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INFORMATION VINE * NOT FB APPROVED**** The History of Washington, D.C. And The Monuments That Define It*.

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INFORMATION VINE * NOT FB APPROVED**** The History of Washington, D.C. And The Monuments That Define It*. Empty INFORMATION VINE * NOT FB APPROVED**** The History of Washington, D.C. And The Monuments That Define It*.

Post by Paul Fri 19 Jan 2024, 8:36 am

NOT FB APPROVED**** The History of Washington, D.C. And The Monuments That Define It






INFORMATION VINE * NOT FB APPROVED**** The History of Washington, D.C. And The Monuments That Define It*. Fd923106a460e80733dd12769a084917
Photo Courtesy: [U.S. President Lincoln insisted that construction of the United States Capitol continue during the Civil War/Unknown Author/Wikipedia]
50 Photos of Washington D.C.'s History
U.S. Capitol's History
Washington D.C.'s History in Pictures
Washington D.C.'s historical Places, People, and Memorials
50 Facts of Our Nation's Capitol
Fascinating History of Washington, D.C.
Washington D.C.'s Beginnings
Historical Washington, D.C.
The History of Washington D.C. and How it Became America's Capitol
The History of Our Capitol

Washington, D.C. is the Capital of the United States and was named for President George Washington. The architecture varies greatly, and the city holds many memorials, statues, historic buildings, and is where the president of the United States resides while in office. Washington, D.C. is one of the most visited cities in the U.S.





George Washington


George Washington was the United States' first president. The Residence Act was passed and approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River. President Washington chose Washington, D.C. as the country's capital, and the city was named after him. The location bridged the Northern and Southern states; Washington called it "the gateway to the interior."


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Photo Courtesy: [Henry Graff/Britannica]


He hoped it would economically bind the Western territories to the Eastern Seaboard. Washington, D.C. was formed from land that was donated by Maryland and Virginia. The city was founded in 1791 and hosted 177 foreign embassies and the three branches of the U.S. federal government.


Jefferson Memorial


The Jefferson Memorial was built between 1939 -1943. President Franklin D. Roosevelt had a memorial built for Thomas Jefferson, author of the United States Declaration of Independence and founder of the Democratic and Republican parties. The bronze statue of Jefferson was added to the memorial in 1947. The memorial building is in West Potomac Park along the Potomac River. 


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Photo Courtesy: [dbking/WIkimediaCommons]


The architect of the memorial building was John Russel Pope, and the architect of the statue was Rudulph Evans. Due to protesting, Roosevelt had to limit the projected footprint to co-exist with the spring-blooming cherry orchard. The Memorial was dedicated on April 13, 1943.


Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial


Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial was the second memorial constructed to commemorate a president. The memorial is dedicated to Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the United States. The monument is spread out over seven and a half acres, along the Cherry Tree Walk in West Potomac Park. 


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Photo Courtesy: [@BeschlossDC/Twitter]


The sculpture is of Roosevelt and his dog. The memorial was made accessible to people with physical impairments and the visually impaired. The memorial is part of the NPS's National Mall and Memorial Parks.


Tidal Basin, Washington, D.C.


The idea for the Tidal Basin originated in the 1880s. It was meant to serve as a visual centerpiece and as a means to flush the Washington Channel. It was initially named Twinning Lake. The beach was dismantled in 1925 due to Congress not wanting to integrate the beach. The Tidal Basin that exists today was built after World War II. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Mario Roberto Durán Ortiz/nps.gov]


The Basin is a focal point of the National Cherry Blossom Festival every year, and it is part of West Potomac Park. The basin is sitting adjacent to the Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, and the George Mason Memorial. It covers an area of 107 acres.


