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Christopher Columbus

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Statue of Christopher Columbus, in front of Union Station; Washington, DC. This 15 foot marble monument faces the U.S. Capitol building. Columbus is the figure standing in the center; on the right side of this image is a figure representing the Old World. On the left is a winged figurehead at the ship's prow, representing democracy.

Plans for the memorial began after the 1892 quadricentennial celebration (400 years after Columbus's 1492 voyage), when the Knights of Columbus sought to establish a monument in honor of Columbus. Lorado Taft designed the sculpture, and it was dedicated on June 8, 1912; this was the start of the annual Columbus Day celebration in the United States. This site continues to be visited by international dignitaries every Columbus Day for a wreath laying ceremony.