Extraordinary Stories

Acting (1) Adoption (1) Adventure (743) Advertisement (3) Aging (2) Agriculture (36) Airplanes (3) Alphabet (4) Americana (62) Amish (16) Animals (26) Antiques (5) Architecture (19) Art (140) Art? (5) Arts and Crafts (66) Athletics (3) Automobiles (23) Awards (1) Banking (2) Barn raising (1) Baseball (62) Basketball (1) Beaches (83) Bed & Breakfast (1) Bee Keeping (4) Beer & Breweries (1) Birds (2) Birthdays (29) Bookbinding (3) Books (7) Boxing (1) Brother Steve (7) Buisiness (1) Business (2) Canals (1) Cancer (5) Candy (19) Caribbean Islands (1) Caribbean Villas (15) Chesapeake Bay (57) Children (13) Chocolate (1) Christmas (30) Church Adventures (104) Cigars (1) Circus (1) Civil Rights (2) Civil War (3) Classic Cars (5) Coin club (1) Collections (65) Comedy (2) Comic Books (1) Commercials (1) Comnservation (2) Conservation (32) Craftsmanship (8) Creamsicle the Cat (11) Crime (8) Crisis (263) Cruise Travel (5) Danger (10) Daughter Brynn (50) Daughter-In-Law Barb (7) Death (3) Death and Dying (29) Downsizing (2) Dunking (2) Education (28) Energy (11) Entertainment (152) Entrepreneurial (59) Eternal Life (2) Facebook (4) Factories (1) Fads (6) Family (240) Farming (22) Father (40) Father Time (64) Favorites (44) Firefighting (1) Flora and Fauna (24) Fond Memories (444) Food and Cooking (141) Food and Drink (72) Football (4) Forgetfullness (2) Former Students (4) Framing (10) Friends (307) Fun (1) Fundraiser (6) Giving (3) Golf (3) Grandkids (120) Grandparents (2) Grandview Heights (27) Great service (1) Growing Old (2) Growing Up (172) Handwriting (3) Hat Making (2) Hawaii (45) Health and Well Being (11) Health Hazards (73) Heartbreak (3) Heroes (9) High School (124) History (486) Hockey (1) Holidays (106) Home construction (7) Horses (1) Humorous (67) Ice Cream (3) Inventions (27) Islands (2) Italy (12) Jewelry (3) Job Related (60) Just Bloggin' (52) Just Wondering (10) Juvenile Diabetes (5) Labor (3) Lancaster County (372) Law Breakers (2) LDubs In-Laws (3) Life's Lessons (150) Lists (68) Lititz (13) Love (3) Magic (1) Marching (1) Market (3) Medical (129) Middle School (1) Mother (49) Movies (2) Music (85) My Brother (15) My Wife (254) Neighbors (5) New Year's Day (2) Nuisance (3) Obsolescence (4) Old Age (1) Pain and Suffering (4) Panama Canal Cruise (13) Parish Resource Center (14) Patriotism (1) Penmanship (1) Pets and Animals (94) Photography (193) Playing Trains (2) Politics (27) Postal Service (1) Presidents (5) Pride (3) Printing (64) Protesting (2) Public Service (59) Questionnaire (1) Race relations (1) Reading (1) Rock & Roll (1) Rodents (2) Sand (1) Scouting (2) Shakespeare (1) Shopping (19) Simple Pleasures (115) Slavery (2) Small Towns (3) Snow (1) Son Derek (26) Son Tad (29) Son-In-Law Dave (22) Soup (1) Sports (123) St. Martin/Sint Maarten (247) Stained Glass (1) Story-Telling (20) Stragers (1) Strangers (1) Stress (1) Stuff (2) Surfing (1) Tattoos (1) Teaching (42) Technology (75) The Arts (3) The Beach House (62) The Shore (78) This and That (15) Timekeeping (3) Tools and Machines (23) Toys and Games (30) Track & Field (1) Trains (10) Transportation (10) Travel (2) Trending (2) TV Favorites (16) Underground Railroad (3) USA (1) Vacation and Travel (521) Vehicles (79) War (6) Watches and Watchmaking (3) Weather (47) Weddings (1) Wisdom (3) Yearbooks (4)

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The "Betcha Didn't Know This" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Trying to decide how to present my story today without causing a big stir. May not be a way ... so here goes.  A few years ago I climbed to the top of the Manheim Township High School building to take a photo of a steel sculpture by teacher Stanley Lipman.  
Stanley Lipman's sculpture titled the "Hour Glass".  I took
this photograph from high above on the roof of the school.
This beautiful sculpture, titled "Hour Glass", was made and donated to the school district by Stan.  While on the roof of the school I took a photo of the sculpture that, depending on how you viewed it, was a replica of the Star of David.  No big deal to me, but to some it was.  Well, today I learned another fact much like the hidden meaning in the "Hour Glass".  Has to do with the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.  First I'll give you a few facts that you perhaps didn't know.  (1) Not everyone was happy about building a monument dedicated to George Washington, our first President.  His approval rating at the time was far from 100% and many favored Thomas Jefferson.  (2) It took almost 40 years to complete the monument that was begun on July 4, 1848.  
An 1860 Daguerreotype by Matthew Brady taken of
the Washington Monument during construction.
It was completed on February 21, 1885 and opened to the public three years later.  (3) The Monument originally had a flat top, but was changed to the pyramid-shaped addition in 1879. (4) In 1855 Col. Thomas Lincoln Casey Sr., Chief of Engineers on the United States Army Corps of Engineers, assumed responsibility for completing the Monument, taking over for architect Robert Mills after he died.  He requested that his workers be supplied with hot coffee when wanted.  The U.S. Treasury complied.  (5) On the first day of construction, a zinc box was placed in the foundation of the Monument.  In it were copies of the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, a map of the city of Washington, D.C., publications of census data, a book of poems, a collection of American coins, a list of Supreme Court justices, a Bible, daguerreotypes of George Washington and his mother Mary, Alfred Vail's written description of the magnetic telegraph, a copy of Appleton's Railroad and Steamboat Companion, an issue of the arts and leisure magazine Godey's Lady's Book as well as a few other items.  (6) When the Monument opened, 20,000 people were there including then-President James K. Polk, former first lady Dolley Madison, the wife of Alexander Hamilton and three future presidents: James Buchanan, Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson.  (7) The Washington Monument was the tallest structure, 555 feet high, on Earth.  Only lasted about a year when the Eiffel Tower opened.  (8) The apex was displayed for two days at Tiffany's before it was added to the top of the structure.  
Our Glorious Washington Monument. 
It was a publicity stunt so shoppers could claim to have walked "over the top of the Washington Monument.  (9) And the final fact I share with you is that on one side of the four-sided aluminum apex are displayed the words Laus Deo.  Now, no one can see any of the words on the apex from  555 feet down and perhaps no one cares what is written on the four side of the apex.  But, Laus Deo, may be of significance to some.  These two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words, compromised of just four syllables and only seven letters ... mean very simply ... "Praise be to God!"  From the top of the Washington Monument a visitor can take in a panoramic view of the city as well as view a perfect cross imposed upon the landscape with the White House to the North, the Jefferson Memorial to the south, the Capitol to the East and the Lincoln Memorial to the West.  A cross!  Simply, Laus Deo - Praise be to God!  Your lesson in history for the day.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.    

No comments:

Post a Comment