York in 1874, the son of a successful...

. It was built by Philadelphia contractor John McShain
John McShain
John McShain was a highly successful American building contractor known as "The Man Who Built Washington."...

. Construction began in 1939, the building was completed in 1943, and the bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947.

The Jefferson Memorial is managed by the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 under its National Mall and Memorial Parks
National Mall and Memorial Parks
National Mall and Memorial Parks is an administrative unit of the National Park Service encompassing many national memorials and other areas in Washington, D.C...

 division. In 2007, it was ranked fourth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects
American Institute of Architects
The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

.
The current site of the Memorial was originally created using landfill dredged from the Potomac River in the late 19th century.
Encyclopedia
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial
United States presidential memorial
The Presidential memorials in the United States honor the various Presidents of the United States and seek to perpetuate their legacies.-Living and physical elements:...

 in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 that is dedicated to Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

, an American Founding Father
Founding Fathers of the United States
The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were political leaders and statesmen who participated in the American Revolution by signing the United States Declaration of Independence, taking part in the American Revolutionary War, establishing the United States Constitution, or by some...

 and the third President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

.
The neoclassical
Neoclassical architecture
Neoclassical architecture was an architectural style produced by the neoclassical movement that began in the mid-18th century, manifested both in its details as a reaction against the Rococo style of naturalistic ornament, and in its architectural formulas as an outgrowth of some classicizing...

 building was designed by John Russell Pope
John Russell Pope
John Russell Pope was an architect most known for his designs of the National Archives and Records Administration building , the Jefferson Memorial and the West Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.-Biography:Pope was born in New York in 1874, the son of a successful...

. It was built by Philadelphia contractor John McShain
John McShain
John McShain was a highly successful American building contractor known as "The Man Who Built Washington."...

. Construction began in 1939, the building was completed in 1943, and the bronze statue of Jefferson was added in 1947.

The Jefferson Memorial is managed by the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 under its National Mall and Memorial Parks
National Mall and Memorial Parks
National Mall and Memorial Parks is an administrative unit of the National Park Service encompassing many national memorials and other areas in Washington, D.C...

 division. In 2007, it was ranked fourth on the List of America's Favorite Architecture by the American Institute of Architects
American Institute of Architects
The American Institute of Architects is a professional organization for architects in the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AIA offers education, government advocacy, community redevelopment, and public outreach to support the architecture profession and improve its public image...

.

Conception

The current site of the Memorial was originally created using landfill dredged from the Potomac River in the late 19th century. It became a popular bathing beach for Washingtonians and other locals.

It became apparent that the site was well suited for another high-profile memorial since it sat directly south of the White House. By 1901 the Senate Park Commission, better known as the McMillan Commission
McMillan Plan
The McMillan Plan was an architectural plan for the development of Washington, D.C., formulated in 1902 by the Senate Park Improvement Commission of the District of Columbia which had been formed by Congress the previous year.-United States Park Commission:...

, had proposed placing a pantheon-like structure on the site hosting "the statues of the illustrious men of the nation, or whether the memory of some individual shall be honored by a monument of the first rank may be left to the future"; no action was ever taken by Congress on this issue.

A design competition was held for a memorial to Theodore Roosevelt in 1925. The winning design was submitted by John Russell Pope and consisted of a half-circle memorial situated next to a circular basin. The plan was never funded by Congress and was not built.

The Memorial's chance came in 1934 when President Franklin Roosevelt, an admirer of Jefferson himself, inquired to the Commission of Fine Arts
United States Commission of Fine Arts
The United States Commission of Fine Arts , established in 1910 by an act of Congress, is an advisory agency of the Federal government.The CFA is mandated to review and provide advice on "matters of design and aesthetics", involving federal projects and planning in Washington, D.C...

 about the possibility of erecting a memorial to Jefferson, including it in the plans for the Federal Triangle
Federal Triangle
The Federal Triangle is a triangular area in Washington, D.C. formed by 15th Street NW, Constitution Avenue NW, Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and E Street NW. Federal Triangle is occupied by 10 large city and federal office buildings, all of which are part of the Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic...

 project, which was under construction at the time. Later the same year, Congressman John J. Boylan
John J. Boylan
John Joseph Boylan was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from New York.Boylan was born in New York City. He attended Manhattan College. He was a member of the New York State Assembly from 1910 until 1912 and the New York State Senate from 1913 until 1922...

 jumped off FDR's starting point and urged Congress to create the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission. Boylan was appointed the Commission's first chairman and Congress eventually appropriated $3 million for a memorial to Jefferson.

