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The Tidal Basin

A display of flowers at the Tidal Basin
A display of flowers at the Tidal Basin
Photo taken by author

Part of the West Potomac Park, the Tidal Basin is a partly man made reservoir between the Potomac River and the Washington Channel. It was created in the late 19th century to provide leisureliness and flush the tides of the Washington Channel. The basin is focal point for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival; a showcase for floras; and a tributary for leaders and events.

Jefferson Memorial
Jefferson Memorial Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Jefferson Memorial

A presidential memorial dedicated to the third President of the United States, Founding Father, author of the Declaration of Independence, and statesman. The building was designed by John Russell Pope and built by John McShain. The building’s structure is neoclassical resembling the Roman Pantheon. Construction of the building started in 1939 and completed in 1943. The bronze statue of Jefferson was installed in 1947.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

A recent addition to the Tidal Basin, the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial honors his legacy in human rights. The building was designed by Lei Yixin and opened to the general public on October 16, 2011, the 16th anniversary of the Million Man March.

MLK Memorial
MLK Memorial Photo taken by author

MLK Memorial

"Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." The quote is from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech "I Have a Dream" in 1963. He spoke of the prospect of racial equality.

Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial
Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Photo taken by author

Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial

The first memorial to honor a First Lady. The First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt stands behind the United Nations emblem. Considered “First Lady of the World” by Harry S. Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt was a dedicated humanitarian advocating for the rights of women, World War II refugees, and minorities.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Photo taken by author

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

A Democrat, he was elected four times in office from March 1933 to April 1945. Under his presidency, he created the New Deal Coalition realigning politics. The New Deal reached out to labor unions, intellectuals and racial minorities; and established programs to provide jobs and promote the Social Security Act.

Washington Monument
Washington Monument Photo taken by author

Washington Monument

The obelisk building is a monument to honor the first president George Washington. Construction of the monument started in 1846 but was halted between 1854 and 1877. It was completed in 1884. The halting was a result of the Know Nothing Party, American Civil War and a lack of funding. Made of marble, granite and bluestone gnesis, it stands at 555 feet 5 1/8 inches (169.294 m) tall.

Korean War Veteran's Memorial
Korean War Veteran's Memorial Photo taken by author

Korean War Veteran's Memorial

The Korean War Veteran's Memorial commemorates those who fought and died in the Korean War. Former president George H.W. Bush conducted the groundbreaking on June 14, 1992. The memorial was dedicated on July 27, 1995, the 42nd anniversary of the armistice that ended the war, by former president Bill Clinton and former president of South Korea Kim Young-sam.

Korean War Memorial
Korean War Memorial Photo taken by author

Korean War Memorial

The stainless steel statues of the soldiers were designed by Frank Gaylord. The larger-than-life statues represent the squadrons from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and the Marines.

World War II Memorial
World War II Memorial Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

World War II Memorial

The World War II Memorial commends those who serve in World War II. World War II was a symbolic event in the 20th century because men and women sacrificed their lives to fight against political, economical, and social tyranny. The memorial was open to the public in April 2004 and dedicated a month later.

Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Lincoln Memorial

A presidential memorial dedicated to the 16th President of the United States. Architect Henry Bacon designed the memorial; Daniel Chester French sculpted Lincoln; and Jules Guerin painted the interior murals. It was completed in 1922. The Gettysburg Address and the Second Inaugural Address are inscribed in the memorial. The memorial has been a sight for many events including the March on Washington 1963.