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Monuments and memorials are quite the same. Monuments are large architectural structures. Memorials are intended to help us remember people who have passed away. Bridges, parks, major roads and streets, learning institutions named after presidents memorialize their names.

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  • Four American presidents (Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and George Washington) have their faces carved into Mount Rushmore National Memorial in South Dakota.
  • George Washington has a bridge, a state, and a city named after him. Thirty states have counties named after him.
  • John F. Kennedy’s passion for the sea was legendary, and perhaps no single item better represented that passion than his beloved sailboat, Victura, which now stands on the lawn of the Kennedy Library in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • The John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts (Kennedy Center) was opened in 1971 as a living memorial to John F. Kennedy. The idea for the center dates to 1958, when a National Cultural Center was proposed for Washington, D.C. designed by architect Edward Durrell Stone. The Kennedy Center is located on the Potomac River, adjacent to the Watergate Hotel.
  • The Madison River in Montana was named for James Madison.
  • The hometown of Abraham Lincoln, Illinois, was named after him in 1853.
  • In 1900 the tomb of Abraham Lincoln, assassinated in 1865, had to be rebuilt. The Great Emancipator, as he was known, had to be moved to a temporary grave to foil potential grave robbers. Lincoln’s body was put inside a cage and covered with concrete until a permanent site could be found. Draining the swampland that became the home of the Lincoln Memorial began in 1901. The first stone was put into place on Lincoln’s birthday, February 12, 1915. After completion, President Warren G. Harding dedicated the memorial on May 30, 1922. Lincoln’s only surviving child, Robert Todd Lincoln, attended the dedication. The monument’s sculptor, Daniel Chester French, chose to seat Lincoln and portray him as worm and pensive, gazing eastward to the Washington Monument. One hand is clenched the other open. Because French had a hearing-impaired daughter, the hands purportedly represent the letters “A” and “L” in American Sign Language. Others have read determination in the closed fist and openness in the more open hand. The Piccirilli Brother carved the statue from 28 blocks of Georgia marble.
  • In the 19th century, botanists named two newly discovered palm trees after George Washington: the Washington filifera (California fan palm) and the Washington robusta (Mexican fan palm). Both belong to the botanical family Washington arecaceae.
  • The William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, is the largest presidential library and one of the most dramatic. The archives hold 2 million photographs, 80 million pages of documents, 21 million email messages, and nearly 80,000 artifacts from the Clinton presidency.
  • The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, was built on land that had been acquired by the State of Georgia for a highway project that was canceled by Carter when he had been Governor of Georgia. Construction started on October 2, 1984, and the library was opened on October 1, 1986. The Library has hosted special exhibits such as a showing of the United States Bill of Rights and Carter’s Nobel Peace Prize.
  • The Mount Rushmore National Memorial Park was created to represent the first 150 years of American history. Between 1927 and 1941, sculptor Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers created the 60-foot busts of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.
  • Ulysses S. Grant was buried near the intersection of Riverside Drive and 122nd Street in New York City. The mausoleum contains the body of Grant and his wife, Julia Dent Grant. The mausoleum was designed by architect John Duncan, the granite and marble structure was completed in 18997 and was the largest mausoleum in North America at the time. A huge public subscription paid for it. Sculptor Henry Mervin Shrady spent 20 years building the General Grant National Memorial. Shrady paid particular attention to portraying Grant with a look of calmness and control to reflect Grant’s reputation as a coolheaded military leader.
  • The Washington Monument was originally designed with a Greek Doric-style rotunda at the base of the obelisk. When it was completed and dedicated in 1888, at 155 feet (169 m), the Washington monument became the world’s tallest structure. It held this title for just one year, until 1889 when Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France, for the Universal Exposition. The obelisk (needle) is modeled after ancient Egyptian artifacts, quite popular with architects in Europe and the United States in the 19th century. The elevator of the Washington Monument was installed in 1988 and takes 60 seconds to travel to the top. The monument stairwell contains 896 steps.
  • Botanists also named two species of plants after Thomas Jefferson: the Jeffersonia diphylla (twin leaf) and Jefferson dubia (white petal)
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