There are many Lincoln Memorial facts that would surprise even those who have visited the memorial and enjoyed its grand style. The Lincoln Memorial, one of the most-recognized memorials in the United States, has a long and storied history. Here are a few Lincoln Memorial facts that span more than 100 years.
- Abraham Lincoln's only surviving child, Robert Todd Lincoln, attended the opening of the Lincoln Memorial in 1922. He and former President William Howard Taft led the ceremony to dedicate the monument.
- It took more than 50 years to get the Lincoln Memorial built from the time it was commissioned. The memorial was first planned in 1867 when Congress called for a memorial to be built to honor the slain president. It was another 34 years before a site was chosen for it to be built. It was then another ten years before it was allocated funds. In 1911, 2 million dollars in funding was provided by the Lincoln Memorial Bill, signed by President Taft. It was then another eleven years before it was built.
- The Lincoln Memorial is always open. Visitors come at all times of the night to see the statue of Lincoln and read the Gettysburg address carved on the south wall of the memorial. More than 3.5 million visitors a year come to see the memorial.
- There are 36 columns around the Lincoln Memorial. The number of columns represents the number of states in existence when Lincoln was assassinated. Because there were 48 states when the Lincoln Memorial was finally built, the names of all 48 were included in carvings on the outside walls of the memorial. When two more states were later added, they were each commemorated with a plaque.
- The sculpture of Lincoln is nineteen feet tall. The height of the Lincoln Memorial building is 99 feet.