The Lincoln Memorial is an American national memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the western end of the National Mall in Washington, DC, across from the Washington Monument. Dedicated in May 1922, it is one of several memorials built to honor an American president. It has always been a major tourist attraction and since the 1930s has been a symbolic center focused on race relations.
Planet of the Apes (2001)
At the end of Planet of the Apes (2001), Captain Leo Davidson, having left the planet Ashlar, returns to Earth in an escape pod from the USS Oberon, and finds himself heading toward Washington, DC. His pod crash lands in the Reflecting Pool and skids to a halt on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. However, it becomes clear that the Memorial is not the way he remembers it. In place of Lincoln, the statue's face depicts his old nemesis General Thade. The inscription on the wall reads "IN THIS TEMPLE AS IN THE HEARTS OF THE APES FOR WHOM HE SAVED THE PLANET THE MEMORY OF GENERAL THADE IS ENSHRINED FOREVER." Then a SWAT team of police gorillas arrive to arrest Davidson, and the movie abruptly ends.
The writers of the 2001 film have stated that they had no particular explanation for its ending, leaving the authors of a potential sequel to decide how it logically fits together. An insert in the DVD release suggested that Thade took Leo Davidson's crashed spacepod, went to a point earlier in Earth's history and became a prominent leader in an ape uprising. How Thade learned to swim or to otherwise recover the underwater spacepod, or acquired supporters for such an improbable undertaking, is unexplained.
The altered Lincoln Memorial's role in the film is a tribute to the novel La Planète des Singes, which ends with the Eiffel Tower being guarded by gorillas, and the film Planet of the Apes (1968) which ends with the sight of a damaged, forgotten Statue of Liberty.