<Standard 4.12.............................................................................................................................................Standard 4.14>

4.13 Identify major monuments and historical sites in and around Washington, D.C. (e.g., the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, the Smithsonian Museums, the Library of Congress, the White House, the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the National Archives, Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial, and Mount Vernon).


game_icon.svg.pngClick here for an interactive map of Washington D.C., where you can explore the city and click on locations to learn about the history of places such as the White House and the Library of Congress.

Multimedia.pngClick here for photos of monuments being constructed.

The Jefferson Memorial

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Approved in 1934, construction began in 1938 and was dedicated in 1943. Many opposed its construction because many cherry trees would have to be destroyed to make room. Click here for more background information.
Multimedia.pngClick here to view photos of the statue being constructed in the memorial.
Multimedia.pngClick here for a 360 degree look inside the memorial

Click here to read the Jefferson quotes that are engraved in the memorial.

lesson_plan_icon.jpgClick here for lesson plans to explain Thomas Jefferson and his accomplishments to the students.


The Lincoln Memorial

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Construction started in 1914, dedicated in 1922. A statue of Lincoln is sitting inside. Also inside are engravings of The Gettysburg Address and Lincoln's second inaugural address. The steps outside are marked where Martin Luther King, Jr gave his "I Have A Dream" speech.

Click here for more information.

Multimedia.pngClick here for a 360 degree look at the Lincoln Memorial.
Multimedia.png Click here for photos of the Lincoln Memorial construction.

lesson_plan_icon.jpgClick here and here for lesson plans on Lincoln.

Smithsonian Museums

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This is a satellite image of the eastern part of the National Mall, which includes the 11 Smithsonian museums of Washington D.C. The numbers represent the following:
1- Washington Monument
2- National Museum of American History
3- National Museum of Natural History
4- National Gallery of Art and Sculpture Garden
5- West Building of the National Gallery of Art
6- East Building of the National Gallery of Art
7- United States Capitol
8- Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
9- United States Botanic Garden
10- National Museum of the American Indian
11- National Air and Space Museum
12- Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
13- Arts and Industries Building
14- Smithsonian Institute Building
15- Freer Gallery of Art
16- Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
17- National Museum of African Art

Click here for the history of the Smithsonians.
Click here for a link to the main Smithsonian website. On this website, there is info on various exhibits and links to all the museums.

lesson_plan_icon.jpgThe Smithsonian has searchable lesson plans by grade level and subject. Click here to search.

Library of Congress

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The Great Hall of the Library of Congress

Founded in 1800. The collection is held in 3 different buildings: Thomas Jefferson Building (the original building), John Adams Building, and James Madison Memorial Building. It is the largest library collection in the world. The collection contains over 35 million books, 3.4 million recordings, 13.6 million photographs, 5.4 million maps, 6.5 million pieces of sheet music, and 68 million manuscripts. Much of the collection is held on about 838 miles of shelves.

Click here for facts on the Library of Congress.
Click here for FAQ.
Click here for the online catalog.
Multimedia.pngClick here for a youtube video showing highlights of the library.


The White House

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George Washington selected the location of the White House. President John Adams and his wife, Abigail, moved into the White House when it was still unfinished in 1800. The British troops set fire to it during the War of 1812. It was rebuilt and President James Monroe was able to move in during 1817. Many Presidents have made changes or additions during their Presidency.
Click here for the full history.

timeline2_rus.svg.pngClick here for the PBS timeline "The Changing White House"
Multimedia.pngClick here for a virtual tour of the White House.

lesson_plan_icon.jpgClick here for lesson plans on the White House.


The Capitol

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A Frenchman who planned Washington, DC, Pierre Charles L'Enfant, was hired to design the Capitol Building. He was soon fired for refusing to put his designs on paper. There was a contest for the best design, but there was no standout design. A few months after the contest was over, Dr. William Thornton submitted his plan, which was accepted. His plan consisted of rectangular wings on the north and south, with a domed section in the middle. One of the wings was for the House of Representatives, the other for the Senate. The building construction started in 1793, but it wasn't until 1859 that both the Senate and House could meet in their wings. It was a long process, with a lack of funding, the War of 1812, and other problems.

Click here for the full history.

Multimedia.pngClick here for a virtual tour of the Capitol.

lesson_plan_icon.jpgClick here for a lesson plan on the Capitol.

The Washington Monument

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While planning Washington, DC, Pierre Charles L'Enfant, imagined a grand gesture to commemorate George Washington. However, there was a debate on what exactly should honor Washington. In 1833, a committee formed to help make the decision. They held a contest and Robert Mills' design won in 1836. He submitted a 600 foot tall obelisk. Construction started in 1848 and continued until 1854 when the donations stopped. Construction resumed in 1876, but the builders decided to make it 555 feet tall because the foundation was not built properly. It is possible to see a change of color in the stones when the construction resumed.

Click here for the enchantedlearning site on the Washington Monument.
lessonplan.jpgClick here for a lesson plan on the Washington Monument.

The National Archives

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Previous to the 1920s, the US had no form of storage of official records. Many files were lost, neglected, or burned in fires. In 1926, the Congress approved the construction of the National Archives. The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence are in display in the lobby. They are in special, sealed glass cases to preserve the documents.

For more information, click here.

Click here to search the National Archives.
Click here for the document of the day.

lesson_plan_icon.jpgClick here for lesson plans and worksheets from the National Archives.

Arlington National Cemetery

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Arlington Mansion was owned by George Washington's adopted grandson,George Washington Parke Custis. He and his wife lived there and were buried on the property. Custis's daughter, Mary Anna Custis Lee, married Robert E. Lee, and they resided in the house. They lost the house after the Civil War and the federal government seized it. It was sold at a public auction and was established as a military cemetery in 1864.

Click here for more information.
Click here for information on the Tomb of the Unknowns and here for info on the Changing of the Guards.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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Also referred to as "The Wall". Designed by Maya Lin in a contest. The memorial is a black granite, V-shaped wall that is 493 feet long. It consists of more than 58,000 names engraved on the wall, all Americans who were lost or killed during the Vietnam War. Many people leave flowers, letters, and other tokens along the wall for those who were lost.

Click here for more information.
Multimedia.pngClick here for an infographic on the Wall.
Click here for a list of the names engraved on the wall.

lesson_plan_icon.jpgClick here for a lesson plan (designed for ESL students) on the Vietnam Wall.

Iwo Jima Memorial

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Also known as the "US Marine Corps War Memorial". Honors all the Marines who died defending the United States since 1775. The memorial is 32 feet tall and was inspired by a photo taken during WWII on the island of Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima was an important battle during WWII and helped lead to the end of the war. The base is engraved with names of important Marines and this: "In honor and in memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since November 10, 1775."

Click here for more information.
Click here for information on the men who raised the flag.

Mount Vernon

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Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington. It is also the final resting place of George and Martha Washington. It is about 5,000 acres. It consists of corp fields, gardens, smokehouse, blacksmith, spinning house, and more.

Click here for more information.
Click here for a map of the estate.

Multimedia.pngClick here for a youtube video of a tour of Mount Vernon.
Multimedia.pngClick here for a virtual tour of the mansion.
lessonplan.jpgClick here for lesson plans on George Washington and Mount Vernon.