Openings and Dedications Items (15 total)

Over 35,000 people attended the dedication ceremony for the Lincoln Memorial in 1922, ten years after construction began. At the ceremony, President Warren G. Harding, former president and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Howard Taft, and Robert…

Before the National Air and Space Museum opened in July 1975, objects like this WWII-era "Spitfire" airplane arrived. To get the plane inside the museum, its wings were temporarily removed and it was led through the museum's west end windows. These…

The American Locomotive Company of Richmond, Virginia built this 280-ton passenger stream train in 1926 which arrived at the National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History) to go on permanent display in the…

In May of 1810 President James Madison broke ground for the Washington Canal amidst city officials and citizens crowded at New Jersey Avenue SE. The Canal was part of the original city plan from 1791, but work stalled until 1809 when Congress…

The first airplane carrying US mail left the Washington Polo Grounds, now in West Potomac Park, on May 15, 1918. The US Post Office Department created air mail service to speed up the delivery of mail traveling between Washington, Philadelphia, and…

The Smithsonian Metro station opened on July 1, 1977 giving visitors and residents a new option for taking public transportation to the Mall. At the official opening, the Metro's General Manager presented the Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian…

Even before the Tidal Basin was constructed, planners proposed to use it as a recreational bathing beach. On August 24, 1918, the Tidal Basin bathing beach officially opened with a water carnival. Diving competitions, swimming competitions, and canoe…

On April 12, 1967, a classic wood merry-go-round with 33 animals and 2 chariots moved to the National Mall near the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building. Rides cost 25 cents apiece. In 1981 museum officials replaced the worn-out merry-go-round…

In 1848 the Freemason Society laid the cornerstone for the Washington Monument during an elaborate Fourth of July ceremony commemorating George Washington. Thousands attended, including the President and Vice-President, Congressmen, representatives…

James Renwick, Jr began work on the original Smithsonian Institution building in 1847. Renwick's design was inspired by western European structures originally built in the 1100s, making this Gothic Revival building look like a castle. When…
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