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John Russell Pope’s Lincoln Memorial designs

Today’s post comes from Christina James, intern in the National Archives History Office. 

John Russell Pope's Competition Proposal for a Monument to Abraham Lincoln on Meridian Hill, Detail from North, 1912. (National Archives Identifier 6087981)

John Russell Pope’s Competition Proposal for a Monument to Abraham Lincoln on Meridian Hill, Detail from North, 1912. (National Archives Identifier
6087981)

Walking through our nation’s capital, you will inevitably come across at least one structure adorned with triangular pediments, massive columns, or a majestic dome. Many of Washington, DC’s most iconic buildings and monuments feature these elements and exemplify neoclassical architecture.

John Russell Pope, one of the most famous American neoclassical architects, believed that a democracy’s public buildings should be designed in the style of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Today, Pope’s designs are scattered throughout the city and include the Jefferson Memorial, the National Gallery of Art, and the National Archives.

However, one of the most recognizable neoclassical structures in the capital, the Lincoln Memorial, is not one of Pope’s designs. If Pope had been chosen to design the memorial, the National Mall would look very different.

The construction of a memorial to President Abraham Lincoln in Washington, DC, was first approved by Congress in 1911. The bill authorizing the construction created the Lincoln Memorial Commission to approve a site and a design for a memorial honoring the 16th President. The Committee was given a budget of $2 million dollars, the largest amount to ever be provided for a national memorial at the time.

Coming off of his enormously popular and celebrated design for the Temple of the Scottish Rite in Washington, DC, John Russell Pope was eager to be given the honor of designing the Lincoln Memorial. Despite Pope’s interest, the Commission of Fine Arts advised the Lincoln Memorial Commission to select architect Henry Bacon as the designer. Knowing  Pope’s interest in the project, and reluctant to accept the ideas of the Commission of Fine Arts, Representative Joseph G. Cannon of the Lincoln Memorial Commission laid out his own plan.

Cannon proposed that Bacon and Pope each be allowed to design a memorial. Perhaps in an attempt to give Pope a greater chance of being selected, Cannon arranged for Pope to present designs for two proposed sites, Meridian Hill and Old Soldiers’ Home. Bacon prepared a design for the third site, Potomac Park.

When the Lincoln Memorial Commission officially chose the Potomac Park site for the Lincoln Memorial, Bacon and Pope were each asked to submit one last design. The two men then presented their designs to the Lincoln Memorial Commission and President William Howard Taft.

Pope’s final proposed design was an enormous monument, circular in shape.

John Russell Pope’s Competition Proposal for a Monument to Abraham Lincoln, 1912. (National Archives Identifier 2581315)

John Russell Pope’s Competition Proposal for a Monument to Abraham Lincoln, 1912. (National Archives Identifier 2581315)

In addition to this design, he presented several alternative drawings, including pyramid and ziggurat style structures.

John Russell Pope’s Competition Proposal for a Ziggurat Style Monument to Abraham Lincoln, 1912. (National Archives Identifier 6065986)

John Russell Pope’s Competition Proposal for a Ziggurat Style Monument to Abraham Lincoln, 1912. (National Archives Identifier 6065986)

In the end, the Commission of Fine Arts awarded Henry Bacon the job, choosing to stick with their initial recommendation. Though the structures Pope designed for the Lincoln Memorial were never constructed, they were widely appreciated at the time. His designs were released and displayed by prestigious architects clubs in 1914 and received a great deal of interest and admiration from the public.

John Russell Pope’s Competition Proposal for a Pyramid with Porticoes Style Monument to Abraham Lincoln, 1912. (National Archives Identifier 6087967)

John Russell Pope’s Competition Proposal for a Pyramid with Porticoes Style Monument to Abraham Lincoln, 1912. (National Archives Identifier 6087967)

Today, these drawings are kept among the records of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital at the National Archives.

John Russell Pope went on to have great success and see his later designs become celebrated landmarks in Washington, DC, and other cities around the country.

Construction on Bacon’s design began in 1914 and the Lincoln Memorial was completed in 1922.


Roberto Clemente, A Legacy Beyond Baseball

Today’s post comes from Idaliz Marie Ortiz Morales, Intern in the Office of Strategic Planning and Communications at the National Archives. To find out more about our Bilingual Social Media Project.

Today the National Archives remembers baseball superstar Roberto Clemente. It has been many years since his death, but to this day Clemente is remembered as one of the greatest players and humanitarians of all time. Clemente has come to represent much more than just baseball where he played right fielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1955 to1972. His devoted following extends around the world. More than 40 schools and 200 parks are named in his honor in places ranging from Puerto Rico to Germany. The way in which this great baseball player died is a part of his legacy.

