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1930s & Earlier / Lincoln Memorial - Robert E Lee Profile
Ever since the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC in 1922, rumors have persisted that a likeness of the great Confederate general Robert E. Lee's profile was sneakily carved into Abe's wavy locks of hair. Those who agree point out what appears to be a nose protruding from the back of Lincoln's head, and noticeable facial features including a familiar Lee-like beard. Moreover, Lee's face would be looking directly toward his pre-Civil War home in Arlington, VA. The idea that sculptor Daniel Chester French might have secretly been a Confederate sympathizer is odd. French was born in New Hampshire in 1850 and was steeped in New England Yankeedom from birth onward. When he began work on the Memorial in 1914, there were still distinct regional animosities in the old northern and southern states regarding the Civil War, so it's difficult to fathom French being an admirer of Lee. The National Parks Service completely dismisses the idea of Lee's profile in the Memorial as merely an urban myth. Still, after seeing the angle of this photo, I'm not so sure I buy the NPS' denial...