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A monumental sunset: the Washington Monument

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The Washington Monument Was Completed
December 6, 1884

What do you know about the structure in this photo? In a city of monuments, it is referred to as "The Monument." It is, of course, the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., completed on December 6, 1884. The focal point of the National Mall, it is the background for concerts and fireworks and dominates the capital's skyline.

How long did it take to complete the 555-foot Egyptian obelisk, topped with a 3,300-pound marble capstone and a 9-inch pyramid of cast aluminum? That question is harder than it may seem.

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