Primary Source: The Lincoln Memorial
Reading Comprehension Activity

Author: Tucson Daily Citizen Feb. 27, 1922

One of the most popular monuments in the US, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. is visited by an estimated 6 million people a year. This newspaper article from the Tucson (AZ) Daily Citizen on February 27, 1922 tells of the completion of the monument. Students will read the passage and answer questions on the details and the language.

Topic(s): Journalism. Skill(s): Summary, Context Clues. Genre(s): Informational

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Finished in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. is dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln. Below is the announcement of the planned dedication of the memorial from the Tucson (AZ) Daily Citizen newspaper on February 27, 1922. For reference purposes, $1 in 1922 is equivalent to about $14 in today’s money.


                                       Harding Will Accept Lincoln Memorial on Behalf of Nation

Ten years of the combined effort of architect, sculptor, artist and the Lincoln Memorial Commission, with the expenditure of more than $2,000,000, has brought to completion the splendid Lincoln Memorial at Washington which will be dedicated soon. The present plan is to have Chief Justice Taft present the memorial for the Lincoln Memorial Commission. President Harding will accept it on behalf of the nation and former President Wilson will make a brief address on Lincoln.

This Memorial, a truly splendid achievement of modern art, stands at the head of a wide approach. Within the portico the great statue of Lincoln, by Daniel Chester French, is visible from a distance. From base to top the statue is over 30 feet high, the seated figure of Lincoln alone being twenty-two feet in height.

As the structure is open to the action of the elements and subjected to seasonal variations of temperature, the greatest care as been taken to construct the Memorial of materials which will provide resistance to the weather and at the same time lend beauty to the edifice.

Eight massive doors of bronze provide entrance to the memorial, and stairs of bronze lead to the memento rooms, which are placed at either end of the classic rectangle, in the center of which stands the statue of Lincoln.

Far above the statue, and blending harmoniously with Guerin’s mural painting, are six bronze beams. These beams traverse the 144-foot ceiling end to end, dividing space with strips of sombre marble. The marble is held in place by a network of rectangular intermediates, also of bronze.

An idea of the magnificence of this, our newest national shrine of honor, may be obtained when the size of these ceiling beams is considered. More than 45 tons of bronze was used in molding them. They measure 6 feet 2 1/2 inches in breadth, and have a depth of two feet. They present an exposed surface of approximately 8,600 square feet.

The use of a preponderance of bronze in the construction of this great memorial is not the only indication of the purpose of its builders to provide a truly permanent structure, for twenty thousand pounds of copper are utilized in the flashings and in the main cornice, as well in nine thousand feet of skylight which softly light the interior of the memorial.

Comprehension Questions

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