The Lincoln Statue

President Herbert Hoover sent the telegram that unveiled the Lincoln Statue in 1930. Over 40,000 people gathered in Spokane on Armistice Day to view the bronze statue that many had contributed donations to help build.

As early as 1922 the Lincoln Memorial Association was created in Spokane to organize the creation of an Abraham Lincoln Statue. The Lincoln Memorial Association commissioned University of Washington professor, Alonzo Victor Lewis for the project. The cost was set at $25,000 and the Association set to work fundraising. The group had originally hoped to raise the money in one year, but it took eight. Lewis briefly lived in Spokane, and even though many cities were interested in buying the sculpture of Lincoln, Lewis was willing to work with the Association to raise the remaining funds for a few extra years.

The statue was placed in the heart of Spokane's downtown, on the corner of Monroe Street and Main Avenue. Lincoln stands 12 feet high, and resides on a base of ten feet. The scale of the statue is impressive. Two short quotes from Lincoln are etched in the base, one on his right side and the other on his left. This statue is said, by the Spokesman Review, "to be the only statue of Lincoln protraying him in his role as commander-in-chief of the Union Armies." At one point Lewis owned the clothes that Lincoln was assassinated in, and supposedly based the clothes Lincoln is wearing in the statue upon them.

The Lincoln Statue experienced quite a bit of action in the 1960s. Senator John F. Kennedy stopped in Spokane four times during the 1960 presidential election and on September 6, 1960 he gave a speech at the Lincoln Statue. Thanks to funding from a local penny drive, in 1967 the statue was moved 30 feet east of its original location for a traffic revision. And in 1968 following the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., a group of civil rights activists held a march ending at the Lincoln Statue.