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Who Is That Man, Anyway?
Subject: Thomas Jefferson
Sculptor: Rudolph Evans
Location: Potomac Park
( Basin Drive & Ohio Drive )
Jefferson (1743-1826) was the third President of the United States and the primary author of the Declaration of Independence. An extraordinarily creative and intelligent man, he was also a musician, diplomat, architect and inventor. He spoke five languages besides English. He invented wire coat hangers, a form of swivel chairs and sliding doors (among other things). An experimental planter, he is credited with introducing both broccoli and tomatoes to the United States and began the wine industry in Virginia. He founded the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, just a few miles from his home at Monticello.
The memorial was created at the insistence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and placed so that FDR could see the Jefferson Memorial from the White House. It was designed by John Russell Pope.
The statue is nineteen feet tall and made of bronze. Jefferson is shown addressing the Continental Congress, holding a copy of the Declaration of Independence in his left hand. He is wearing a fur cloak given to him by General Tadeus Kosciuszko. Although the memorial was dedicated on April 13, 1943 -- the 200th anniversary of the birth of Jefferson -- the current statue wasn't installed until after the end of World War II, because of a ban on civilian uses of bronze.
Photos and text copyright © 2001 Jean K. Rosales and Michael R. Jobe, All Rights Reserved
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