Visit the monument dedicated to the Father of the US Constitution and our Third President, Thomas Jefferson. Located near the Tidal Basin and the Potomac River, the Jefferson Memorial is a must on any school group or educational tour.
This presidential memorial was completed in 1943 under the direction of FDR. The structure in its entirety is a neoclassical adaptation of Rome's Parthenon, a columned rotunda sitting on Tidal Basin, a man-made reservoir. The rotunda is surrounded by water and bordered by DC's iconic cherry blossom trees.
Inside the rotunda is the bronze sculpture itself, measuring at 19 feet. The sculpture is of Thomas Jefferson, Founding Father, 3rd President, and Author of the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson was also known as a statesman and visionary of a nation, holding additional titles such as scientist, lawyer, politician, and farmer. Your group will learn all about Jefferson and his plethora of accomplishments during your visit if you opt-in for a park ranger activity, such as a lecture, hike, or educational program.
The artist of the statue, Rudolph Evans, created the statue in a way that it sits gazing toward the White House, with the intention of representing Jefferson within the Age of Enlightenment. The walls inside the memorial hold various words from Jefferson's texts, hitting on such subjects as religious freedom, lawmaking, and changing times. On the Southwest wall, to the left of the statue, you will find the most powerful and iconic words:
"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." - Declaration of Independence