“We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, that to secure these rights governments are instituted among men.”
-Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence 1776
Today in history, President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone for the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C. November 15, 1939.
This memorial to our 3rd president was designed by architect John Russell Pope (who also designed the National Archives building in Washington D.C. about a decade earlier).
Pope looked to the architectural tastes of Jefferson to create the Memorial. Jefferson himself had introduced the Classical circular colonnade style to the United States, and Pope used the motif to to convey the spirit of this founding father.
The quote above is among multiple passages that appear on the panels in the Memorial.
Here’s a photo of the Jefferson Memorial illuminated at night during President Truman’s inaugural celebration, January 20, 1949.
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