Earthquake damages Washington monument
2011 08 24
The Washington Monument is not tilting. However, a closer look at the world’s tallest obelisk brought National Park Service officials to discover cracks near the top of the 555-foot monument.
After taking a closer look at the Washington monument Tuesday, National Park Service officials found some cracks at the very top of the world’s tallest obelisk.
Structural engineers plan to continue examining the monument Wednesday to decide how to best fix the 127-year old structure, which remains closed indefinitely after a 5.8 Earthquake struck Tuesday near Mineral, Virginia.
The monument is the highest profile structure to suffer damage, perhaps because it is also the tallest: 555 feet. The landmark in downtown Washington near the White House is also the world’s tallest stone structure.
Other nearby memorials, including the Jefferson Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial, are open again after a brief shutdown Tuesday for damage assessment.
Public schools in Washington and some buildings housing federal workers were closed as officials checked for damage. The Office of Personnel Management (OPM), is updating the list of specific buildings closed.
The National Park Service plans a dedication ceremony this weekend for the new memorial to slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr, which officially opened this week. The MLK memorial was not damaged.
The National Cathedral was also damaged during Tuesday’s quake. Three of the cathedral’s four corner spires on the central tower cracked and fell on the roof.
"Since 1912, the Cathedral has been a national place of worship as well as host to state funerals, presidential memorial services, and served as a spiritual home for our country in times of crisis," the cathedral said in a statement.
Remember "The Event"?
The producers in charge of “The Event,” fully aware of their situation, have formed a plan to restart the show with the loudest, most audacious plot developments they can devise. They have even committed to giving away some of their biggest plot twists (for example, the aliens blow up the Washington Monument) in the promotions for the next batch of episodes.
December 6th, 1884. During ceremonies today, an aluminum cap was set in place atop the Washington Monument. At this time pure aluminum metal was rare and was as valuable as gold. Aluminum actually is the most abundant metal in the earth’s crust, but it does not occur naturally in its pure form. In 1886 an inexpensive method was found for separating aluminum from earth minerals using electricity. The Washington Monument is 555 feet tall with its once-rare cap in place. Engraved at the top, facing east, is the simple message in Latin, Laus Deo, "Praise God."
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