Statue of Joseph Henry Unveiled on the National Mall

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Date: April 19, 1883

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Summary

A bronze statue of Joseph Henry is unveiled on the Smithsonian grounds. The government closes early for the dedication, and a crowd of more than 5,000 gather approximately 45 meters (150 feet) from the northwest corner of the Castle, where the statue had been placed. The Smithsonian Regents, members of the National Academy of Sciences, and Cabinet members are among the dignitaries in attendance. A chorus of 200 participates. In one of the highlights of the ceremony, John Philip Sousa leads the Marine Band in its inaugural performance of "The Transit of Venus March," which he had composed for the occasion. The date for the event had been selected to coincide with the annual meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, of which Henry had been president at the time of his death.

Subject

  • Henry, Joseph 1797-1878
  • Sousa, John Philip 1854-1932
  • National Academy of Sciences (U.S.)
  • United States Congress
  • Board of Regents

Category

Chronology of Smithsonian History

Notes

  • Image of the Henry statue dedication, 1883. Smithsonian Institution Archives, negative number MAH-10733.
  • The statue was produced in Rome by William Wetmore Story; the pedestal was constructed in the United States. The Smithsonian annual report for 1883 includes an engraving of the statue at its original location.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1882. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1884, p. xi, 1-2.
  • Goode, George Brown, ed. The Smithsonian Institution, 1846-1896, The History of Its First Half Century. Washington, D.C.: De Vinne Press, 1897, p. 839.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1883. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1885, p. xvii-xxii.
  • Rhees, William Jones. The Smithsonian Institution: Documents Relative to Its Origin and History: 1835-1899, Vol. 1, 1835-1887. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1901, p. 918-922.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu

Date

April 19, 1883

Topic

  • Celebrities
  • Memorials
  • Secretaries
  • Grounds
  • Dignitaries
  • Statues
  • Special events

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