Clemente was flying from San Juan, Puerto Rico, his native homeland, to Managua, Nicaragua, carrying aid to the Nicaraguans who had been devastated by an earthquake on December 22, 1972. That trip exemplified how Clemente had been raised and lived, always helping others. In the final years of his life, his mantra was: “If you have a chance to make life better for others and fail to do so, you are wasting your time on this earth.”

Service Record for Roberto Clemente Walker  National Archives Identifier: 7329767

Service Record for Roberto Clemente Walker
National Archives Identifier: 7329767

Most people do not know that not only was Clemente a baseball player, he was also a Marine. Instead of playing winter ball in Puerto Rico during the 1958-59 off season like the rest of the league, Clemente enlisted in the United States Marine Corps Reserve, spending six years of military commitment as an infantryman. The rigorous conditioning and military training kept him in shape throughout the winter. Clemente remained in the Marine Corps until 1964, but this did not slow down his game. When the Pittsburgh Pirates started spring training for the World Series in 1964, however, the schedule conflicted with Clemente’s military commitment. The Pirates, supported by former state Senator John M. Walker, asked U.S. Senator Hugh Scott to consider Clemente for an early discharge so he would be able to participate in the World Series.

During his career as a National League player, he won the award for Most Valuable Player once, and was an All-Star 12 times, batting champion four times, and a 12-time Golden Glove winner. In 1972, Clemente got his 3,000 major league hit.

Letter from Former State Senator John M. Walker to United States Senator Hugh Scott National Archives Identifier: 7329775

Letter from Former State Senator John M. Walker to United States Senator Hugh Scott
National Archives Identifier: 7329775

Clemente had shared with a former military training officer his three goals in life. The first goal was to be on a World Series Championship team. His second was to win a batting championship. And his third goal was to build a recreation center in San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico. Apart from having achieved these three goals, months after his death Clemente was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He was the first Latino so honored and joined Lou Gehrig as the only members not required to wait five years, after their playing days, to be considered for the Hall of Fame.

Honorable Discharge 09/11/1964  National Archives Identifier: 7329770

Honorable Discharge 09/11/1964
National Archives Identifier: 7329770

Clemente may not have been the best player to have played in the history of the game, but there is no doubt that there was no one like him on the field or off and that he is one of the greatest baseball players in history. No matter how long has passed since his death, time has not erased the legacy of this figure from the minds and hearts of not only Hispanics, but baseball lovers all around.

To honor his memory, The Roberto Clemente Award is given every year to the baseball player who displays humanitarian effort and truly understands the value of helping others just as much as Clemente did.

En español:

Hoy, los Archivos Nacionales, recuerdan a la superestrella del béisbol Roberto Clemente. Han pasado muchos años desde su muerte, pero aún hoy en día Clemente es recordado como uno de los mejores jugadores y humanistas de todos los tiempos. Clemente ha llegado a representar mucho más que el béisbol donde jugó “jardinero derecho” de los Piratas de Pittsburgh desde 1955 hasta 1972. Sus devotos seguidores se extienden por todo el mundo. Cuenta con más de 40 escuelas y 200 parques que en su honor llevan su nombre alrededor del mundo desde Puerto Rico a Alemania. La forma en la que murió este gran jugador del béisbol es parte de su legado.

Clemente viajaba desde San Juan, Puerto Rico, su tierra natal, a Managua, Nicaragua, y llevaba ayuda a los nicaragüenses que habían sido devastadas por un terremoto el 22 de diciembre de 1972. Ese viaje ejemplifico la forma en que Clemente había sido criado y había vivido, siempre ayudando a los demás. En los últimos años de su vida, su lema era: “Si usted tiene la oportunidad de mejorar la vida de los demás y no lo hace, usted está perdiendo su tiempo en esta tierra.”

Registro de servicio para Roberto Clemente Walker Identificador Nacional de Archivos: 7329767

Registro de servicio para Roberto Clemente Walker
Identificador Nacional de Archivos: 7329767

Mucha gente no sabe que Clemente no era sólo un jugador de béisbol sino que también formaba parte de la Infantería de la Reserva de la Marina. En vez de jugar pelota invernal en Puerto Rico durante la temporada de 1958-59 como lo hizo el resto de la liga, Clemente se alistó en la Infantería de la Reserva de la Marina de los Estados Unidos, pasando seis años de compromiso militar como soldado de la infantería. El riguroso acondicionamiento y entrenamiento militar lo mantuvo en forma durante todo el invierno. Clemente permaneció en la Infantería de la Marina hasta 1964, pero esto no redujo la velocidad de su juego. Cuando los Piratas de Pittsburgh comenzaron los entrenamientos en la primavera para la Serie Mundial de 1964 el programa entro en conflicto por el compromiso militar de Clemente. Los Piratas, apoyados por el ex senador estatal John M. Walker le pidieron al Senador de los Estados Unidos Hugh Scott que considerara a Clemente para un alta temprana por lo que sería capaz de participar en la Serie Mundial.

