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Thirty-Six Years: The Building of the Washington Monument is a year-by-year look at the difficulties and delays in the construction of the Washington Monument, caused by the major social and political events surrounding the Civil War. It is impossible to consider the conception of the memorial, and the long, drawn-out period between the laying of the cornerstone in 1848 and the setting of the capstone in the last days of 1884 without considering the events of the time period, almost all of which were centered on the “peculiar institution” of slavery and the impact that it had on all aspects of American life. The amazing result of that long and difficult struggle, the most beautiful and iconic American symbol that exists, graces the skyline of the District of Columbia and welcomes visitors from all over the world.

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