George Mason Memorial


The George Mason Memorial was built in honor of Founding Father George Mason. He is the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights that inspired the United States Bill of Rights. It is located in West Potomac Park and part of the Tidal Basin. It was the first memorial in the area to be dedicated to someone other than a former president. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Zachary R. Ziccardi/Wikipedia]


The memorial includes a sculpture of George Mason, a trellis, circular hedges, a pool, and many inscriptions. One of the inscriptions reads, "This was George Mason, a man of the first order of wisdom among those who acted on the theatre of the revolution, of expansive mind, profound judgment, cogent in argument...Thomas Jefferson, 1821"


White House


The White House is where the president of the United States and their family live. It is also the president's workplace. It has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams. James Hoab designed the White House, and the construction started in 1792. In 1814, the White House was set on fire by the British Army in the Burning of Washington. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Rendering of the new White House fence from Pennsylvania Avenue/Unknown Author/nps.gov]


Reconstruction started immediately while James Monroe lived there. President Roosevelt relocated all work offices to the West Wing in 1901, and the West Wing was expanded in 1909. The third-floor was the family's living quarters, and the East Wing was a reception area for social events. The building was originally referred to as the "President's Palace," with it being called the White House in 1811.


Vietnam Veterans Memorial


The Memorial honors service members of the U.S. Armed Forces who fought in the Vietnam War. It is a black granite wall engraved with the names of those service members who died in Vietnam and South East Asia during the war.  


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Photo Courtesy: [Mickey Sanborn/WikimediaCommons]


The wall was completed in 1982, and The Three Soldiers statue and Vietnam Women's memorial has been added since. It is located in the Constitution Gardens and is northeast of the Lincoln Memorial. The site covers two acres, and over 400 more names have been added since the memorial was built.


Lincoln Memorial


The Lincoln Memorial is in honor of President Abraham Lincoln and is in the form of a neoclassical temple designed by Henry Bacon. The large statue of President Lincoln was built in 1920 and designed by Daniel Chester French. There are two inscriptions, the Gettysburg Address, and Lincoln's second inaugural address. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Kok Leng Yeo/WikimediaCommons]


There have been many famous speeches at the memorial, including Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech. The memorial and statue overlook the Potomac River. Lincoln's statue was built at 19 feet, so it wasn't overwhelmed by the huge chamber. The memorial has 36 columns to represent the states of the union and 48 festoons to represent the 48 states in 1922. 


Washington Monument


The Washington Monument is located within the National Mall. It is an obelisk and was built to commemorate George Washington. It is made of granite, marble, and bluestone gneiss and was the world's tallest stone structure and obelisk until the Eifel Tower. Construction began in 1848 but was stopped for 23 years due to a lack of funds. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Macieklew/WikimediaCommons]


The monument was completed in 1888 and it is a hollow obelisk. Washington was the public icon of American military and civic patriotism. At the dedication of the monument, President Arthur proclaimed: "I do now...in behalf of the people, receive this monument...and declare it dedicated from this time forth to the immortal name and memory of George Washington."


1968 Washington, D.C., Riots


The Washington, D.C. riots lasted for four days and resulted from the assassination of leading African American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. On Thursday, April 4, word spread that Martin Luther King Jr. had been assassinated, and crowds gathered politely at first but turned violent quickly. By 11:00 pm that night, window-smashing and looting were happening everywhere.


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Photo Courtesy: [Warren K. Leffler/Wikipedia]


There were 200 stores with broken windows, 150 stores were emptied, and 1,180 fires were set between March 30 and April 14. "I think white America made its biggest mistake when they killed Dr. King last night. He was the one man in our race trying to preach mercy and forgiveness for what the white man has done. Execution of this retaliation will not be in the courts, but in the streets, we're going to die on our feet; we're tired of living on our stomachs." --- Mayor-Commissioner Walter Washington


United States Capitol Building


The United States Capitol is where the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch meet. It is located on Capitol Hill. The original building was built in 1800 and has since been restored and added on to. The United States Congress formally began in 1789, and New York City remained home to them until 1790. 


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Photo Courtesy: [David Maiolo/WikimediaCommons]


Philadelphia was the temporary capital for ten years until the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. was ready. Pierre Charles L'Enfant was in charge of creating the city plan. The Capitol also hosts major events, like presidential inaugurations, Independence Day celebrations, and the National Memorial Day Concert. 


Arlington National Cemetery


The Arlington National Cemetery is a military cemetery across the Potomac River in Washington D.C. The cemetery was established during the Civil War. Martha Washington's great-granddaughter owned the grounds of Arlington House. In 1862, legislation was passed authorizing the government to purchase land for national cemeteries for military members that died. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Wknight94/WikimediaCommons]


They reported that Arlington Estate was suitable because it was high and free from floods, and it was aesthetically pleasing. William Henry Christman was the first military burial at Arlington in 1864. The land became a military reservation in 1983. Every year on Memorial Day, the gravestones at the cemetery are marked by U.S. flags.