The Commission chose John Russell Pope as the architect in 1935. Pope was also the architect of the National Archives Building and original (west) building of the National Gallery of Art
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art and its Sculpture Garden is a national art museum, located on the National Mall between 3rd and 9th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, in Washington, DC...

. He prepared four different plans for the project, each on a different site. One was on the Anacostia River
Anacostia River
The Anacostia River is a river in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States. It flows from Prince George's County in Maryland into Washington, D.C., where it joins with the Washington Channel to empty into the Potomac River at Buzzard Point. It is approximately long...

 at the end of East Capitol Street
East Capitol Street
East Capitol Street is a major street that divides the northeast and southeast quadrants of Washington, D.C. It runs due east from the United States Capitol to the DC-Maryland border. The street is uninterrupted until Lincoln Park then continues eastward to Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium...

; one at Lincoln Park; one on the south side of the National Mall across from the National Archives; and one situated on the Tidal Basin, directly south of the White House. The Commission preferred the site on the Tidal Basin mainly because it was the most prominent site and because it completed the four-point plan called for by the McMillan Commission (Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol; White House to the Tidal Basin site). Pope designed a very large pantheon-like structure, to sit on a square platform, and to be flanked by two smaller, rectangular, colonnaded buildings.

Construction

Construction began on December 15, 1938 and the cornerstone
Cornerstone
The cornerstone concept is derived from the first stone set in the construction of a masonry foundation, important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone, thus determining the position of the entire structure.Over time a cornerstone became a ceremonial masonry stone, or...

 was laid on November 15, 1939, by president Franklin Roosevelt. By this point Pope had died (1937) and his surviving partners, Daniel P. Higgins and Otto R. Eggers
Eggers & Higgins
Eggers & Higgins was a New York architectural firm partnered by Otto Reinhold Eggers and Daniel Paul Higgins . The architects were responsible for the construction phase of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial beginning in 1939, two years after the death of its original architect, John Russell Pope,...

, took over construction of the memorial. The design was modified at the request of the Commission of Fine Arts to a more conservative design.

Construction commenced amid significant opposition. The Commission of Fine Arts never actually approved any design for the Memorial and even published a pamphlet in 1939 opposing both the design and site of the Memorial. In addition, many Washingtonians opposed the site because it was not aligned with L'Enfant's original plan. Finally, many well established elm and cherry trees had to be removed for construction. Construction continued amid the opposition.

In 1939, the Memorial Commission hosted a competition to select a sculptor for the planned statue in the center of the Memorial. They received 101 entries and chose six finalists. Of the six, Rudulph Evans
Rudulph Evans
Rudulph Evans , sculptor, was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Virginia. He studied in France at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; among his fellow students were Auguste Rodin and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. After returning to the United States in 1900, he maintained a studio in New York City. He moved...

 was chosen as the main sculptor and Adolph A. Weinman
Adolph Alexander Weinman
Adolph Alexander Weinman was an American sculptor, born in Karlsruhe, Germany.- Biography :Weinman arrived in the United States at the age of 10. At the age of 15, he attended evening classes at Cooper Union and later studied at the Art Students League of New York with sculptors Augustus St....

 was chosen to sculpt the pediment relief situated above the entrance.

The Jefferson Memorial was officially dedicated by President Roosevelt on April 13, 1943, the 200th anniversary of Jefferson's birthday. At that time, Evans' statue had not yet been finished. Due to material shortages during World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, the statue that was installed at the time was a plaster cast of Evans' work painted to look like bronze. The finished bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 statue was installed in 1947, having been cast by the Roman Bronze Company of New York.

