On this day in 1884, the Washington Monument in Washington, DC was completed as a nine-inch aluminum pyramid was placed atop the marble obelisk. As early as 1783, the US Congress decided there should be a permanent monument to General Washington. The idea lagged until 1848, when the cornerstone, a 24,500-pound block of white marble, for the monument was laid. Construction was halted six years later and the monument remained half-built through the Civil War, until 1876, the centennial of America Independence, when President Grant authorized the monument finished. When completed, the monument was the tallest structure in the world.
On August 23, 2011, the monument, and the entire city, was hit by an earthquake, which significantly damaged the monument. For much of 2012 the monument was shrouded in scaffolding as repairs were made to the monument. You can read a lot of information about the damage, repair, and restoration of the monument, and also see a number of videos, including security camera footage from the day of the quake at the National Park Site.
Through a $7.5 million donation from David Rubenstein, the monument was repaired and reopened earlier this year.