Library of Congress


The Library of Congress is a research library. It serves the United States Congress and is the National Library of the United States. It is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill and is the oldest federal cultural institution in the U.S., and is one of the largest libraries. Most of the library's original collection was ruined in the War of 1812. 


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Photo Courtesy: [William Henry Jackson/WikimediaCommons]


To restore their collection, they bought Thomas Jefferson's entire personal collection. The primary mission of the library is to research inquiries made by members of Congress. The idea of creating a congressional library was first made in 1783 by James Madison.


Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History 


The National Museum of Natural History was founded in 1846 and is located on the National Mall as part of the Smithsonian Institution. It is a Neoclassical style building and was the first structure constructed on the National Mall's north side. The Smithsonian has about 146 million artifacts and specimens. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Alex Proimos/WikimediaCommons]


Research is divided into seven departments in the museum. It is 1.5 million square feet in overall area and holds millions of plants, animals, fossils, minerals, meteorites, human remains, rocks, and human cultural artifacts. The museum is also home to the largest group of scientists in the world.


Signing The Declaration by The United Nations


The Declaration by the United Nations is a signed treaty that formalized the Allies of World War II. Forty-seven national governments signed it. The U.S., U.K., USSR, and China signed a short document on January 1st, 1942, and the declaration became the basis of the United Nations. 


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Photo Courtesy: [January 1942 || The name "United Nations" is coined/UnknownAuthor/UN.org]


It was drafted at the White House by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The term United Nations became the formal name that they were fighting under during the war.


Lincoln's Assassination


President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865; he was shot by stage actor John Wilkes Booth while attending a play at Ford's Theatre. He was shot in the head while watching the play. He died the next day in the Petersen House across from the theatre. He was the first president to be assassinated. Booth was trying to revive the Confederate cause by eliminating the three important United States government officials. 


INFORMATION VINE * NOT FB APPROVED**** The History of Washington, D.C. And The Monuments That Define It*. Ff7066731e5629cb48ca0e960f9cd8b5
Photo Courtesy: [The presidential box at Ford's Theatre, adorned with the American and Treasury Guard flags, two days after Booth's shooting of Lincoln./Unknown Author/Wikiwand]


Secretary of State William H. Seward and Vice President Andrew Johnson were also supposed to be assassinated, but Seward was only injured, and Johnson's attacker lost his nerve. After a twelve-day hunt for Booth, he was found and killed. The other two assassins were later hanged for their roles.


The Pentagon


The Pentagon is the United States Department of Defense's headquarters building. It is located across the Potomac River, it was built in 1941, and it is the world's largest office building. There are 23,000 employees and 3,000 non-defense support personnel. The building has five sides, five floors, and five ring corridors per floor.


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Photo Courtesy: [David B. Gleason/WikimediaCommons]


Before the Pentagon was built, the Department of War was in the Munitions Building. When President Roosevelt visited the Pentagon before its dedication, he ordered all the "White Only" signs be removed, which made the Pentagon the only building in Virginia where segregation laws were not enforced.


Arlington Memorial Bridge


The Arlington Memorial Bridge was a drawbridge that crossed the Potomac River. The bridge was proposed in 1886 but wasn't built until 1932 due to political quarrels. It was finally built because the traffic was so bad going to the Arlington National Cemetery. The bridge was designed by the architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White and decorated with monumental statues. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital/WikimediaCommons]


The bridge's draw span was closed and replaced by one that doesn't open. The bridge was only open during daylight hours on Saturday and Sunday because there was a lack of lights, ongoing construction, and poor connections on the Virginia side. Both the bridge and highway were illuminated and opened for day and night use on May 6, 1932. The bridge is no longer a draw bridge, but the bridge crossing the Potomac River still exists. 


