Interesting facts about Washington, D.C.

washington, d.c.

Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States.

It is located in the mid-Atlantic region of the US East Coast.

As of January 2019, the population of Washington, D.C. is about 700,000 people. It is the 20th most-populous city in the United States.

Washington, D.C. covers a total area of 177 square kilometers (68 square miles).

The city has average elevation of 50 meters (150 feet) above sea level and the highest point is 125 meters (410 feet) above sea level.


The history of Washington, D.C. is tied to its role as the capital of the United States.

Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father.

From its beginning, it has been embroiled in political maneuvering, sectional conflicts and issues of race, national identity, compromise and, of course, power.

The city came under attack during the War of 1812 in an episode known as the Burning of Washington. After capturing the nation’s capital during the War of 1812, British troops set fire to the White House, US Capitol, several federal buildings and private residences on August 24, 1814.

washington, d.c. history

As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital.

National symbols such as the Capitol and the White House are accessible to visitors, along with dozens of other tourist attractions that include world-class museums and important monuments.

The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is recognized around the world as a symbol of the United States. It is the home of the United States Congress, and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the Federal District, the Capitol forms the origin point for the District’s street-numbering system and the District’s four quadrants.

united states capitol

The White House is the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. It has been the residence of every U.S. President since John Adams in 1800. The term, “White House”, is often used as a metonym for the president and his advisers. The residence was designed by Irish-born architect James Hoban in the neoclassical style.

white house

The National Mall is an open park in downtown Washington, D.C. It is the focal point of some of the United States‘ most famous landmarks, monuments, and memorials. The park receives approximately 24 million visitors each year.

national mall

The Washington Monument is a large, tall, white obelisk on the National Mall. It was built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army and the first President of the United States. Standing almost due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial, the monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss.

washington monument

The Lincoln Memorial is a monument built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the western end of the National Mall. The Lincoln Memorial was designed by Henry Bacon; construction took place between 1914 and 1922.

lincoln memorial

The Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial, dedicated to Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826). The neoclassical Memorial building was designed by John Russell Pope and drew its inspiration from the Pantheon in Rome as well as the Rotunda at the University of Virginia, which Jefferson himself designed.

jefferson memorial

The National Air and Space Museum is one of the world’s most popular museums, with a collection of history-making air and spacecraft that includes the original 1903 Wright Brothers Flyer, and Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, the first plane to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. More recent flight history is represented here by the Apollo 11 command module, part of the first manned lunar landing mission.

national air and space museum

Housed in two separate buildings connected by a tunnel, the National Gallery of Art is one of the world’s premier art museums and one of the most popular in the U.S. Based on the sizable collection of financier and later Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, its large and diverse collection includes masterpieces of European and American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts.

national gallery of art

The area that is Washington, D.C. today was originally inhabited by an Algonquian-speaking people known as the Nacotchtank.

Unique among cities with a high percentage of African Americans, Washington has had a significant black population since the city’s creation. As a result, Washington became both a center of African American culture and a center of Civil Rights Movement.

The assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968 sparked major riots in chiefly African American neighborhoods east of Rock Creek Park.

Washington, D.C., is a prominent center for national and international media. The Washington Post, founded in 1877, is the oldest and most-read local daily newspaper in Washington.