Construction on the Lincoln Memorial finished in 1922, according to the National Park Service. Congress had approved the memorial in 1910, and construction began in 1914. The first proposal for the monument was submitted in 1867.
The initial plan for the memorial to Lincoln was very different than the one ultimately designed by Henry Bacon and executed by the Piccirilli brothers under the supervision of sculptor Daniel Chester French. The original plan called for six equestrian and 31 pedestrian statues of colossal size, with a statue of President Lincoln in the middle.
The Lincoln Memorial became a focal point for the civil rights struggle. On May 30, 1922, the day of the Lincoln Memorial's dedication, Dr. Robert Russo Moton, president of Tuskegee Institute, a historically black college, gave the keynote address. Marian Anderson, an African-American singer, gave a famous concert there in 1939, and Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech there in 1963.