American Icons: The Lincoln Memorial
This is America's soapbox.
Kurt Andersen looks into how the Lincoln Memorial became an American Icon. Sarah Vowell discusses the battle over Lincoln's memory, which lasted for three generations. Dorothy Height, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement, recalls witnessing Marian Anderson’s historic concert there in 1939, and hearing Martin Luther King, Jr., declare “I have a dream” in 1963. And a former White House aide sets the record straight on Richard Nixon's infamous 4 am trip to the Lincoln Memorial, where he met with student protesters to denounce the Vietnam War.
Actor David Strathairn reads the Gettysburg Address, which is engraved on the Memorial, for Studio 360.
(Originally aired February 19, 2010)
The Lincoln Memorial under construction. (Library of Congress)
Sculptor Daniel Chester French at Chesterwood, his Massachusetts studio. (Library of Congress)
Lincoln Memorial Dedication Ceremony - May 30, 1922. (Courtesy of Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War)
Marian Anderson performs on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday in 1939 (Hulton Archive/Getty)
The Lincoln Memorial at night. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Theodor Horydczak Collection)
The Lincoln Memorial with cherry blossoms. (Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Theodor Horydczak Collection)
The Lincoln Memorial (Terry Chambers/Getty )