Top Ten Things Not to Do at the Completion of the Washington Monument in 1884

This week marks the 136th anniversary of the completion of the Washington Monument.

Lt Col. Casey places the aluminum apex on the Washington monument.

The Washington Monument was started on July 4th, 1832, and because of money shortfalls and the Civil War wasn’t completed until December 6th, 1884. So it isn’t any wonder that we should go and see the last piece of the construction put in place. We need to take our list of the Top Ten Things Not to Do to not cause any kind of time continuum interruption. Grab the list and jump in the Oldsmobile, and we’ll be off.

James’s Oldsmobile from Eternal Road – The final stop

TopTen Things Not to Do at the Completion of the Washington Monument in 1884

10 If you go, do not offer to place the eight-inch aluminum point on the top. (If you do, at best, you’ll be laughed at. To St Louis. At worse, you will ask Lt. Col. Casey of the Army Corps of Engineers. (It was Lt. Col. Casey who supervised the construction of the final piece of the monument, Morrison. He is the one to place the point. If looks could kill.)

9 If you go, Do not get in Tiny the WWF champ’s way as he lowers the capstone in place. If you do, at best, someone will pull you out of the way. At worst, Tiny will lower it in place anyway. (You see, Morse the capstone weighs 3,300 pounds. I think Tiny wouldn’t mind seeing what a flat you would look like sailing off the monument.)

8 If you go, do not torture other visitors with the question, Do you know why the monument is 555 feet high? If you do, at best, you will be ignored. At worst, you’ll ask someone who knows but is chilled to the bone in the cold air. (That person will tell you that the height was determined by setting it at ten times the base’s width. That person is now asking for your gloves, Morvan. I think they have earned them._

7 If you go, do not ask if you can take the elevator to the top. If you do, at best, those you ask will think you are drunk. At worst, they’ll think you are having an episode of some kind. (The elevator was not complete until 1888, Moshe. Even the iron stairs were not done until 1886, so these folks are wondering. Oh, look. They have guys in white jackets and are pointing your way.)

6 If you go, do not take a bet on how many marble and granite stones were used in the construction. If you do, at best, you’ll bet a penny. At worst, you’ll put your Maryland horse farm up as collateral. (Even though you thought you knew history, Mosi. Your guess was wrong. It took 36,000 blocks of granite and marble to build the monument. Those big guys look like they want the deed to your virtual horse farm, which, of course, you don’t have. Maybe it’s time to jump back into the Oldsmobile.)

5 If you go, do not ask to see the cornerstone. If you do, at best, you’ll get some surprised looks. At worst, you’ll be handed a shovel. (The cornerstone was buried 21 feet below the surface in 1848, Muni. I think these guys are beginning to believe you are some kind of anarchist. I would be careful if I were you. Those tar and feather parties are not much fun.)

4 If you go, do not give an opinion that the laying of the cornerstone in 1848 was a solitary affair. If you do, at best, whoever hears this chatter will not have attended. At worst, you say so in front of someone who was there. (The cornerstone was laidΒ with upwards of 20,000 people in attendance, including President James K. Polk, Mrs. James Madison, Mrs. Alexander Hamilton, George Washington Parke Custis, and future presidents Buchanan, Lincoln, and Johnson, Murchadh. This person is laughing at you now.)

3 If you go, do not point out the apparent ring of different colored stones at the 126th foot level. If you do, at best, you’ll get a “so what.” At worst, you say something overheard by Lt. Col. Casey. (The different color stones resulted from the quarry near Baltimore not being available after the construction was begun again. Different stones were used, and the color was slightly off. The Lt. Col. is so pleased to have you point this out, Mychajlo. I see him with a box of dueling pistols. Could it be he wants satisfaction?)

2 If you go, do not argue with those who say the completed monument is the tallest building in the world. If you do, at best, people will walk away. At worst, you might get into fisticuffs with one. ( You see, Myrick, once the monument was complete, it became the tallest building in the world. It was second only to the Cologne Cathedral. It kept this status until the Eiffel Tower was completed in 1889. Looks like that guy is putting on some gloves. Hope you know how to box.)

1 If you go, do not question the value of the aluminum apex. If you do, at best, those who hear you will think you are crazy. At worst, Lt. Col. Thomas Lincoln Casey will hear you. ( The aluminum apex was thought to be as valuable as silver. It was cast in Philadelphia and thought to be the largest piece of aluminum in the world. After casting and before installation, it was put on display at Tiffany’s in New York. Looks like the Col wants a word with you, Matthew.)

***

Today is the 79th anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and time to remember all who lost their lives on that Sunday morning.

 

 

50 comments

  1. Great advice. You should give a laminated list to all of your travelers.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Maybe I’ll get a lamination machine. We could punch a hole in each and put a lanyard…. Wait. The folks in the new time zone will wonder what they are. More thinking needed. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Small cards in the pocket?

