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Happy 125th Anniversary to the National Monument to the Forefathers!

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Today marks the 125th anniversary of the dedication of the National Monument to the Forefathers in Plymouth, Massachusetts. What is the National Monument to the Forefathers, you ask? Here’s everything you need to know:
The Plan:
The National Monument to the Forefathers, or “Forefathers Monument,” as it’s more commonly called by locals, was primarily designed by Hammat Billings, Boston architect, illustrator and sculptor. The original concept dates to around 1820, with actual planning beginning in 1850. The cornerstone was laid August 2, 1859 by the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, under the direction of Grand Master John T. Heard, and it was officially dedicated on August 1, 1889.
The Structure:
The monument is solid granite and stands 81 feet tall from base to top. The central figure, a woman called “Faith”, weighs in at 180 tons and stands 36 feet tall atop a 45-foot pedestal. The circumference of the head is nearly 14 feet, and her uplifted finger is over two feet long. The monument faces northeast to Plymouth Harbor (and, roughly, towards Plymouth, England).
The Meaning:
The monument was created to honor the honor the ideals on which Plymouth Colony was founded; faith, education, law, morality, and freedom. Faith is represented by the central standing figure, a woman with her right hand extended to the sky and her left hand holding the bible. The front panel is inscribed with the following dedication: “National Monument to the Forefathers. Erected by a grateful people in remembrance of their labors, sacrifices and sufferings for the cause of civil and religious liberty.” The right and left panels contain the names of those who came over in the Mayflower, and the back panel reads a quote from Governor William Bradford’s journal:
“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all praise.”
Did you know?
Forefathers Monument is the largest free-standing granite structure in the country.
The monument is the third tallest statue in the country, behind the Statue of Liberty (301 ft) and Our Lady of the Rockies (90 ft).
Forefathers Monument has also been called “Faith Monument” and “Pilgrim Monument.”
President Abraham Lincoln donated $10 to her construction in 1861.
Celebrate with us!
Tomorrow is the second annual Forefathers Family Fun Day to celebrate the monument’s 125th anniversary of the monument. Join us for historical reenactments, tours of the momument, music, arts and crafts, and food! Download our free “Forefathers Family Fun Day” mobile app from the Apple and Google app stores and have all the event information at your fingertips!

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