Herbert Hoover photo

Remarks Upon Laying the Cornerstone of the National Archives Building.

February 20, 1933

THERE IS AN ESPECIAL significance in this ceremony, coming within 2 days of the celebration of George Washington's Birthday. The soil on which we are standing is part of the original tract acquired by President Washington for the Nation's Capital. The building which is rising here will house the name and record of every patriot who bore arms for our country in the Revolutionary War, as well as those of all later wars. Further, there will be aggregated here the most sacred documents of our history, the originals of the Declaration of Independence and of the Constitution of the United States. Here will be preserved all the other records that bind State to State and the hearts of all our people in an indissoluble union.

The romance of our history will have living habitation here in the writings of statesmen, soldiers, and all the others, both men and women, who have builded the great structure of our national life. This temple of our history will appropriately be one of the most beautiful buildings in America, an expression of the American soul. It will be one of the most durable, an expression of the American character.

Devoutly the Nation will pray that it may endure forever, the repository of records of yet more glorious progress in the life of our beloved country. I now lay the cornerstone of the Archives Building and dedicate it in the name of the people of the United States.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 2:30 p.m. in ceremonies held at the corner of 7th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, D.C.

Herbert Hoover, Remarks Upon Laying the Cornerstone of the National Archives Building. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208143

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