Ford's Theatre


Ford's Theatre opened in 1863. The site was originally a worship site, but after the church moved, John Ford bought the building and renovated it into a theater. It was destroyed in a fire and rebuilt in 1862. After President Lincoln's assassination, an order was issued forever prohibiting its use as a place of public amusement. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Wknight94/WikimediaCommons]


From 1866 to 1887, the U.S. military used the theatre building for the War Department, and in 1887, the building became a clerk's office. People believed the theater was cursed after the building's front part collapsed, killing 22 and injuring 68. The building was repaired and until 1911 was used as a government warehouse. In 1968, the theater reopened, but the presidential box is never occupied.


Union Station


Washington Union Station opened in 1907 and is a major train station transportation hub. It is the railroad's second-busiest station. During World War II, 200,000 passengers passed through the station every day. In 1988 a wing was added and used as a shopping mall. 


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Photo Courtesy: [File:Union Station - Washington, D.C..jpg/Unknown Author/WikimediaCommons]


"The station and its surroundings should be treated monumentally, as they will become the vestibule of the city of Washington, and as they will be in close proximity to the Capitol itself." --- Sen. James McMillan. The first train to arrive at the new Union Station was the Pittsburgh Express on October 27, 1907. It had 32 station tracks and an opulent "Presidential Suite." The station has since been renovated and restored and is still in use today.


Smithsonian's National Zoological Park 


The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is one of the oldest zoos and was founded in 1889. It is part of the Smithsonian Institution. Its mission is to "provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats." There are two campuses, and the two together have about 2,700 animals of 390 different species. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Elephant fed by a zoo attendant through the bars/UnknownAuthor/Wikiwand]


About one-fifth of the species at the zoo are endangered or threatened. The zoo was one of the first to start a scientific research program. The zoo was started as the National Museum's Department of Living Animals in 1886. Many exotic animals were donated by former U.S. presidents, like Billy the hippopotamus and President Coolidge's raccoon, Rebecca.


Meridian Hill Park


Meridian Hill Park is an urban park in the neighborhood of Columbia Heights. The park has also been referred to as the "Malcolm X Park." The park was built between 1912 and 1940. In 1816, David Porter, a naval hero, acquired the hill as part of a 110-acre contract of land he purchased. He named the property Meridian Hill and built a large famous mansion, also named Meridian Hill. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Ben Schumin/Wikipedia]


Shortly after the Civil War, the mansion was destroyed in a fire, and the land was subdivided into smaller lots, which Senator John Brooks Henderson purchased. The couple built a stone home, designed to resemble a castle, called Henderson Castle. Mary Henderson built the park.


Washington National Cathedral


The Washington National Cathedral is the third-largest church building in the United States. The Construction of the cathedral was started in 1907. The Cathedral was not officially done being built until 1990. Pierre L'Enfant specified a site for a "great church for national purposes" in 1792. Hamilton modified the plan and eliminated the church. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Aretemetic/WikimediaCommons]


The church opened in 1912, even though it wasn't finished. The Cathedral has held State funerals for President Eisenhower, President Ford, President Reagan, and President George H.W. Bush. There have also been funerals and memorial services for other famous people.


Tudor Place


Tudor Place was the home of Thomas Peter, his wife, and Martha Peter, granddaughter of Martha Washington. Martha purchased the property in 1805 with the money she was given from George Washington. Dr. William Thornton was contracted to design the Tudor Place; he also designed the United States Capitol and the Octagon House. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Wknight94/WikimediaCommons]


A focal point of the home is the collection of over 100 objects that belonged to George and Martha Washington. Tudor Place is the largest public home of objects belonging to the first presidential family.


Watergate


The Watergate Scandal involved the administration of President Richard Nixon from 1972 to 1974. Nixon's administration and their continuous attempts to cover up its involvement in the Democratic National Committee headquarters' break-in at the Watergate Office Building in Washington D.C. The cash found on the perpetrators connected back to the Nixon re-election campaign committee. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Indutiomarus/Wikipedia]


After the investigation, Nixon resigned from office on August 9, 1974. In the United States, he is the only president to resign from office. The scandal resulted in sixty-nine government officials being charged, forty-eight being found guilty. As a result of the scandal, Congress passed legislation that changed campaign financing.


St. John's Episcopal Church


St. John's Episcopal Church, also called Church of the Presidents, is a historic church. The church is located in the Lafayette Square Historic District and is located one block from the White House. Every president has attended the church at least once, starting with James Madison. 


