If you do any walking at all in Washington, D.C. you will eventually run into statues, literally. And if you don’t run into a statue, then it is just as easy to walk right by one without knowing anything about the statue or why it was placed there, or who it is memorializing. So I started taking my camera with me on walks throughout the city, but a picture is only worth so much when the statue is of Francis Asbury or Tara Shevchenko. So I started doing some research too, and sometimes I update this blog with my findings, or musings, or both.
There is often a lot of information about the person memorialized in the statue, but, to me, the process is also fascinating. Did you know that it took almost fifty years to finish the Washington Monument but only 6 years to dedicate a statue to President James Garfield?
This blog is a compilation of statues I’ve run across, or come across daily and how they came to be. I’m not trying to document the life of the person the statue is immortalizing, although that happens. Mainly I’m interested in who petitioned Congress, or what Congress did to get that statue where it is, and how much money was appropriated or donated. That’s what I’m writing about. So the next time I’m walking up Massachusetts Avenue I understand why Robert Emmet is standing in the shade of the trees at Mass. and S., or if I’m enjoying an afternoon in Meridian Hill Park I know how Buchanan, the controversial 15th President, got the honor of a memorial before Abraham Lincoln did, or why there are horses at the end of Rock Creek Park and what they signify.
D.C. is a pretty good place to live and a pretty great place to have some time to venture around. I like to say that you can get an education in American history pretty quickly by just walking around and reading the historic plaques and the statues.
So enjoy the entries, and the history. And if you have a question about a statue that you’ve seen, let me know.