Abstract: Incongruence in Jefferson’s Legacy – The Controversy over the Jefferson Memorial

The Thomas Jefferson Memorial was constructed along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. between 1938 and 1943. Immediately after the plans for the memorial were first released, there was an uproar from the American people about the design, functionality, and location of the memorial. Historians have argued that Jefferson’s reputation was revived in the 1930s and 1940s, but the inconsistency in the interpretation of Jefferson at the time of the construction of the memorial revealed that Jefferson’s legacy was different to political leaders and the public. The debate over the design and location of the Jefferson Memorial exposed that to the American public, Jefferson’s legacy was as a man of the people, but political elites remembered Jefferson as a hero, representative of American accomplishments and prowess. Through my research, I intend to answer the following questions: How did President Roosevelt, Congress, and the people of Washington discuss the construction of the Jefferson Memorial and what do their discussions reveal about their conception of Thomas Jefferson? What does the reaction to the Jefferson Memorial plans say about the American people’s memory of Jefferson between 1936 and 1945? To answer these questions, I intend to use American newspapers (such as The Washington Post, The Washington Star, St. Louis Dispatch, and The New York Times), The Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Congressional documents from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Commission (TJMC) to investigate the different perspectives on the memorial. The controversy surrounding the construction of the Jefferson Memorial has never been explored by historians, and my project will challenge the idea that Jefferson’s reputation has been consistently favorable since the 1930s.

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3/20 Introduction to History Summer Research Project

Dear all, I am thrilled to announce the commencement of my summer research project on early-twentieth-century Chinese constitutionalism. I wish you enjoyed the following introduction of my project and discussion of the topic’s historical significance.

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Summer in Review

The summer is finally over, and school is starting in less than a week. Time seems to have flown by all too quickly! Looking back over the last three months of on-and-off research, I’ve decided that I really enjoyed it and it has been a unique experience.

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Serendipity in New York: stumbling Upon Old Coins commemorating the Huguenots

Today’s blog post is going to be on what I stumbled upon in New York last week on my research trip. The Huguenot Society of America has in its possession eight coins that are tangentially interesting to this project. They are duplicates of a set of coins held by the British museum in London, and were donated by Judge A. T. Clearwater to the society in 1899 after his visit there.

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“A Huguenot;” Finding and Analyzing a Unique Piece of Memory

I’ve decided to write today on what has kept me from writing another blog post. Since July 18th, I’ve been working almost constantly on what I think is the key find for the summer. But rather than give anything away now, let me write how I found it first.

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