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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Subject: Simon Bolivar
Sculptor: deWeldon Felix
Location: White House
( E Street & 18th )
Simon Bolivar (1783-1830) was born into the Spanish ruling class of Venezuela and spent some of his teen years being educated in Spain. However, a private tutor in his youth had already greatly influenced his philosophy of life by encouraging him to read the writings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and explore the concept of the natural rights philosophy. As a result, Bolivar resolved to dedicate his life to freeing Venezuela from the domination of Spain.
On his return to Venezuela, he and his revolutionary supporters forced the Spanish governor to abdicate and replaced him with a government of locally-chosen leaders. Between 1810 and 1824, his revolutionary forces fought the Spanish and liberated what are now Venezuela, Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. They briefly formed a united country named, at Bolivar's suggestion, Greater Colombia. Bolivar served as president until 1830 when Venezuela and Ecuador seceded from the union in opposition to his dictatorial methods in commanding the government.
The country of Bolivia was named in his honor. Although he was hated at the time of his death, he has since become recognized and honored as the liberator of much of South America.
The height of the tip of the sword touching 27 feet makes this eight-ton statue technically the tallest in town.
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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