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Dewey Monument
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More about Dewey Monument

rzarlif's picture

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Big Alma Spreckles posed as Victoria, goddess of victory, and stands in the middle of Union Square in San Francisco.

Don't expect too close a look, she's on top of a 79-foot-tall granite pillar, and then an 18-foot-high pedestal. That's about 6 stories high! It's a miracle then that the statue, and Mrs. Spreckles, survived the Great Quake of 1906, which flattened large parts of the city and is believed to have killed over 3,000 people. More than half of the city's population was left homeless.

Spreckels went on to create the Legion of Honor, sister museum to the de Young, in San Francisco. Her likeness, goddess Victoria, to this day celebrates Admiral George Dewey's defeat of the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay, the Philippines, as the U.S. pried Cuba out of Spanish hands. (The U.S. first tried to buy Cuba from Spain but that went nowhere.)

The Spanish-American War of 1898 led to some kind of independence for Cuba, minus Guantanamo Bay. George W. Bush would use this bit of Cuba after the 2001 terror attack on the Twin Towers in New York to prevent suspected and real terrorists from having to be tried on American soil. Leading to the question...victories for whom?

 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Dewey Monument

The Dewey Monument is a memorial statue in San Francisco, California, located at the center of Union Square. Union Square is bounded by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets. The monument is dedicated to Admiral George Dewey and commemorates his victory in the Battle of Manila Bay during the Spanish–American War. Work on the monument began in 1901 and it was dedicated in 1903.

History and description

The monument was erected to honor Admiral George Dewey, a hero of the Spanish–American War, for his victory in the Battle of Manila Bay.

On May 23, 1901, President William McKinley visited San Francisco to break ground for the monument. Six months later McKinley was assassinated and was succeeded by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt. On May 14, 1903, Roosevelt officially dedicated the monument, which "commemorates the victory of Admiral George Dewey and the American fleet over Spanish forces at Manila Bay, the Philippines, on May 1, 1898, during the Spanish–American War" and also is a tribute to the sailors of the United States Navy.

Robert Ingersoll Aitken was hired to sculpt a 9-foot (2.7 m) statue representing Nike, the ancient Greek Goddess of Victory in honor of McKinley and Dewey. The statue holds a trident that represents Dewey and a wreath that represents McKinley. Legend holds that Aitken hired Alma de Bretteville Spreckels to model for the statue, but a 1902 article detailing the monument's construction stated that Aitken's model was Clara Petzold, who later became a noted photographer.

Architect Newton Tharp designed the base and column within a budget of $45,000. The column, over 5 ft (1.5 m) in diameter and over 85 ft (25.9 m) in height, was assembled from individual blocks weighing 40,000 lb (18,144 kg). Timbers over 100 ft (30.5 m) long were shipped from Oregon to support the block and tackle system used to construct the monument.

The column stands on a square base with inscriptions on each side.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Dewey Monument.