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Photo Courtesy: [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._John's_Episcopal_Church,_Lafayette_Square/UnknownAuthor/Wikimapia]


The church was built in 1816. Abraham Lincoln habitually joined evening prayer throughout the Civil War; he always sat in a rear pew. Pew 28 was established as the "president's pew" by President James Madison. The steeple bell is the only one that has been in continuous service since its installation.


John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts


The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is referred to as the Kennedy Center. It is the United States National Cultural Center and is located on the Potomac River. It is named for President John F. Kennedy. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt brought up the idea for a cultural center in 1933. She wanted to create employment for the unemployed during the Great Depression. The idea was passed, but nothing came of it. 


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Photo Courtesy: [Tom/Wikipedia]


The idea was brought up again in 1950, and in 1958 a bill was finally passed and signed into law. It was the first time the federal government helped finance a structure dedicated to the performing arts. The first performance in the Kennedy Center was in 1971.


Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens


Hillwood Estate is a decorative arts museum. Marjorie Merriweather Post owned the home, which was called Arbemont at the time. She renamed it Hillwood and hired an architect to gut and rebuild the interior to showcase her art collections. Hillwood is known for Russian art and religious objects, and it became one of Washington, D.C.'s most extraordinary estates.


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Photo Courtesy: [Jllm06/Wikipedia]


"Friendship Walk" was a path built by all of Post's friends to honor her 70th birthday. Post willed the estate to the Smithsonian Institution so that it would be maintained as a museum. The estate was given back to the Post Foundation in 1976. The museum features over 17,000 objects.


Dupont Circle


Dupont Circle is a historic district in Washington D.C. It is a traffic circle, park, and neighborhood. The majority of the neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located in the "Old City" and was undeveloped until after the American Civil War. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started construction of the traffic circle in 1871. 


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Photo Courtesy: [AgnosticPreachersKid/Wikipedia]


It was renamed the Dupont Circle in 1882. The double-tiered white marble fountain was placed in 1920. The National Park Service took over the administration of the circle in 1933. Medians and traffic signals were put in the circle in 1948 to help with the congestion of traffic. After World War II, the neighborhood declined, but the area is now a more mainstream and trendy location.


Georgetown University 1861


Georgetown University has a history that spans nearly four hundred years. Bishop John Carroll established the school by the Potomac River after the American Revolution. In 1774, Carroll established Saint John the Evangelist Church and in 1786 decided a school would be built in Georgetown. Georgetown's first building, "Old South," was built in 1788, but the University celebrates January 23, 1789, as its founding date.


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Photo Courtesy: [George N. Barnard/WikimediaCommons]


 In 1815, President James Madison signed a law that allowed Georgetown to grant academic degrees. During the Civil War, the University struggled, and in 1861 the school was taken over by Union Army Troops. The Healy Hall building was built in 1881. The school was officially named Georgetown University in 1966.


National Mall


The National Mall is home to iconic monuments, museums, the White House, and the Tidal Basin. It is a landscaped park and is located near the downtown area of Washington D.C. During the 1850s, Andrew Jackson Downing had several naturalistic parks developed within the mall. 


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Photo Courtesy: [National Park Service Digital Image Archives/WikimediaCommons]


The National Mall aims to provide a monumental, dignified, and symbolic setting for the government structures, museums, and national memorials. Throughout the years, more has been added to the Mall. The Mall contains and borders museums of the Smithsonian Institution, art galleries, cultural institutions, and many memorials, statues, and sculptures.


Emancipation Proclamation


The Emancipation Proclamation was a law that ended slavery and provided slave owners with partial compensation for releasing their slaves. President Abraham Lincoln signed the act into law on April 16, 1862. In 1849, Lincoln introduced a plan to eliminate slavery, but the bill failed.


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Photo Courtesy: [Francis Bicknell Carpenter/WikimediaCommons]


It became possible in 1861 because of the departure of the senators and representatives who had blocked the ending of slavery and the bill passed the Senate by a vote of 29 to 14. As a result of the act, 3,185 slaves were freed. April 16th is known as Emancipation Day.


The March on Washington 


The March on Washington was held on August 28, 1963, and the purpose was to advocate for African Americans' civil rights. At the end of the march, in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have A Dream" speech. He was calling for the end of racism. 


