Lincoln Blog Located at the west end of the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial may well be Washington D.C.’s best known attraction. No school trip is complete without a visit.

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Students remember Abraham Lincoln as our 16th president. The same can’t be said for Millard Filmore or William Taft – they probably couldn’t remember their own presidential ranking. When you shepherd a nation through civil war and free the slaves, people take heed. In fact, Lincoln is so important the nation saw fit to dedicate a memorial to his honor in 1922. 

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The Lincoln Memorial is modeled like a Greek temple, an ode to both ancient Athenian democracy and Lincoln’s personal fandom of the Percy Jackson book series (or so we’ve been told). The exterior of the temple is crowned with state names, so make sure to look for yours.  


Standing six-feet-four-inches tall, ‘The Great Emancipator’ ranks as our tallest president, but the seated statue (crafted by sculptor Daniel Chester French) looms even larger at 19 feet. His hands are significant; one clenched as a sign of wartime determination, the other relaxed as a symbol of reunification.

On either end of the temple, Lincoln is flanked by his most famed speeches, so students will need time to read these important words.


Bathrooms and a small museum are found at the ground level of the memorial, along with an elevator into the upper temple for those who don’t feel like climbing the fourscore and seven steps to the top. When students summit the steps, they can find the exact spot where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech in 1963.

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The SCHOOL TRIP SPOTLIGHT is written by NationsClassroom’s expert, licensed guides and features exciting attractions from the most popular student travel destinations on the historic East Coast.

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Originally published September, 2017, updated September, 2020