ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
October 9, 1888
The Washington Monument Officially Opens
to the General Public
On this day in 1888, the Washington Monument officially opened to the general public, almost four years after it
was completed. The dedication which took place February 22, 1885 was attended by 800 people including current U.S.
President Chester Arthur and Civil War hero General William Tecumseh Sherman.
Excavation for the foundation began in 1848 but construction was halted several times for everything from lack of
funds to the American Civil War. When completed, the Washington Monument was the tallest building in the world and
still remains the tallest stone structure in the world as well as the tallest building in Washington D.C.