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The number of participants in the march was between 200,000 and 300,000, and 80% were African Americans. The march began at the Washington Monument and continued to the Lincoln Memorial. It was only of the largest political rallies for human rights in history. It is credited with helping pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964.


Carnegie Library


Carnegie Library, also called Central Public Library, is in Mount Vernon Square and was donated to the public by Andrew Carnegie in 1903. It was the first public library in Washington, D.C. It was used as the central public library, but it was moved to Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library when it became overcrowded. 


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The library became the headquarters for the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., in 1999. In 2019, the building was renamed the Apple Carnegie Library, and it now holds the Apple Store, the DC History Center, and the Carnegie Gallery.


National Air and Space Museum


The National Air and Space Museum was established in 1946 and is part of the Smithsonian Institution. The museum holds the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the Friendship 7 capsule flown by John Glenn, and so much more. The Wright brothers' Wright Flyer airplane is right near the entrance. 


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The museum is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and spaceflight. The center also researches planetary science and terrestrial geology, and geophysics. The Smithsonian has been promised the International Cometary Explorer when it returns from its mission.


Potomac River


The Potomac River flows from the Potomac Highlands into the Chesapeake Bay, is 405 miles long, and forms part of the borders between Maryland and Washington, D.C. The river was named in 1931, and it is at least 3.5 million years old. The river's nickname is the Nation's River.


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 All of the nation's capital city lies within the watershed. Washington, D.C. began using the Potomac River as its source of drinking water, but with increasing mining and agriculture upstream and urban sewage, the river's water quality deteriorated. President Lyndon Johnson set in motion a long-term effort to restore the historic river's beauty and ecology.


Burning of Washington, War of 1812


The Burning of Washington was a British invasion of the United States' capital during the War of 1812. On August 24, 1814, Major General Robert Ross and his British force set fire to many government and military buildings. Those buildings included the White House and the Capitol building. 


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In the wake of the British victory, President James Madison and his government fled the city and stayed the night at a Quaker's house, now called the Madison House. A very heavy thunderstorm put out the fires less than a day after the attack. The whole attack lasted roughly twenty-six hours.


John Adams


John Adams was the first president to live and work in the White House. President John Adams signed the law establishing the Library of Congress. He was also the last president to personally deliver his annual message to Congress until 113 years later. 


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President John Adams was also known as the Founding Father. In 1776 he helped draft the Declaration of Independence and helped negotiate the peace treaty with Great Britain. John Quincy Adams, John Adams' son, became the sixth president of the United States.


The Capitol Crypt


The United States Capitol Crypt was built to support the rotunda and enter Washington's Tomb. After Washington's death in 1799, the designers spoke with Martha Washington and requested permission to build a tomb for the president in the capitol. She agreed, and plans were made to build the tomb underneath the floor that supported the rotunda. 


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It would be called the crypt because it was the entry to the tomb. The construction was delayed because of the War of 1812, and it wasn't completed until 1827. George Washington was never moved to the tomb because of restrictions.


Tomb of Pierre Charles L'Enfant


Pierre Charles L'Enfant designed the basic plan for Washington, D.C., known today as the L'Enfant Plan. L'Enfant was appointed to plan the new "Federal City" in 1791 by President Washington. L'Enfant saw the task as far more grandiose. Because he insisted that his city design be realized as a whole, it brought him into conflict with the commissioners. 


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Andrew Ellicott revised L'Enfant's plan, and his revised plans became the basis for the capital city's development. L'Enfant's contributions were finally acknowledged, and he was moved to Arlington National Cemetery overlooking the Potomac River. The monument, which has part of his plan engraved on it, was placed on top of his grave in 1911.


Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers


The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is a monument at the Arlington National Cemetery. It is dedicated to deceased U.S. service members whose remains have not been identified. The World War I soldier is a recipient of the Medal of Honor and the Victoria Cross. On November 11, 1921, the first unknown soldier was interred below a three-level marble tomb. On May 28, 1958, the other unknown soldiers were interred. 


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The tomb guards are United States Army soldiers. The soldier guarding the tomb does not wear rank insignia, so they don't outrank the Unknowns. The Guard has a meticulous routine when watching over the graves, and they have to command silence at the tombs. The guard is changed every half hour, and in the winter months, the guard is changed every hour. Since 1937, the Tomb of the Unknowns has been guarded continuously.


