Dr. Charles Bressler-Pettis conceive the idea for the Monument of States in the dark days after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Bressler-Pettis wrote to governors and asked them to send stones for a monument; they obliged. The 40-foot-tall monument is topped by a 562-pound bald eagle made of concrete and was built using stones from all 48 states (at the time of its completion). Bressler-Petti also included stones he and his wife collected from other places. The structure, dedicated in March 1943 and located at the corner of Monument Avenue and Johnston Street, contains 1,500 rocks from all 50 states and 22 countries. A number of parties, including tourists, governors, a prime minister and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, also donated stones to the cause. While it can’t be confirmed, a human skull is also alleged to be included in the mix. Interestingly some of Bressler-Petti’s ashes are said to be buried in the monument.
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