The Jefferson Memorial – D.C.’s Best Monument

Surrounding the “Tidal Basin” in Washington D.C. are a collection of monuments, memorials and collections showcasing the history of the United States. While they are all equally impressive, grand and provide amazing photographic and tourism opportunities, one of my favourite photos from the Tidal Basin is this one of the Jefferson Memorial.

Thomas Jefferson was one of the American “Founding Fathers”, the primary author of the Declaration of Independence and the first Secretary of State of the United States of America. If you haven’t seen the musical “Hamilton” yet, it’s streaming on Disney+ and tells part of Jefferson’s story. He went on to become the third President of the United States.

Jefferson is most famous for the westward expansion of the United States, was the architect of Lewis and Clark’s expedition west to the Pacific and was responsible for the Louisiana Purchase from the French, doubling the size of the U.S.A. One of Jefferson’s greatest “frienemies” was John Adams (the 2nd U.S. President) and while they were friends in a fashion, they also feuded for most of their life.

One of my favourite factoids of U.S. history is that Jefferson died only a few hours before John Adams at the age of 83 on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

The memorial itself is set amongst Japanese Cherry Blossoms, made of marble and very neo-classical in it’s design and is well worth a visit and exploration inside. My favourite view of the memorial however, is this one – taken from across the Tidal Basin at sunset.