Washington DC, A to Z: Quotations

In Washington DC quotations are everywhere. I really thought that in all the pictures I took, I had more pictures that included a quotation  that was readable (at least  when the picture is magnified). These are the only three that I haven’t already posted.

Library of Congress
We entered the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress through the underground tunnel from the Capitol Visitors Center. This is what we saw when we got to the top of the stairway to the first floor.

Library of Congress – Jefferson Building – North Lobby
Sir Francis Bacon , Religious Meditations, Of Heresies

There are many, many quotations on the walls of the Library of Congress. Many of them are very high up on the walls and this is the only picture I took where a quotation is readable.  Many more can be read online:

  • A complete collection of the quotations and inscriptions in the Library of Congress  by Emily Loiseau Walter (1925) is available at openlibrary. This 47 page book lists all the quotations in the Jefferson Building. In 1925 the “Library of Congress” was only one building, the Jefferson Building.
  • On These Walls: Inscriptions and Quotations in the Buildings of the Library of Congress by John Y. Cole, director of the Center of the Book in the Library of Congress  (1995) is available at the Library of Congress website. This 106 page book describes architecture, sculptures, and quotations throughout the three buildings that now comprise the Library of Congress.

National Archives
The entrances to the National Archives are flanked by four large sculptures.  At the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance, the sculptures represent the Future and the Past; on the Constitution Avenue side, the sculptures represent Heritage and Guardianship. I took pictures of three of the statues. A man was sleeping in front of “Past” with many of his belongings stacked behind him so I skipped taking a picture. The quotation wasn’t visible in the pictures representing Heritage and Future.

Click here to see detailed pictures of  sculpture on and around the  National Archives Building. Click here for information about the other quotations outside this building.

Guardianship by James Earl Fraser
National Archives – Washington DC

The quotation “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is attributed to Wendell Phillips from a speech in Boston, Massachusetts, January 28, 1852 before the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. I had never heard of Wendell Phillips even though a Minneapolis neighborhood was named after him.

Grand Army of the Republic Memorial

The Grand Army of the Republic was  a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army, US Navy, Marines and Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War.

The Grand Army of the Republic is referred to in the following books:

  • East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  • Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  • True Grit by Charles Portis
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Grand Army of the Republic Memorial
by John Massey Rhind

“The greatest of these is charity”  is from First Corinthians 13:13, King James Bible and can be read if you enlarge the picture. The other quotation on the statue is “Who knew no glory but his country’s good” attributed to Edward Everett

This memorial is across the street from the National Archives and very close to a cash machine that I didn’t have to pay a fee to use.


4 thoughts on “Washington DC, A to Z: Quotations

  1. Thanks! I had “Q street” all planned out. I was going to post a picture of a “Q Street NW” street sign and fun place to go with a map marked with the location of the 4 places in DC with the address xxxx Q Street. I forgot all about it until we rode passed Q Street on the way to the airport. Then it was too late.


  2. I'm just annoyed that I didn't take any photos with my camera that day. It's great for zooming in. There are so many out of focus quotes in the pictures I took at the Library of Congress. I love that quote too. Very fitting for it to hang on the wall of a library.


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