Durante su carrera como jugador de la Liga Nacional, ganó el premio al Jugador Más Valioso una vez y fue un “All-Star” 12 veces, campeón de bateo en cuatro ocasiones y ganador del Guante de Oro 12 veces. En 1972, Clemente consiguió su hit 3000 de las Grandes Ligas.

Carta del ex senador estatal John M. Walker a Senador de los Estados Unidos Hugh Scott Identificador Nacional de Archivos: 7329775

Carta del ex senador estatal John M. Walker a Senador de los Estados Unidos Hugh Scott
Identificador Nacional de Archivos: 7329775

Clemente había compartido con un ex oficial de la formación militar sus tres grandes metas en la vida. La primera meta era estar en un equipo campeón de la Serie Mundial. Su segundo era ganar un campeonato de bateo. Y su tercera meta era construir un centro de recreación en San Juan, la capital de Puerto Rico. Además de haber logrado estas tres metas, meses después de su muerte, Clemente fue exaltado al Salón de la Fama en 1973. Él fue el primer latino en recibir este honor,se unió a Lou Gehrig como los únicos miembros a quienes no se les requirió esperar cinco años, después de que sus días como jugador hayan acabado, para ser considerado al Salón de la Fama.

Licenciamiento honorable 11/09/1964  Identificador Nacional de Archivos: 7329770

Licenciamiento honorable 11/09/1964
Identificador Nacional de Archivos: 7329770

Clemente quizás no sea el mejor jugador en haber jugado en la historia del béisbol, pero no hay duda de que no había nadie como él en el campo o fuera del  mismo y que él es uno de los mejores jugadores de béisbol en la historia. No importa cuánto tiempo ha pasado desde su muerte, el tiempo no ha podido borrar el legado y recuerdo que esta figura ha dejado en  los corazones y las mentes, no sólo de los hispanos, pero de todos los amantes del béisbol alrededor de todo el mundo.

Para honrar su memoria, el Premio Roberto Clemente es entregado cada año al jugador de béisbol que muestra un esfuerzo humanitario y  demuestra verdaderamente entender el valor de ayudar a los demás como lo hizo Clemente.

 

 

 

 


On exhibit: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution

Joint Resolution for the Maintenance of Peace and Security in Southeast Asia, also known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, August 10, 1964. (National Archives Identifier 2803448)

Joint Resolution for the Maintenance of International Peace and Security in Southeast Asia, also known as the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, August 10, 1964. (National Archives Identifier 2803448)

Today’s post comes from Darlene McClurkin, National Archives Exhibits staff member.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution. The original resolution is on display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building from July 15 to August 7, 2014.

Fifty years ago, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution marked a major turning point in the Cold War struggle for Southeast Asia. Passage of the resolution gave President Lyndon B. Johnson authority to expand the scope of U.S. involvement in Vietnam without a declaration of war.

By 1964, Vietnam had been torn by international and civil war for decades. U.S. military support for South Vietnam had grown to some 15,000 military advisers, while the North received military and financial aid from China and the Soviet Union.

"Midnight Address" on Gulf of Tonkin incidents in Vietnam, 08/04/1964. (Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum, National Archives)

President Johnson’s “Midnight Address” on Gulf of Tonkin incidents in Vietnam, 08/04/1964. (Lyndon Baines Johnson Library)

In a late-night televised address on August 4, 1964, President Johnson announced that he had ordered retaliatory air strikes on the North Vietnamese in response to reports of their attacks earlier on U.S. Navy ships in the Gulf of Tonkin.

He then asked Congress to pass a resolution stressing that “our Government is united in its determination to take all necessary measures in support of freedom and in defense of peace in southeast Asia.”

The resolution stated that “Congress approves and supports the determination of the President, as Commander in Chief, to take all necessary measures to repeal any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression” in Southeast Asia, thereby providing a legal foundation for President Johnson’s escalation of the war.

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution passed Congress quickly on August 7, with only two dissenting votes in the Senate. President Johnson signed the resolution on August 10, 1964.

