The Adams Memorial is a proposed United States presidential memorial to honor the second President John Adams; his wife and prolific writer, Abigail Adams; their son, the sixth President, John Quincy Adams; John Quincy Adams’ wife, Louisa Catherine Adams; and other members of the Adams family. The memorial would also honor John Quincy Adam’s son, Charles Francis Adams, Sr., a Civil War diplomat, politician, and editor; and Charles’ two sons, Henry Adams, a noted historian and autobiographer, and academician Brooks Adams.
The United States Congress authorized the Adams Memorial Foundation to proceed with the design and construction of a memorial on November 5, 2001. The foundation was authorized to raise private funds to construct a memorial on federal land in Washington, D.C. Once established, the memorial was then to be turned over to the federal government. On December 2, 2002, Congress amended this legislation to permit the Adams Memorial to be constructed within “Area 1”, the central core of the District of Columbia centered on the National Mall.
The Commemorative Works Clarification and Revision Act of 2003 (CWCRA), however, gave the Adams Memorial Foundation and other memorial efforts then under way just seven years to raise the funds and begin construction. When the memorial foundation was unable to raise the funds, Congress passed legislation on October 30, 2009, giving the Adams Memorial effort until September 30, 2010, to complete its fundraising. On December 2, 2009, Congress passed legislation applying the CWCRA to the Adams Memorial, although the clock began running with passage of the Area I authorization. Congress extended the deadline for fund-raising yet again on May 24, 2010, giving the memorial until December 2, 2013, to finish its efforts.
Authorization for the Adams Memorial expired on December 2, 2013, without a memorial having begun construction. Congress again reauthorized the memorial on July 22, 2014, extending the deadline for an additional seven years, to December 2, 2020. Following the continued failure of the foundation to select a location and raise funds, the 2019 John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act established an Adams Memorial Commission to establish the memorial, with members appointed by Congress.
- “Memorial Legislation.” National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission. June 22, 2013. Accessed 2014-04-04.
- “Authorized Memorials – Status of Authorities.” National Capital Memorial Advisory Commission. April 15, 2013. Accessed 2014-04-04.
- “House Passes Lynch-Backed Reauthorization of the Adams Memorial Foundation” U.S. House of Representatives – Office of Congressman Stephen Lynch. July 22, 2014. Accessed 2014-09-16.
- Tully-McManus, Katherine (2018-07-23). “House Backs Plan for John Adams Memorial”.
- “Statement by the President”. The White House. Retrieved 2019-04-06.