Martin Luther King Memorial at night

Martin Luther King Jr Memorial

Washington, DC

Opened in 2011, this was the first Mall memorial to honor an African American. Sculptor Lei Yixin carved the piece, which is reminiscent in concept and style to the Mt Rushmore memorial. Besides Dr King’s striking, 30ft-tall image, known as the Stone of Hope, there are two blocks of granite behind him that represent the Mountain of Despair. A wall inscribed with King’s powerful quotes about democracy, justice and peace flanks the piece.

King’s statue, incidentally, is 11ft taller than those of Lincoln and Jefferson in their nearby memorials.

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