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Setting the cap stone on the Washington Monument

On Saturday, the 6th day of December 1884, the marble capstone, which completed the shaft, was cemented and set. At its cap, or peak, it is five inches in diameter. On the cap was placed a metal finial (tip, point, or small pyramid) of aluminum, a composition metal which resembles polished silver, and which was selected because of its lightness and freedom from oxidation, and because it will always remain bright. Shortly after noon a flag floated from the giddy height, and a salute of booming cannon by Hannaman's District Artillery was fired and screeching whistles announced the completion of the Washington Monument. The aluminum finial was bolted onto the capstone key-way.

As the sun's light touches the Washington's apex, the pyramideion beacons the true symbol of our Nation. A pure white oblisk selfless built to Honor the Founder our Republic, and Praise Our Creator until the ends of time.

The Revelation of Saint John the Devine
Chapter 2, Verse 17

He that hath an ear,
let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches;
To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna,
and will give him a white stone,
and in the stone a new name written,
which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

Amen.

[top image]

Perched on a wooden platform atop the Washington Monument:

Bernard Richardson Green (far left holding hat with left hand) joined Superintendent P.H. McLaughlin (placing cap-stone on monument), Captain Thomas Lincoln Casey (fourth from left holding hat with left hand), and others, as the 100-ounce aluminum tip, inscribed with the words, "Chief Engineer and Architect, Col. Thomas Lincoln Casey, Corps of Engineers," was placed on the monument's capstone.

It is interesting to note that all of the persons mentioned placed the cement on the top for the capstone's attachment.

Dec. 20, 1884 Harper's Weekly illustration by S.H. Nealy.

However, according to the Washington Post, page 1, December 7, 1884, it was "Superintendent PH McLaughlin [who] placed the point upon the top. [THEN] Col. Casey set it, a shout arose..."

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