One of the last American public monuments in the Beaux-Arts tradition, the Memorial was severely criticized even as it was being built, by those who adhered to the modernist argument that dressing 20th century buildings like Greek
Greek temple
Greek temples were structures built to house deity statues within Greek sanctuaries in Greek paganism. The temples themselves did usually not directly serve a cult purpose, since the sacrifices and rituals dedicated to the respective deity took place outside them...

 and Roman
Roman architecture
Ancient Roman architecture adopted certain aspects of Ancient Greek architecture, creating a new architectural style. The Romans were indebted to their Etruscan neighbors and forefathers who supplied them with a wealth of knowledge essential for future architectural solutions, such as hydraulics...

 ones constituted a "tired architectural lie." More than 60 years ago, Pope responded with silence to critics who dismissed him as part of an enervated architectural elite practicing "styles that are safely dead." As a National Memorial
National Memorial
National Memorial is a designation in the United States for a protected area that memorializes a historic person or event. National memorials are authorized by the United States Congress...

 it was administratively listed on the National Register of Historic Places
National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...

 on October 15, 1966.

Description

Composed of circular marble steps, a portico
Portico
A portico is a porch leading to the entrance of a building, or extended as a colonnade, with a roof structure over a walkway, supported by columns or enclosed by walls...

, a circular colonnade of Ionic order
Ionic order
The Ionic order forms one of the three orders or organizational systems of classical architecture, the other two canonic orders being the Doric and the Corinthian...

 columns, and a shallow dome
Dome
A dome is a structural element of architecture that resembles the hollow upper half of a sphere. Dome structures made of various materials have a long architectural lineage extending into prehistory....

, the building is open to the elements. Pope made references to the Roman Pantheon
Pantheon, Rome
The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

 and Jefferson's own design for the Rotunda
The Rotunda (University of Virginia)
The Rotunda is a building located on The Lawn in the original grounds of the University of Virginia. It was designed by Thomas Jefferson to represent the "authority of nature and power of reason" and was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. Construction began in 1822 and was completed in 1826, after...

 at the University of Virginia
University of Virginia
The University of Virginia is a public research university located in Charlottesville, Virginia, United States, founded by Thomas Jefferson...

. It is situated in West Potomac Park
West Potomac Park
West Potomac Park is a U.S. national park in Washington, D.C., adjacent to the National Mall. It includes the parkland that extends south of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, from the Lincoln Memorial to the grounds of the Washington Monument...

, on the shore of the Tidal Basin of the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

. The Jefferson Memorial, and the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 located directly north, form one of the main anchor points in the area of the National Mall
National Mall
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service , and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit...

 in D.C. The Washington Monument
Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is an obelisk near the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate the first U.S. president, General George Washington...

, just east of the axis on the national Mall, was intended to be located at the intersection of the White House and the site for the Jefferson Memorial to the south, but soft swampy ground which defied 19th century engineering required it be sited to the east.

The interior

The interior of the memorial has a 19-foot (5.8 m) tall, 10,000 lb (4336 kg) bronze
Bronze
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive. It is hard and brittle, and it was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal...

 statue of Jefferson by sculptor Rudulph Evans
Rudulph Evans
Rudulph Evans , sculptor, was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Virginia. He studied in France at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts; among his fellow students were Auguste Rodin and Augustus Saint-Gaudens. After returning to the United States in 1900, he maintained a studio in New York City. He moved...

 showing Jefferson looking out toward the White House. This statue was added four years after the dedication. The interior walls are engraved with passages from Jefferson's writings. Most prominent are the words which are inscribed in a frieze below the dome: "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." This sentence is taken from a September 23, 1800, letter by Jefferson to Dr. Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Rush
Benjamin Rush was a Founding Father of the United States. Rush lived in the state of Pennsylvania and was a physician, writer, educator, humanitarian and a Christian Universalist, as well as the founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania....

 wherein he defends the constitutional refusal to recognize a state religion.

On the panel of the southwest interior wall are excerpts from the Declaration of Independence
United States Declaration of Independence
The Declaration of Independence was a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies then at war with Great Britain regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. John Adams put forth a...

, written in 1776:


We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men. We...solemnly publish and declare, that these colonies are and of right ought to be free and
independent states...And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honour.


Note that the inscription uses the word "inalienable", as in Jefferson's draft, rather than "unalienable", as in the published Declaration.

