In 1832, the Washington National Monument Society started to collect donations for a monument to honor George Washington. They organized a competition for the design in 1936. Robert Mills won the competition. In the past, he designed the Department of Treasury building and the U.S. Patent Office building.

The trowel used by George Washington to lay the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol Building in 1793 was also used in the cornerstone ceremony for the Washington Monument in 1848.

The original design of the Washington Monument included a colonnade, a statue of Washington on a chariot, and 30 statues of other Revolutionary War heroes. However, only the design's obelisk was completed due to the high cost of the project.

The Washington Monument is hollow on the inside, but its inner walls are set with 192 carved Memorial Stones, which were given by individuals, cities, states, and even other countries.

The monument was the world's tallest structure when it was finisheed. In 1889, the title went to the Eiffel Tower which held the title until the Chrystler Building was built in 1930.

Today the Washington Monument remains the world's tallest stone structure, and the world's tallest obelisk. Also, the monument is the tallest structure in Washington DC.

In 1982, a nuclear arms protester, Norman Mayer, parked his van in front of the Washington Monument and threatened to blow up the monument with the 1000 pounds of dynamite that he claimed to have inside the vehicle. After a 6-hour ordeal, the six hostages trapped inside the monument were released by Mayer. When he sped away in the van, Park Police shot and killed him, who had lied about the explosives.

Five suicides have taken place at the Washington Monument, two occurring within days of each other in 1926, before safety bars were erected on the structure's windows. Three more jumped into the elevator shaft before a safety screen was installed.

Washington DC Monument

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