Mythbusting DC, The Features

DC Mythbusting: Lincoln Edition

Photo courtesy of
courtesy of ‘Samuel Gordon’

Had enough of the tourists yet?  Not only do they stand on the left of Metro escalators and block entire sidewalks with their matching-t-shirt armies, half of what they’re saying about the monuments and memorials in our city is wrong.  The Lincoln Memorial is the subject of several monumental myths, so this week we’ll look at myths regarding our 16th President: is Robert E. Lee sculpted into the back of Lincoln’s head at the Lincoln Memorial?  Are Lincoln’s hands supposed to be showing his initials in American Sign Language? And why is  a portrait of George Washington hanging at the Lincoln Presidential Box at Fords’ Theatre?
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Monumental, The Features

Monumental: John Ericsson Navigation Memorial

Ericsson Memorial West Side

John Ericsson, a Swedish inventor, has a beautiful monument just south of the Lincoln Memorial on the median near the intersection of Ohio Drive SW and Independence Avenue SW. The beautiful pink granite statue was placed on its current location in 1927, at a cost of $60,000. $35,000 of that was federal funds, as voted in by the 1916 Congress, and the other $25,000 was raised through Swedish-American funds.

So, why was Ericsson so important? He invented the screw propellor for ships, allowing vessels to propel themselves through the water efficiently using a steam-driven engine. His dual-propeller design is the father of the propulsion system for just about every naval ship in the water today.

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