Today in History
December 06, 1884
Point of No Return
Thirty-six years after the start of construction on the July 4, 1848, the Washington Monument is completed when project leader P.H. McLaughlin caps it off with an aluminum apex on December 6, 1884. Construction had been put on hold during the Civil War, and there was some talk that the partially built memorial would be torn down. But the Army Corps of Engineers stepped in and finally finishes the upper two thirds of the obelisk (with a noticeably different color marble because they were unable to find marble to match the original). At 555 feet, 5 inches, the monument is, for a short time, the tallest manmade structure in the world. That is, until the 984-foot Eiffel Tower tops it five years later.
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