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African American History Forum

REID and the White House Dome

December 2

Phillip Reid
*On this date in 1863, “Freedom,” the statue on top of the dome of the U. S. Capitol, was put in place permanently.

The Man responsible for this architectural feat was Philip Reid, a Black man. Reid was a slave at the Bladensburg (Maryland) Foundry when he supervised the bronze casting of the statue. The story of the building of the nation’s capital began in 1856. At that time Thomas Crawford completed the full -size plaster model of Freedom at his studio in Rome, Italy. When cast in bronze, it was intended to stand atop the Dome of the United States Capitol.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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