General Lafayette Statue (Washington, D.C.) - DSC01016-2-
Lafayette Park is a seven-acre public park located directly north of the White House on H Street, bounded by Jackson Place on the west, Madison Place on the east, and Pennsylvania Avenue. The park and the surrounding structures were designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1970. Planned as part of the pleasure grounds surrounding the Executive Mansion, this park was originally called "President's Park", which is now the name of the larger National Park Service unit. The park was separated from the White House grounds in 1804, when President Thomas Jefferson had Pennsylvania Avenue cut through. In 1824, the park was officially renamed in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette, the French general who fought in the American Revolution.

Lafayette Park has been used as a racetrack, a graveyard, a zoo, a slave market, an encampment for soldiers during the War of 1812, and many political protests and celebrations. Andrew Jackson Downing landscaped Lafayette Park in 1851 in the picturesque style. Today's plan, with its five large statues, dates from the 1930s. In the center stands Clark Mills' equestrian statue of President Andrew Jackson, erected in 1853. In the four corners are statues of foreign Revolutionary War heroes: the Marquis de Lafayette and Comte de Rochambeau of France, Tadeusz Kościuszko of Poland, and the Baron von Steuben of Prussia.

Lafayette Park in The Man With the Iron HeartEdit

On the July 4, 1947, a gathering of "unofficial Washington" (people opposed to the Truman Administration's efforts to continue to occupy Germany) was held in Lafayette Park. After suffering through a boring speech by baseball-owner Clark Griffith, the crowd was informed by Senator Everett Dirksen that Indianapolis City Councilman Gus van Slyke had just been assassinated. Dirksen connected this act to Truman, and whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Reporter Tom Schmidt feared that the crowd might turn into an angry mob and storm the White House. It didn't, much to Schmidt's relief.