“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
So wrote Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States. These words form the beginning of the Declaration of Independence. (The original is on display in the Rotunda at the National Archives, which I ducked in to see on my last day in DC. Bit faded, and impossible to read in the dim light of the Rotunda ― the low light is necessary to preserve the document ― but it’s thrilling to see the original, none the less.)
The Jefferson Memorial is on the far side of the Tidal Basin from the National Mall. Jefferson was in office from 1801 to 1809, but his memorial (which took five years to build) wasn’t completed until 1943. The architect, John Russell Pope, also designed the National Archives. Both have lots of columns. What is it with columns in this town?