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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Equal Justice Under the Law

Make No Little Plans

 

— Federal Triangle Heritage Trail —

 
Equal Justice Under the Law Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
1. Equal Justice Under the Law Marker
Caption for the photos in the top half:
Artist George Biddle touches up his 1936 mural Society Freed Through Justice on the Department's fifth floor. The panel, left, shows tired, worn, factory workers in an unjust economic system. Upper left, Happy Americans benefit from the economic prosperity of a just society.
Inscription.  The roots of America's top law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice, reach back to 1789. That year the first Congress created the Office of the Attorney General to prosecute lawsuits in the Supreme Court and advise the President and the Cabinet on matters of law. In 1870, after the Civil War spurred an increase in lawsuits, Congress created the Department of Justice to address the increasing demands on the attorney general's office. The Department's modern mission is to enforce the laws and defend the interests of the United States, protect the American people against terrorism and other threats to national security, prevent and control crime, seek just punishment for those who break the law, and ensure equal justice for all citizens.

For the Department's first permanent home, Philadelphia architects Clarence C. Zantzinger and Charles I. Borie, Jr., showcased bold yet elegant Art Deco ornamentation. The 20-foot-high night doors just ahead and most of the building's decorative fixtures are made of aluminum instead of traditional bronze. Colorful mosaics by Washingtonian John Joseph Earley adorn entranceway ceilings. C. Paul
Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
2. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy
Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy speaks to civil rights marchers outside the Department of Justice building, June 14, 1963.
Jennewein designed 57 interior and exterior sculptural pieces, including the spectacular Art Deco torchières lighting the entrances.

Inside the building are distinctive 1930s-era murals illustrating how law and justice improve American life. Painter George Biddle, one of the artist, had persuaded his friend and schoolmate President Franklin D. Roosevelt to fund public murals. Roosevelt's New Deal went on to commission important works of civic art throughout the Federal Triangle and the nation.

The building was named the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building in 2001 to honor the slain former attorney general.
 
Erected 2012 by Cultural Tourism DC. (Marker Number 14.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicGovernment & PoliticsLaw Enforcement. In addition, it is included in the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail series list.
 
Location. 38° 53.54′ N, 77° 1.54′ W. Marker is in Federal Triangle in Washington, District of Columbia. Marker is at the intersection of Constitution Avenue Northwest (U.S. 1/50) and 10th Street Northwest, on the right when traveling west on Constitution Avenue Northwest. Touch for map. Marker is
U.S. Marshals and James Meredith image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
3. U.S. Marshals and James Meredith
U.S. Marshals from the Department of Justice escort James Meredith to class at the University of Mississippi, 1962. Meredith's arrival desegregated the historically white institution.
at or near this postal address: 950 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20530, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Solomon G. Brown (within shouting distance of this marker); Cedar of Lebanon (within shouting distance of this marker); Colossal Head 4 (replica) (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nathan Hale (about 400 feet away); The American Elm that Grew Along with America (about 400 feet away); Our Tax Dollars (about 600 feet away); Temple for Our History (about 600 feet away); Pollinator Profile: Hummingbirds (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Federal Triangle.
 
Back of Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
4. Back of Marker
Piggly Wiggly Grocery image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
5. Piggly Wiggly Grocery
The Department of Justice building replaced the buildings at right that once served the wholesale and retail market district here. Around 1920 truck drivers for the Piggly Wiggly modern grocery store chain posed by their trucks on C Street at 10th Street. Behind them is the 11th Street (eastern) side of the Old Post Office.
Map of the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail System image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
6. Map of the Federal Triangle Heritage Trail System
Equal Justice Under the Law Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
7. Equal Justice Under the Law Marker
Aluminum Doors image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
8. Aluminum Doors
Doorway at the Justice Department Building image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, June 9, 2012
9. Doorway at the Justice Department Building
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on May 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 441 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on July 6, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.   2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on August 21, 2012, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.
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Jul. 16, 2020