National Capitol Columns


The National Capitol Columns is an arrangement of twenty-two Corinthian columns from the 1828 to 1958 Capitol Building. The columns were built as part of the Capitol's east portico in 1828, but it didn't appear adequately supported by the columns. 


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In 1958 the columns were removed and are now part of the National Capitol Columns. Only twenty-two of the original twenty-four columns stand in the Ellipse Meadow; the two columns not used were damaged.


John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame


The Eternal Flame is at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy at Arlington National Cemetery. The Washington Gas and Light Company built, maintain, and supply gas to the eternal flame for free. The fieldstones used were taken from a quarry on Cape Cod where President Kennedy spent his summers.


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President Kennedy was buried with his two children that had died, and Jacqueline Kennedy was buried with them when she died in 1994. The gravesite was designed by a longtime friend of the president, architect John Carl Warnecke.


Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial


The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is next to the National Mall in West Potomac Park. The memorial covers four acres and includes a granite statue of Martin Luther King Jr. It is the first memorial to an African American on or near the National Mall and the fourth non-president to be memorialized. 


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The address of the memorial was chosen as a reference to the 1964 Civil Rights Act. A long inscription wall includes excerpts from Martin Luther King Jr.'s sermons and speeches.


Old Stone House


The Old Stone House was built in 1765. It is the oldest, unchanged building located in Washington, D.C. It is Washington's last pre-revolutionary colonial building, and it still sits on its original foundation. The house was originally a one-story house, but later additions were made. 


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The Federal government purchased the property and transferred it to the National Park Service. The Old Stone House is part of the George Washington Memorial parkway. The house is now a museum.


Arlington House


The Arlington House is also called the Robert E. Lee Memorial. It was once the home of Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee. The grounds that the mansion sits on was selected as the site of Arlington National Cemetery. The mansion was designated as a National Memorial. George Washington Parke Custis, George Washington's adopted son, had the mansion built. 


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He intended for the mansion to serve as a living memorial to George Washington. It was also a place to store all of his collections and memorabilia. Construction began in 1803, and the exterior was completed in 1818. Major restorative efforts have been made with the Arlington House.


Lincoln Cottage


The Lincoln Cottage was President Lincoln's seasonal home and refuge from the chaos of Civil War Washington, D.C. President Lincoln and his family lived in the cottage from June through November of 1862, 1863, and 1864. In 1851, the federal government established The Soldier's Home as a retirement home for wounded and disabled enlisted military veterans. President Buchanan was the first president to stay on the grounds. 


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The home was located three miles from the White House, and while staying at the cottage, the president would have shared the grounds with about 200 residents who lived in the dormitory next to the cottage. The Lincoln family enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere of the Soldier's Home.


Eisenhower Executive Office Building


The Eisenhower Executive Office Building, known as The Old Executive Office Building at the time, was built between 1871 and 1888. It was the largest office building in the world for many years. The building has 566 rooms and ten acres of floor space. Many White House employees have their offices in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. 


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Some presidents have used the office space as well. President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave the first televised presidential news conference in the building. President Nixon had a private 'hideaway" office during his presidency. The Office Building was renamed the Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building in 1999.


Ulysses S. Grant Memorial


The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial honors the American Civil War general and the 19th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, and is located at the base of Capitol Hill. Work on the memorial began in 1902 and was completed in 1922. 


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The memorial consists of the marble superstructure, four bronze lions, the Artillery Group, the Calvary Group, and the bronze statue of Grant. It was dedicated on the 100th anniversary of Grant's birth. The memorial features Grant's calm attitude amidst the raging fight; Grant was known for his calmness and staying cool-headed during battle.


National World War II Memorial


The Memorial honors the Americans who served in the armed forces during World War II. The memorial consists of fifty-six pillars and a pair of small arches around a square and fountain. Construction started on the memorial in September 2001. 


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The memorial sits on the National Mall and is located between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It was dedicated by President George W. Bush in 2004. The Freedom Wall has 4,048 gold stars; each star represents 100 Americans who died in the war. The message that lies in front of the wall states, "Here we mark the price of freedom."
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