A monument to Abraham Lincoln had been urged since 1867, but it wasn't until 1911 that Congress passed a law creating the Lincoln Memorial Commission, which selected the imposing design by Henry Bacon resembling the Parthenon in Greece. The cornerstone was laid in 1915 and the magnificent white marble building -- standing 80 feet tall, 189 feet long and 118 feet wide -- was dedicated seven years later. An excerpt from The Post of May 31, 1922:
Americans by the thousands in company with representatives of other great world powers knelt in reverential homage at the majestic shrine reared to the memory of Abraham Lincoln, the martyr President, the dedication of which yesterday afternoon gave a fitting climax to the annual Memorial day set apart for the sacred remembrance of the hero dead. Led by the President of the United States, the great mass of humanity, come as on a pilgrimage to honor the immortal Lincoln, thronged the sylvan setting of the great marble pile to pay the "last full measure of devotion" to the father of a reunited and indivisible union of these United States.
The pronouncement of the nation's gratitude to Lincoln by President Harding, borne out to the crowds far beyond the ordinary reaches of human hearing and typifying in that the progress of America in the half century following the martyrdom of the ennobled Lincoln, stressed as its dominant theme his faith in the successful issuance of the country from the maelstrom of trial that threatened to destroy it.
"His work was so colossal, in the face of such discouragement, that none will dispute that he was incomparably the greatest of our Presidents," was the unqualified tribute paid by the President to the man who three score years ago stood at the helm of the body politic, guiding it to safety, though danger lurked in its path.
A former President, William Howard Taft, delivered the memorial as a gift to the nation, and added his mead of praise to the martyred leader of the union cause. A representative of the race for which the great emancipator did so much likewise lifted his voice in gratitude for the freedom of so many in America from serfdom.
Arlington national cemetery and the other burying grounds where rest the martial hosts who gave of their life's blood for their country were again the goals of reverent throngs who have come for more than half a century to stand at the gravesides and experience their inspiration to greater love of country.
Unlike the 54 Memorial days that have gone down into the ages, the honor of the heroic dead yesterday was centered about the towering figures of those dark days when civil war rent the union which Abraham Lincoln loved and served so well.
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