The Lincoln Memorial is one of the iconic buildings in the United States. Located on the western end of the National Mall, visitors climb the memorial’s fifty-eight steps from the plaza to the memorial’s three chambers. The chambers are surrounded by 36 columns representing the states in the union at the time of President Lincoln’s death in 1865. Inside the Lincoln Memorial’s central chamber is a 19 foot statue of a seated President Lincoln sculpted out of Georgia white marble. The two flanking chambers contain inscriptions of Lincoln’s most famous speeches, the Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address. The memorial attracts an estimated 6.5 million visitors each year making it one of the most popular landmarks in Washington, DC.
From the top of the memorial’s steps, visitors can view the United States Capitol, Washington Monument and World War II Memorial fountains in a straight line. The reflection of the United States Capitol and Washington Monument can also be seen in the Reflecting Pool between the Lincoln Memorial and the World War II Memorial.
The Lincoln Memorial has been the site of several historical events, most famously, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963 to an estimated crowd of 250,000 during the March on Washington. The steps where Dr. King stood to deliver his speech are engraved. The memorial has been incorporated into inauguration events such as the concert proceeding President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. Sunrise Easter services are held on the memorial’s steps with thousands attending each year.
As part of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial falls under the National Park Service. The memorial is open 24 hours, 365 days a year with rangers available from 9:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The memorial is illuminated at night.