The Washington Monument opens to the public. After George Washington died in 1799, Congress authorized a large monument to honor Washington but rescinded it. Thus began nearly ninety years of arguing, planning, contributing money to the Monument then taking it back and errors in construction.
The Monument stood only a third of its intended height, unfinished until after the Civil War, when interest renewed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers finished the Monument and dedicated it on February 21st, 1885. When it was completed, it was the tallest structure in the world until the Eiffel Tower in Paris was completed.
The Virginia earthquake of 2011 damaged the Monument and it was shut down for repairs. It was reopened to the public on May 14th, 2014.
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