Monday, February 16, 2009


I finally got tired of repeatedly visiting DC and environs without ever budgeting any time for sightseeing. So, on Thursday, Bro. Jim from Logan Lodge No. 575 in Indianapolis and I set out to the House of the Temple and then to the National Mall and Memorial Parks.

I shot more than 100 photos at the House of the Temple. More on that later.

Since it was Feb. 12, the bicentennial of President Lincoln’s birth, we visited the Lincoln Memorial. This year also is the centennial of the debut of the Lincoln penny and the golden anniversary of the change of that coin’s reverse to the Memorial design. I can still remember the delight as a very young numismatist of obtaining a near Mint condition penny, and upon close examination discovering that the Lincoln statue was visible inside the tiny Memorial on the back.

Note the two fasces beneath his hands. An ancient symbol of authority, the fasces depict bundles of rods. It is employed repeatedly in American symbolism. Take a look at the reverse of a dime, or examine the seal of the U.S. Senate. It was a symbol long before Mussolini’s fascists got hold of it.

The penny, long at risk of being discontinued, receives more changes upon this bicentennial celebration. As has been done with quarter dollars in recent years, the penny will be struck with different reverses.

(But we, as Free and Accepted Masons, should ever remember the original design of Victor D. Brenner: the so-called “Wheat Penny.” Wheat of course is partially what is meant when “corn” is cited in the rituals.)

Anyway, I didn’t mean to write about coins.

On the walls inside the Memorial are numerous symbols rendered in paint and stone.

Two murals at the top represent freedom, justice, unity, brotherhood and charity.

The weather all week was beautiful. Some rain had been forecast, but never arrived. Each day was sunny and clear, with temperatures reaching into the high 50s.

No comments: