View Full Version : Thursday Trivia: Washington Monument

Star lover
February 28th, 2019, 08:05 AM
The most famous obelisk in America, the Washington Monument, was originally designed to have a flat top (which, technically, would have made it not an obelisk).

157909 Original design circa 1845-1848

That's what architect Robert Mills (1781-1855) intended when he designed the monument in 1836. After waiting some 10 years for the groundbreaking, construction was further delayed numerous times for numerous reasons, including the Civil War. (The reason why the monument looks like it has 2 colors. The marble used to construct it, came from different quarries.)

157910 The monument as it appears today.

By the time the monument opened in 1885, 30 years after Mills' death, the design had been altered to add a pyramid-shaped top capped with aluminum to serve as a lightning rod.

157911 Robert Mills

Something I didnít know......

On December 8, 1982, a 66-year-old Navy veteran, Norman Mayer, drove his van to the base of the monument and threatened to blow up the structure with 1,000 pounds of dynamite he claimed to have inside his vehicle. A group of tourists was trapped inside the monument for several hours before Mayer, who was trying to draw attention to his stance against nuclear weapons, let them leave. Meanwhile, thousands of workers from nearby buildings were evacuated, streets were shut down and air traffic in the area was diverted. After an approximately 10-hour standoff with law enforcement officials, Mayer attempted to drive away, but was shot and killed by police. When authorities later searched his van, no explosives were found.

I have no memory of this.....

On August 23, 2011, the monument was rocked by a rare, 5.8-magnitude earthquake,centered near Mineral, Virginia, causing a number of cracks in the structure and shaking some of its mortar loose.

February 28th, 2019, 10:39 AM
I think our media has become so anal as to report every little happening around them, and of course, the monument is right there at the heart of media country so now, we would get all that local reporting. Imagine all the things yu see on your local news that is significant for the 6 o'clock broadcast but doesn't get reported nationally.
The dynamite incident was a no-news event since there wasn't any dynamite.
I do recall recently (maybe the last 5 years) that there were some repairs to the monument from an earlier earthquake. Again, sort of a non-news event if you didn't live near there.

February 28th, 2019, 10:03 PM
One of the highlights of my trip to D.C. was getting to go up in the Washington monument. The view from 500 feet up is spectacular!