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Question: Do the hands on the Lincoln Memorial spell out a message?


Not intentionally, although the hands do appear to be forming the signs for "A" and "L" in American Sign Language. According to the daughter of sculptor Daniel Chester French, this was a coincidence and not French's intent. French modeled the hands from Leonard Volk's casts of Lincoln's hands, as well as casts of his own hands.

While French did not intend to use the hands to form letters, he was at least familiar with the concept of sign language, having previously sculpted a memorial to Dr. Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, the founder of the nation's first permanent public school for deaf students. Gallaudet's son, Edward Miner Gallaudet, founded the college for deaf students now called Gallaudet University for which President Lincoln signed the charter in 1864.