        Liked by 2 people

      2. There you go. I’m glad we solved this one. 😁

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Growing up with Washington D.C. in my backyard, it was always a treat to visit the Washington monument. I might have been one of those who asked about the elevator. πŸ™‚ Great post, John. Thanks for mentioning Pearl Harbor. My uncle was there, but thankfully survived. He lost many friends that morning.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes, it was a day of Infamy and those that were there are fading away. Thanks, Jill.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, my uncle passed away several years ago.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. As did mine. He was a twenty-one year old fighter pilot over Europe. An amazing generation.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Gwen M. Plano · ·

    I learned a lot and laughed just as much. Some great lines, John. I’m still thinking about the box of dueling pistols.😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Might make a good present. Of course, who are you going to give it to is the question. Thanks for the comment and sharing the laughs, Gwen. 😁

      Liked by 2 people

  4. The last thing I remember, I was showing Tiny my Lego Eiffel Tower model. Do you have an ice pack? I’m glad the Oldsmobile has autopilot.

    The monument is quite an accomplishment. Good list.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Dan. Tiny is not one to get the idea of a Lego set. There is way too much subtlety there. Here put this on your head. It’s an ice cold Corona, Better yet, just drink it and call me in the morning. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Does Tiny know why the cornerstone was put underground, or should I leave the big galoot alone for once?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He is not much with mathematics, GP. Trying to explain when something has to go up in the air it needs something strong to support it might be tough. Tiny might get confused about what “up in the air means.” He may think you are asking for his famous sailing into the audience move. I think I would leave him alone. πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. He’s getting a might sensitive lately, isn’t he? 😬

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think he has a seasonal depression issue, but you are right. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi John, I’ve been to the monument many times and went up it once, but I learned more from you today! Thanks for the lesson πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Barbara. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Learning about the construction of the Washington Monument was very interesting, particularly the part about the aluminum apex.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I could have gone on all day about that. It was engraved in cursive with the names of those responsible for building and design after it was put in place. Most of the engraving has faded. Thaks, Liz.

      Like

  8. I’ve only seen it from afar so I’d be tempted to travel back in time. I promise to keep quiet!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. You are always welcome, Darlin’.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re the best, Boss!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. πŸ˜‰πŸ˜˜

        Liked by 1 person

  9. I learned a lot from this – had no idea it took so long to build.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. When the money ran out sadly everything came to a halt. Finally, President Grant got the ball rolling again.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the reminder about Pearl Harbor Day. Sad that, as time goes on, we’re losing more and more WWII veterans … and having fewer and fewer folks remember the occasion. Bless them for their service! Interesting facts in your post today — thanks for helping educate me!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Debbie. Let’s hope the day is never forgotten.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. John, you always bring such fascinating historical tidbits in these posts, along with the entertainment, of course! Another good one! And thanks for remembering Pearl Harbor Day.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Jan. Pearl Harbor changed the course of American history.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. D.L. Finn, Author · ·

    Another great list. I hope to see this someday.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Denise. It is worth the trip.

      Like

  13. Pearl Harbor always makes me take pause, so I’m happy you mentioned it. One of my favorite things to do is visit D.C, rising early to run around the Tidal Basin, and in order to get there, you have the privilege of passing the Washington Monument that I’ve heard called a phallic symbol in relation to George who I can’t imagine would mind.

    All we ever hear is about those wooden teeth of his so, it’s nice he’s thought of as a swordsman, so to speak, like

    Liked by 2 people

    1. He would be pleased I’m sure. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Great list, John. It’s been decades since I was last in D.C. and learning the facts about the Washington Monument. This was a good refresher.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Jennie. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Great information, John. I didn’t know anything about the construction of the Washington monument.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m not sure Americans know about it either. Glad you liked it. Thanks for letting me know. 😁

      Like

  16. Super, John. I enjoy all the history. Thanks for the Pearl Harbor comment, too. A museum in Massachusetts just got the only surviving fighter plane from Pearl Harbor!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would love to see that since my dad was in a dive bombing carrier based group in WWII.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If I get there, I will take pictures. I hope your dad told you stories and had some memorabilia. I loved GP’s post on the bombers.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have his cruise yearbook. Most everything else is gone. I was ten when he died so protecting his memorabilia was left to others.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. His cruise yearbook??? Do you know how many people would dream of having that? Apologies, of course you do. I’m just so happy you have that, John.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. My most treasured possession.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Of course it is! This fills me up.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. I really enjoy your top ten lists, John. I love history and you provide lots of facts and serve them up with plenty of laughs. The immortal Tiny is always there to keep us in line. I think the best advice, when time travelling, is simply to keep our mouths shut. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I would have to agree, Mark. Thank you. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

%d bloggers like this: