Washington Monument reopening after 3-year renovation

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The Washington Monument is set to open to tourists after three long years.

The 555-foot marble obelisk honoring America’s first president reopens Thursday at 9 a.m. EDT after a three-year renovation project that included an update to its elevator system and built a new security screening facility.

Free same-day tickets for visits through Oct. 18 are available on a first-come, first-serve basis starting at 8:30 a.m. To obtain tickets, visit the Washington Monument Lodge.

For tours beyond Oct. 19, you can reserve tickets at www.recreation.gov. beginning Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. EDT.

Despite being out of commission, the monument still played a role in the capital’s observation of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in July. Footage of the Apollo 11 mission was projected onto its facade at nightfall.

Despite being out of commission, the monument still played a role in the capital’s observation of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing in July. Footage of the Apollo 11 mission was projected onto its facade at nightfall.

According to the National Park Service, the widows of two Founding Fathers — Dolley Madison (wife of James Madison, the fourth president author of the Bill of Rights) and Eliza Hamilton — were among the 20,000 people who witnessed the laying of its first cornerstone on July 4, 1848. The latter helped raise funds to build the monument, a fact noted in the closing moments of the hit musical about her husband, Alexander Hamilton, the nation’s first treasury secretary. (From the interior, visitors can see 193 commemorative stones, many from the project’s early donors.)

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