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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Saturday February 24th 2024

Washington Monument obelisk

01-Washington_Monument_Dusk_Jan_2006July 4th 1848 and July 4th 2013

The Washington Monument cornerstone was set July 4th 1848. Construction of the marble obelisk was halted for lack of money for 25 years during the Civil War era and resumed 25 years later in 1876.

It has 700,000 visitors a year but has been closed since 2011 earthquake damage.The Park Service will complete repairs and reopen it by spring of 2014.

For the July 4th 2013 holiday the monument was adorned with special decorative lighting. “It”'s an icon in this country, so you don”'t want it just sort of sitting here with a big scaffolding around it for a year,” Jonathan Jarvis, National Park Service Director said.

On July 4th when the Sun reached the altitude of the tip of the obelisk at exactly 8º 36”', the Sun, the Capitol Building and Jefferson Memorial aligned within a precision of less than 1 degree.

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