President Johnson signs the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in the White House East Room as congressional leaders look on, August 10, 1964 (National Archives Identifier 192483)

President Johnson signs the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution in the White House East Room as congressional leaders look on, August 10, 1964 (National Archives Identifier 192483)

After political controversy and a growing public resistance to the war, Congress repealed the resolution in January 1971.


Across the Pond

Today’s post comes from James Zeender, Senior Registrar. 

Earlier this year, the National Archives signed an agreement with the British Library to allow the Delaware ratification of the Bill of Rights to be shown alongside four original Magna Carta parchments for the Great Charter’s 800th birthday. The exhibition opens March 13, 2015, and runs through September 1, 2015. This will be the first time this wonderful national treasure has traveled outside the United States.

Our own David M. Rubenstein Gallery in the National Archives Building features a 1297 copy of the Magna Carta in the Records of Rights exhibit, which opened last December.

Delaware’s ratification of the Bill of Rights, 01/28/1790. (General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives).

Delaware’s ratification of the Bill of Rights, 01/28/1790. (General Records of the U.S. Government, National Archives).

In September 1789, the First Congress passed 12 resolutions to amend the Constitution (collectively known as the Bill of Rights). Afterwards, a clerk in the House of Representatives prepared 14 copies on large sheets of parchment with iron gall ink. All were signed by Vice President John Adams, Speaker of the House Frederick Muhlenberg, Secretary of the Senate Samuel Otis, and Clerk of the House John Beckley.

President George Washington then sent copies to the 11 states which had ratified the Constitution as well as to North Carolina and Rhode Island, which had not yet done so. The President kept the 14th as the Federal Government’s record copy. This is the version that has been on display in the National Archives Rotunda in Washington, DC, since 1952 (except during the 2001–2003 renovation).

While most states notified the Federal Government of their ratifications of the amendments (or some of them) on a separate document, Delaware chose to apply its certificate of ratification and the state seal directly on the parchment they had received from the President, thereby making it a Federal record. The Delaware ratification was transferred to the National Archives in the 1930s from the State Department, along with other state ratifications.

In 2003, then-Archivist of the United States John Carlin signed a 25-year agreement with the Governor of Delaware that made possible the periodic display (subject to rigid lighting restrictions) of the Delaware ratification of the Bill of Rights at the Delaware State Archives in Dover. When the British Library approached us about its availability, Archivist of the United States David Ferriero made a call to Delaware State Archivist Steven Marz, who confirmed Delaware had no plans to exhibit the document in 2015, thus clearing the way for a loan to our British colleagues.

For more information about the British Library’s Magna Carta exhibition, see http://pressandpolicy.bl.uk/Press-Releases/-We-hold-these-truths-to-be-self-evident-original-copies-of-US-Declaration-of-Independence-and-Bi-6b6.aspx. To read more about the 14 original copies of the Bill of Rights: http://blogs.archives.gov/prologue/?p=13050.


Sleepover at the National Archives!

Feeling adventurous? Sign up for the Sleepover at the National Archives on August 2 and explore some of history’s most exciting frontiers!

The event is co-hosted by the National Archives and the Foundation for the National Archives.

It’s not too late to sign up for the Rotunda sleepover on August 2! “Explorers Night” will feature activities that take campers to the Arctic, Outer Space, and the American West.

It’s not too late to sign up for the Rotunda sleepover on August 2! “Explorers Night” will feature activities that take campers to the Arctic, Outer Space, and the American West.

Building off of our “History, Heroes, and Treasures” theme, this summer’s sleepover turns the spotlight on ”Explorers Night.” The sleepover will feature hands-on activities to help young explorers investigate—through scavenger hunts, dress-up, music, and more—some of the greatest adventures of all time. Campers will journey to the Arctic, visit Outer Space, and discover the American West as they explore the National Archives Museum’s treasured records in a unique after-hours experience.

Young explorers will have the opportunity to chat with famous pioneers like Matthew Henson, Meriwether Lewis, and Louise Arner Boyd about their incredible voyages into uncharted territory. They will also get the chance to learn about the life of an astronaut through artifacts straight from the National Air and Space Museum—like the “space toilet” and “living and working in space” discovery stations—and engage in fun activities with NASM staff members. The night will feature music from the Lewis and Clark era with special performances by David & Ginger Hildebrand from the Colonial Music Institute.

These events are open to children 8-12 years old, with at least one adult per group of four children. Guests will be treated to movies in the William G. McGowan Theater before turning in for the night, and will enjoy a pancake breakfast (flipped by our very own Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero!) in the morning.

Tickets are $125 per participant or $100 for Foundation members, NARA employees, and contractors.

We hope to see you at the sleepover on August 2—and don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure!