Monumental Protest

One day in 1854, at the height of the construction of the Washington Monument, Pope Plus IX generously donated a block of marble from Rome's Temple of Concord. The upshot? The offended anti-Catholic "Know-Nothing" movement promptly demanded that construction be suspended. The Monument -- stuck at the 153-foot level -- remained in a state of limbo for twenty-six years.

[It was finally completed in 1888.]

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