On the panel of the northwest interior wall is an excerpt from "A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom, 1777", except for the last sentence, which is taken from a letter of August 28, 1789, to James Madison
James Madison
James Madison, Jr. was an American statesman and political theorist. He was the fourth President of the United States and is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for being the primary author of the United States Constitution and at first an opponent of, and then a key author of the United...

:


Almighty God hath created the mind free...All attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens...are a departure from the plan of the Holy Author of our religion...No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship or ministry or shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but all men shall be free to profess and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion. I know but one
code of morality for men whether acting singly or collectively.


The quotes from the panel of the northeast interior wall are from multiple sources. The first sentence, beginning "God who gave...", is from "A Summary View of the Rights of British America
A Summary View of the Rights of British America
A Summary View of the Rights of British America was a tract written by Thomas Jefferson in 1774, before the U.S. Declaration of Independence, in which he laid out for delegates to the First Continental Congress, a set of grievances against the King, especially against his response to the Boston...

". The second, third and fourth sentences are from Notes on the State of Virginia
Notes on the State of Virginia
Notes on the State of Virginia was a book written by Thomas Jefferson. He completed the first edition in 1781, and updated and enlarged the book in 1782 and 1783...

. The fifth sentence, beginning "Nothing is more...", is from Jefferson's autobiography. The sixth sentence, beginning "Establish the law...", is from an August 13, 1790, letter to George Wythe
George Wythe
George Wythe was an American lawyer, a judge, a prominent law professor and "Virginia's foremost classical scholar." He was a teacher and mentor of Thomas Jefferson. Wythe's signature is positioned at the head of the list of seven Virginia signatories on the United States Declaration of Independence...

. The final sentence is from a letter of January 4, 1786, to George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

:


God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free. Establish the law for educating the common people. This it is the business of the state to effect and on a general plan.


The inscription on the panel of the southeast interior wall is redacted and excerpted from a letter July 12, 1816, to Samuel Kercheval:


I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.

Criticism

University of Alberta
University of Alberta
The University of Alberta is a public research university located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Founded in 1908 by Alexander Cameron Rutherford, the first premier of Alberta and Henry Marshall Tory, its first president, it is widely recognized as one of the best universities in Canada...

 history professor Ronald Hamowy has called the inscriptions "[p]erhaps the most egregious examples of invoking Jefferson for purely transient political purposes." Hamowy argues that:


Planned and built during the administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

, the walls of the memorial are adorned with quotations from Jefferson’s writings, many of which suggest that Jefferson advocated positions consistent with the aims of the New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

—with which he would, in fact, have had little sympathy. Thus, Jefferson’s admonition that an educated electorate was essential if liberty were to be preserved is transmuted into a call for universal public education. And his caution that man, as he advances in his understanding of the world, must accompany his greater enlightenment with changes in his social institutions becomes a justification for a new theory of government in keeping with the social-democratic principles that animated the New Deal.


The excerpts chosen from the Declaration have been criticized because the first half alters Jefferson's prose (for the sake of saving space) and eliminates the right of revolution
Right of revolution
In political philosophy, the right of revolution is the right or duty, variously stated throughout history, of the people of a nation to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests...

 passage that Jefferson believed was the point of the Declaration, while much of the second half (from "solemnly publish" to "divine providence") was not written by Jefferson.

The fifth sentence quoted on the northeast interior wall ("Nothing is more certainly written in the book of fate than these people are to be free.") has been called "misleadingly truncated" by historian Garry Wills
Garry Wills
Garry Wills is a Pulitzer Prize-winning and prolific author, journalist, and historian, specializing in American politics, American political history and ideology and the Roman Catholic Church. Classically trained at a Jesuit high school and two universities, he is proficient in Greek and Latin...

, because Jefferson's sentence continued with: "Nor is it less certain that the two races, equally free, cannot live in the same government."

Location

The site of the monument is in Washington D.C. West Potomac Park
West Potomac Park
West Potomac Park is a U.S. national park in Washington, D.C., adjacent to the National Mall. It includes the parkland that extends south of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, from the Lincoln Memorial to the grounds of the Washington Monument...

