American Icons: The Lincoln Memorial

Studio 360
The Lincoln Memorial, 2008

The Lincoln Memorial, 2008

Lincoln at Night by Mark Fischer/CC BY 2.0

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 a.m. trip to the Lincoln Memorial, where he met with student protesters there to denounce the Vietnam War.

Plus, actor David Strathairn reads the Gettysburg Address, which is engraved on the Memorial, for Studio 360.

Produced by Eric Molinsky & Jonathan Mitchell.

(Originally aired June 9, 2006)

Workers position the cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial building, 1914.

Workers position the cornerstone of the Lincoln Memorial building, 1914.

Credit:

Harris & Ewing/Library of Congress

The Lincoln Memorial under construction, 1915.

The Lincoln Memorial under construction, 1915.

Credit:

Harris & Ewing/Library of Congress

The Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool, 1923.

The Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool, 1923.

Credit:

Library of Congress