May 30, 1922: The Lincoln Memorial, built to honor America's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, was dedicated by President Warren Harding. Also in attendance was Supreme Court Chief Justice William Howard Taft, who was president when the site for the memorial was chosen in 1913. Lincoln's only surviving son, Robert Todd Lincoln, attended.

The Lincoln Memorial is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. across from the Washington Monument. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the imposing statue of Lincoln was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior murals was Jules Guerin.

The building is in the form of a Greek Doric temple and contains a large seated sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and inscriptions of two well-known speeches by Lincoln, the Gettysburg Address and his second inaugural address.

May 30, 1990: A summit meeting in Washington between President George H.W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev began. It was a tumultuous time. The Soviet Union had just lost its East European empire during a wave of revolutions in 1989, and the U.S.S.R. itself was showing increasing signs of strain. The future of Germany was of particular interest. The Berlin Wall had fallen the prior autumn, and calls for reunification between East and West Germany were growing louder. The United States wanted a reunified Germany to be a member of NATO — the North Atlantic Treaty Organization — while Moscow, mindful of being invaded by Germany during World War II, did not. In July 1990, Bush offered the Soviets economic aid and promised that Germany would not present a threat to the U.S.S.R.; Gorbachev relented and in October 1990, a reunified Germany became a member of the western military alliance.

Quote of the day

"He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help." –Abraham Lincoln

More from West Wing Reports...