, on the shore of the Potomac River
Potomac River
The Potomac River flows into the Chesapeake Bay, located along the mid-Atlantic coast of the United States. The river is approximately long, with a drainage area of about 14,700 square miles...

 Tidal Basin
Tidal Basin
-External links:*-References:...

, is enhanced with the massed planting of Japanese cherry trees
Sakura
A cherry blossom is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese Cherry, Prunus serrulata, which is sometimes called sakura after the Japanese . Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use do not produce fruit...

, a gift from the people of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 in 1912.

The monument is not as prominent in popular culture as other Washington, D.C. buildings and monuments, possibly due to its location well removed from the National Mall
National Mall
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service , and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit...

 and the Washington Metro
Washington Metro
The Washington Metro, commonly called Metro, and unofficially Metrorail, is the rapid transit system in Washington, D.C., United States, and its surrounding suburbs. It is administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority , which also operates Metrobus service under the Metro name...

.
The Jefferson Memorial hosts many events and ceremonies each year, including memorial exercises, the Easter Sunrise Service, and the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival
National Cherry Blossom Festival
The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a spring celebration in Washington, D.C., commemorating the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington...

.

The monument is open 24 hours a day but park rangers are there only until 11:30 p.m.;however, the monument is only a few hundred yards from the National Park Police D.C. Headquarters in East Potomac Park. (0330 UTC)

Dancing controversy

In April 2008, Mary Brooke Oberwetter was arrested at the Jefferson Memorial while participating in an organized celebration of the 265th birthday of President Jefferson. Ms. Oberwetter and the group were dancing silently as they listened to music on headphones. She was charged with demonstrating without a permit (charge later dropped) and interfering with park police.

Oberwetter sued the arresting officer and park police for violating her First Amendment right to free expression and Fourth Amendment right against unlawful seizure (illegal arrest). In May 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia rejected Oberwetter's claims, confirming a lower court's finding that "the Jefferson Memorial is a nonpublic forum reserved for the tranquil commemoration of [President] Jefferson's legacy" and that Ms. Oberwetter had violated reasonable rules in place intended to maintain the monument for that purpose. Oberwetter v Hilliard (C.A.D.C. No. 10-5078, 5/17/11)

On May 29, 2011, five visitors were arrested while dancing inside the monument in protest of the court's decision. The protest and arrests were captured by numerous press and amateur photographers. There have been accusations of police brutality.

The statute in question is under the Code of Federal Regulations, 36 C.F.R. § 7.96(g)(3)(ii)(C). In the Oberwetter ruling the appellate court determined that "dancing" meets the definition of "demonstration" as set forth in the statute. "The term demonstrations includes demonstrations, picketing, speechmaking, marching, holding vigils or religious services and all other like forms of conduct which involve the communication or expression of views or grievances, engaged in by one or more persons, the conduct of which has the effect, intent or propensity to draw a crowd or onlookers. This term does not include casual park use by visitors or tourists which does not have an intent or propensity to attract a crowd or onlookers."

See also

  • Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson
    Thomas Jefferson was the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence and the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom , the third President of the United States and founder of the University of Virginia...

  • Lincoln Memorial
    Lincoln Memorial
    The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

  • Monticello
    Monticello
    Monticello is a National Historic Landmark just outside Charlottesville, Virginia, United States. It was the estate of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, third President of the United States, and founder of the University of Virginia; it is...

  • Pantheon
    Pantheon, Rome
    The Pantheon ,Rarely Pantheum. This appears in Pliny's Natural History in describing this edifice: Agrippae Pantheum decoravit Diogenes Atheniensis; in columnis templi eius Caryatides probantur inter pauca operum, sicut in fastigio posita signa, sed propter altitudinem loci minus celebrata.from ,...

  • United States Department of the Interior
    United States Department of the Interior
    The United States Department of the Interior is the United States federal executive department of the U.S. government responsible for the management and conservation of most federal land and natural resources, and the administration of programs relating to Native Americans, Alaska Natives, Native...

  • United States National Park Service
  • Washington Monument
    Washington Monument
    The Washington Monument is an obelisk near the west end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate the first U.S. president, General George Washington...


External links

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