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Arlington National Cemetery


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The Memorial Amphitheater
Aerial View of the Amphitheater

Aerial View of the Amphitheater

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Arlington National Cemetery
The dream of Judge Ivory G. Kimball, the Memorial Amphitheater was dedicated on May 15, 1920 to provide a place of assembly for the purpose of paying tribute to American defenders. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on March 1, 1915.

Constructed primarily of Vermont-quarried Danby marble, the Amphitheater houses a small chapel underneath the stage. Judge Kimball, who died in 1916 before the construction was completed, is buried in Section 3 near the Amphitheater.

The Cornerstone

On October 15, 1915, President Woodrow Wilson placed the cornerstone, which contained the following items:
  • The Bible
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • The Constitution of the United States
  • A 1915 U.S. Flag
  • The amphitheater designs and plans
  • L'Enfant's map design of the city of Washington, D.C.
  • An autograph of the amphitheater commission
  • One of each of the U.S. coins in use in 1915
  • One of each of the U.S. postage stamps in use in 1915
  • A 1914 map of Washington, D.C.
  • The Congressional Directory
  • Boyd's City Directory for the District of Columbia
  • An autographed photograph of President Woodrow Wilson
  • The cornerstone dedication program
  • The Evening Star newspaper account of the ceremonies, and the campaign to build the Amphitheater
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