National WWII Memorial: A Chronology

The memorial was authorized by Congress in 1993. Construction began in September 2001 after several years of fund raising and public hearings.

May 25: President Clinton authorizes the American Battle Monuments Commission to establish a World War II Memorial in Washington.

Oct. 6-7: The House and Senate pass a joint resolution approving the location of the memorial in the capital’s monumental core area because of its lasting historic significance to the nation.

Jan. 20: Seven potential sites are considered for the memorial, including the Reflecting Pool area, the Tidal Basin, Constitution Gardens, the Washington Monument grounds and adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery.

Sept. 19: The Rainbow Pool site is approved by the Commission of Fine Arts, one group for whom approval must be given.

Oct. 5: The Rainbow Pool site is approved by the National Capital Planning Commission, one group for whom approval must be given.

Nov. 11: President Clinton dedicates the memorial site in a formal ceremony.

April 19: An open design competition for the memorial is held.

Aug. 15-16: More than 400 entries are reviewed; six finalists are named.

Oct. 30-31: The evaluation board recommends unanimously that the Leo A. Daly team with Friedrich St. Florian as design architect be selected.

March 19: Former senator Bob Dole is named national chairman of the memorial campaign.

July-September: The Commission of Fine Arts and National Capital Planning Commission approve the memorial’s final architectural design.

Nov. 11: A groundbreaking ceremony attended by 15,000 people is held at the memorial’s Rainbow Pool site.

Jan. 23: Construction permit issued by the National Park Service.

March 9: Construction, which was to begin in March, is delayed pending resolution of a lawsuit filed by the National Coalition to Save Our Mall, and a procedural issue involving the National Capital Planning Commission.

May 21-22: The House and Senate pass legislation directing that the memorial be constructed expeditiously.

June 7: Tompkins Builders and Grunley-Walsh Construction are awarded a $56 million construction contract.

Aug. 27: Tompkins/Grunley-Walsh begin site preparation. Construction begins one week later.

May 29: Official dedication of the memorial.