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Washington DC

Washington, DC, more formally known as the District of Columbia, is the United States capital. The land, which was initially owned by Virginia and Maryland, became the location for the capital and has since grown to be a tourist destination and a political hub. The name of the district is dubbed after George Washington, who helped establish Washington, DC, and the United States of America, as well as Christopher Columbus, credited as one of the people who discovered the North American continent.[11] Important monuments in the city include the United States Capitol building, The Lincoln Memorial, The White House, the Washington Monument, and the Jefferson Memorial.[2] The current population of the city is 705,749 people.[12] African Americans strongly influenced that number because many newly freed slaves stayed in the area after the Emancipation Proclamation. Their impact has aided in sculpting Washington, DC’s culture.[6]

What Washington DC is known for

Washington, DC, more fully known as the District of Columbia, is the capital city of the United States of America. The name District of Columbia comes from the famous explorer Christopher Columbus, while Washington was derived from the nation’s first president, George Washington. In 1790, the U.S. government decided to make the 100 square mile radius along the Potomac River into Washington, DC.[11] The city is unique in America because it was established to serve as the nation’s capital. DC is now a hotspot for tourism, and the city is full of historical monuments to the nation’s history and modern history.[6] The area’s population is relatively small because it is a district and not a state; the current population is 705,749 people.[12] The people living in the city exceed that of the population of two states, Wyoming and Vermont.[1] 

The location was chosen by George Washington himself, and he had Virginia and Maryland give land to form the new district. As a result of the two states giving land, the nation’s capital is located between those two states.[11] The land became the seat for the US Federal Government and is now seen as an essential capital in the world.[1]

The city is home to significant buildings in the United States, such as the White House where the current president resides, the United States Capitol building, and the Library of Congress—which holds the title of the largest library in the world.[2] Facilities such as these are constantly being toured in addition to the famous monuments that cover the city. The Lincoln Memorial contains a giant marble statue of the past president, Abraham Lincoln. The location of the monument has also been the location of significant events in the history of the nation, such as the Daughters of the American Revolution and where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I have a dream…” speech in 1963, which furthered the civil rights movement of the time.[2]

There are multiple monuments along the stretch of land between the Capitol building to the Lincoln Memorial. One of the most prominent is the Washington Monument and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, which has a wall engraving the names of every American who died during the war. The Washington Monument is a DC icon, reaching 555 feet high, towering over the other sites of the National Mall. The Jefferson Memorial was built in honor of the third US president, Thomas Jefferson. Cherry trees surround the domed-shaped building, gifts from Japan. The trees themselves now draw in large amounts of tourists during the peak blooming season.[2]

Each year, tourism in Washington, DC, grows. In 2019, DC was visited by 24.6 million visitors, which is a new record for the city.[4] The best times to visit the nation’s capital city are from September to November and March to May. Visiting during these months avoids the hot, sweltering heat of the summer. Visiting during the fall also makes for less crowded sightseeing.[13] All the tourist attractions in the district are what create the rich culture of history in DC. It also provides a high percentage of the population with jobs, with 78,266 jobs in the tourist industry.[4] Service sector and federal civil service jobs are the two main economic drivers for Washington, DC. Most employment and businesses are linked to the federal government.[11] The city is known for its vibrant and cultural diversity. Washington, DC, has a rich African American heritage and is known for being one of the most gay-friendly cities in America.[6]


The District of Columbia is located along the northern shore of the Potomac River. Maryland lies to DC's Northern side, while Virginia borders its southern side. The capital claimed the land from Maryland and Virginia after debates of where the nation’s capital should be located.[11] The region is mostly flat, except for the gradual rise to the banks of the Potomac River and the rolling hills to the south and north. The land has been rumored to be built on swamplands, which is untrue; instead, it was built on farmland and tree-covered hills.[10] The land’s highest elevation reaches 409 feet above sea level.[1] Rock Creek Park is located in the district, providing hiking trails, horseback riding, and the home to a wide variety of the area’s wildlife.[2]

The Washington DC area experiences hot and humid summers, which can be uncomfortable.[13] The winters are freezing and snowy, with an average low temperature of 29 degrees Fahrenheit, sometimes even dropping to 17 degrees. The average high temperature during the summer is 88 degrees Fahrenheit but will occasionally rise to 96 degrees. The district is primarily cloudy year-round; the rainiest season is in May, with an average rainfall of 3.5 inches. Snow is possible between November to March, though February has the highest snowfall rates.[5]

Washington, DC, has a diverse range of wildlife within its boundaries. There are 240 bird species, 29 mammals, 21 reptiles, and 78 species of fish that call the district home. Some of the most common fauna include deer, bald eagles, foxes, eastern box turtles, coyotes, Virginia opossums, and woodchucks. Animals like opossums and raccoons have a good reputation in the city because they tend to eat the trash and litter in the town, aiding in keeping it clean.[8] There is a wide variety of flora in the District of Columbia, especially in the natural areas and forests where majestic willow oaks are found. The city hopes to increase the canopy coverage to 40% of the land by 2032.[9]


Washington, DC, is the epitome of history in America. Initially, Virginia and Maryland were owners of the land, but they gave it up to be used for the nation’s capital. The district is the nation’s capital and is home to many monuments and historical sites. The city was originally established on July 16, 1790, creating a permanent seat for the federal government. The land for the new capital was chosen by George Washington, the nation’s first president. The city was, in turn, named after him and after the famous explorer Christopher Columbus—DC meaning District of Columbia.[11] The city was still new when Great Britain attacked it in the War of 1812. The enemy burned much of the town to the ground, including the newly built White House, the Capitol Building, and the Library of Congress. After being rebuilt, the city became a hub for freed slaves and has continued to have a significant African American population and culture. [6]

The nation’s capital has been the location of major events in the history of the United States. One such occasion was the assassination of Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in DC, resulting in unprecedented desperation for the area. Through the years, buildings have been built to showcase the nation’s history and honor those who played an important role in its and the U.S.A.'s formation, such as presidents, fallen soldiers, etc.[11] The Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, and the White House are among the most prominent of these buildings, monuments, and memorials. Another significant event in American history was the speech given by Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, inspiring millions of American’s to end segregation and promote equal rights.[2]

The development of the subway in Washington, DC, provided greater accessibility to the city and helped awaken the interest in visiting the district. Such growth has played a role in creating the current economy of DC. One of the major driving factors of the economy is the service sector. Tourism and the federal civil service are what make Washington, DC, what it is today.[11] Millions of people come to visit Washington annually, and the number of visitors grows each year as well.[4] Businesses created in DC have also been a contributor to the economy. Such companies include Danaher Corporation, FTI Consulting, Capital One, Marriott International, and Twilio.[3]

Washington, DC is the home to the three branches of the US federal government: Congress (legislative), the President (executive), and the Supreme Court (judicial). The hub for government in the district naturally draws riots/protests. The city has been the stomping ground for such events as the riots that broke out after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.[1] Another argument primarily fought during 1990 was to grant Washington, DC statehood which was denied. Gaining statehood would give the district the ability to levy its taxes.[11] Some find it ironic that residents lack full self-governance. Although the city has witnessed progress with governmental rights, in 1964, residents were given the right to vote in presidential elections and later elect their major in 1973.[6] The city has seen significant growth throughout the years, and now it is a prime location for tourism, history, and political environment in the United States of America.[11]