This day in history, February 21, 1885, the Washington Monument was dedicated in Washington D.C. in honor of America’s first president and revolutionary war hero.
The 555-foot-high obelisk, which stands on the National Mall in Washington D.C.,was first proposed in 1783, and French-born American architect and civil engineer Pierre L’Enfant left room for it in his designs for the new U.S. capital.
Plans for the memorial were discussed after the death of George Washington in 1799, but none were adopted until 1832.
Architect Robert Mills’ hollow Egyptian obelisk design was accepted for the monument, and on July 4, 1848, construction for the monument began. The project was halted from 1854 to 1877 however; due to a lack of funds, the Civil War, and a struggle for control over the Washington National Monument Society.
In 1876, Congress passed legislation appropriating $200,000 for the completion of the monument.
The first stone was laid atop the unfinished stump on August 7, 1880, the capstone was set on December 6, 1884 and the monument officially opened on October 9, 1888.