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Piece of Giant's Causeway

MO 63.1188a-b
Piece of Giant's Causeway
Basalt
6 1/2" x 6 1/2"
A large stone block of basalt rock taken from Giant's Causeway. The rock is mounted on a wooden base. There is a plaque on the base inscribed "From the People of North Antrim." The Giant's Causeway is an area of 40,000 tightly packed basalt columns resulting from a volcanic eruption 60 million years ago, located about 3km north of the town of Bushmills in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The tops of the columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot and disappear under the sea. Most of the columns are hexagonal in shape, the tallest being 12m high.
This piece was given to President John F. Kennedy by the Mayor of Galway, Patrick Ryan during Kennedy's State Visit to Ireland in June 1963. Giant's Causeway was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1986. Legend has it that the giant Finn MacCumhaill (Finn McCool) built the causeway to walk to Scotland to fight his Scottish equivalent Benandonner.
Patrick D. Ryan, Mayor of Galway
National Archives and Records Administration. Office of Presidential Libraries. John F. Kennedy Library. (04/01/1985- )
Donated to the United States
JFKSG-MO-1963-1188a-b