The National Mall is a landscaped park near the downtown area of Washington, D.C., the capital city of the United States. It contains and borders a number of museums of the Smithsonian Institution, art galleries, cultural institutions, and various memorials, sculptures, and statues. The neighborhood surrounding the Mall is known as the National Mall and Memorial Parks neighborhood, and it borders several distinct neighborhoods such as Foggy Bottom, the Southwest Waterfront, and Capitol Hill.
History of the National Mall in Washington DC
The history of the National Mall dates back to the early days of the United States, as it was originally conceived as part of Pierre L’Enfant's grand plan for the city of Washington. President Andrew Jackson held an Inaugural Parade on the Mall in 1829 and a Statue of George Washington was unveiled in the center of the park in 1840. During the Civil War, the National Mall became a site of intense conflict during the Battle of Fort Stevens in July 1864, and in April 1968, it served as the venue for thousands of mourners who gathered to honor Martin Luther King Jr., following his assassination. Today, the National Mall is home to several iconic and historical monuments, including the Lincoln Memorial, a grand structure honoring the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is another iconic landmark that depicts the names of U.S. soldiers lost during the Vietnam War. The National World War II Memorial honors the more than 400,000 Americans who lost their lives during World War II, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial located near the Reflecting Pool, honors soldiers of the Korean War. Additionally, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial can be found on the Mall. Each monument provides a unique glimpse into the rich history of America, and all of them draw thousands of visitors every year.
Great Venue For
Presidential inaugurations have been held on the National Mall countless times throughout history, drawing thousands of spectators to witness the transfer of power as the country moves into a new presidential term. The Mall has also served as the venue of political rallies and demonstrations throughout history, including the historic March on Washington in 1963, which saw more than 250,000 Americans gather in the park to demand civil rights for all.
Other Activities in the National Mall
Visitors to the National Mall can explore its monuments and memorials through self-guided tours or guided tours led by park rangers. The Mall is also home to several world-renowned museums operated by the Smithsonian Institution, including the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History, and the National Air and Space Museum. These constitute some of the most popular things to do in Washington DC To enhance the experience of walking through the Mall, visitors can download the "National Mall" app to get an immersive museum experience, and explore the exhibits available in the vast museum complex.
Other things to do in the National Mall include biking along the scenic paths that wind throughout the park, or taking a horse-drawn carriage ride that provides a unique way to experience the Mall's historical monuments and structures. Throughout the year, the park hosts numerous events that celebrate cultural diversity, including the Cherry Blossom Festival each Spring and the Smithsonian Folklife Festival each summer.
In conclusion, the National Mall is a significant landmark that marked many key events in American history. It is not only a historical site, but it is also a popular tourist destination attracting millions of visitors yearly. It serves as a testament to the resilience of America and recognizes the remarkable contributions of its leaders and its citizens. Whether exploring the numerous monuments and museums, or taking part in one of the many events or festivals held throughout the year, there is always something exciting to explore at the National Mall.
Another place of interest: Tidal Basin