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Interpreting the Evidence

Lincoln Memorial Interior, Washington D.C., c. 1922

  • Documents in this Activity:
  • Historical Eras:

    Civil War and Reconstruction (1850 - 1877)

  • Thinking Skill:

    Historical Analysis & Interpretation

  • Grade Level:

    Lower Elementary
    Upper Elementary
    Middle School
    High School
    College University

  • Topics:

    Civil War

  • Primary Source Types:


  • Regions:

    United States

  • Creator:

    NYS Archives Partnership Trust Education Team

  1. Load Lincoln Memorial Interior, Washington D.C., c. 1922 in Main Image Viewer

Suggested Teaching Instructions

Document Description
The interior of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., circa 1922.
Historical Context
Few dispute the unique sincerity and determination of President Lincoln. His humble persona is illustrated by the list he made in 1858 of his personal accomplishments. His eloquence and dedication to the United States and freedom are evident in the letter written to a mother who lost five sons in the Civil War. In it, he consoles the mother with thoughts of “the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.” The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. testifies to the nation’s appreciation of his actions.
Essential Question
How do individuals influence national and global events?
Check for Understanding
Describe the object in the photograph and evaluate the impact of Lincoln on the start and outcome of the Civil War.
Historical Challenges
The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in 1922. What was the date, and on which holiday did it fall? Which President spoke at the dedication? An African American man was the main speaker at the dedication. Who was he, and what were some of his accomplishments? Write your own speech about what Abraham Lincoln means to you and to the country. Give the speech to the class.
Interdisciplinary Connections
Science: The statue of Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial is made of marble. How is marble created? What colors can marble be, and what gives marble its color? Why is marble often used in sculpture?
Math: This statue of Lincoln is made of 28 pieces of marble, weighing a total of about 120 tons. What is the average weight in pounds of each piece?
Math: The central chamber of the Lincoln Memorial is 60 ft. by 70 ft. What is its area?
Math: The National Parks Service recorded that 4,046,346 people visited the Lincoln Memorial in the year 2004. How many people, on average, visited each day? (Do not count Christmas Day, when the park is closed.)
English Language Arts: Write a letter to the United States government requesting information on the Lincoln Memorial, or research it on the Web and make your own tourism pamphlet.
Art: The statue of Abraham Lincoln at the Lincoln Memorial was created by sculptor Daniel Chester French. What are some of his other sculptures? Which of his sculptures do you like best and why? What materials did he use for his sculptures?