Presidential Connections to National Mall and Memorial Parks
After the first Congress passed the Residence Act of 1790, President George Washington
selected the exact site for the new republic’s seat of government along the bank of the Potomac River. Secretary of State (and future president) Thomas Jefferson
offered his assistance to President Washington's city planner Peter L'Enfant and eventually an impressive federal city emerged.The resulting federal parkland, therefore, is the oldest such land managed by the National Park Service. In its administration of this parkland, National Mall and Memorial Parks shares the privilege with other units of the Greater Washington National Parks system.National Mall and Memorial Parks proudly administers many sites dedicated to presidential leadership and historic events affected by presidential action. The park invites you to visit these sites as well as a host of other sites possessing impressive and historic presidential connections.Presidential Sites
The National Mall and Memorial Parks presidential sites have become iconic images of the United States of America and the park invites everyone to visit them and be a part of American history
- Dwight D Eisenhower Memorial - While there was no president for the dedication of this site, the memorial can stand on its own. Just as Eisenhower had done for most of his life he stands tall and proud.
- Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial - Dedicated by Bill Clinton in 1997, the memorial remained a popular venue for special events throughout the remainder of the Clinton administration. To mark the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) during the early part of the 21st century, a commemorative stone was added during a ceremony attended by former President George H.W. Bush.
- Lincoln Memorial - Warren G. Harding accepted the memorial on behalf of the American people on May 30, 1922, along with Vice President Calvin Coolidge and former president William Howard Taft. The site has more recently served as the backdrop for several pre-inaugural ceremonies, including those for Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
- Thomas Jefferson Memorial - Franklin D. Roosevelt attended groundbreaking in 1938, the laying of the cornerstone the following year, and the April 13, 1943 dedication ceremonies for this tribute to the third president of the United States. Numerous American Presidents have visited this site during their presidencies, including, most recently, Barack Obama in 2009.
- Washington Monument - President James K. Polk attended the cornerstone-laying ceremony on July 4, 1848 along with future president Abraham Lincoln, then a congressman from Illinois. Chester A. Arthur dedicated the monument on February 21, 1885. Woodrow Wilson, Harry S Truman, and Barack Obama are among the president who have visited the Washington Monument during their presidencies.
The National Mall and Memorial Parks is not the only park in the National Park System to boast strong ties to presidents, take a look at some other presidential stories told by our fellow members of the Park Service!
National Capital Region (Greater Washington National Parks) Sites
National Park Service Sites