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Facts About D.C.

 

We received requests for information about certain facts on Washington D.C.  We hope you find here answers to these frequently asked questions.

  • Brief History about Washington D.C.
  • History of Self-Government
  • What does "D.C." stand for?
  • Official Bird, Flower and Tree and Motto
  • What is the area of Washington D.C.
  • Zip Codes
  • Population
  • Climate & Weather

For additional Washington D.C. population and business facts, please visit the U.S. Census Bureau page at the following address:  http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/11000.html

Brief History About Washington D.C.

The District of Columbia—identical with the City of Washington—is the capital of the United States. It is located between Virginia and Maryland on the Potomac River. The district is named after Columbus.

DC history began in 1790 when Congress directed selection of a new capital site, 100 sq mi, along the Potomac. When the site was determined, it included 30.75 sq mi on the Virginia side of the river. In 1846, however, Congress returned that area to Virginia, leaving the 68.25 sq mi ceded by Maryland in 1788. The seat of government was transferred from Philadelphia to Washington on Dec. 1, 1800, and President John Adams became the first resident in the White House.

The city was planned and partly laid out by Maj. Pierre Charles L'Enfant, a French engineer. This work was perfected and completed by Maj. Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker, a freeborn black man who was an astronomer and mathematician. In 1814, during the War of 1812, a British force burned the capital including the White House.

Until Nov. 3, 1967, the District of Columbia was administered by three commissioners appointed by the president. On that day, a government consisting of a mayor-commissioner and a 9-member council, all appointed by the president with the approval of the Senate, took office. On May 7, 1974, the citizens of the District of Columbia approved a Home Rule Charter, giving them an elected mayor and 13-member council—their first elected municipal government in more than a century. The district also has one nonvoting member in the House of Representatives and an elected Board of Education.

On Aug. 22, 1978, Congress passed a proposed constitutional amendment to give Washington, DC, voting representation in the Congress. The amendment had to be ratified by at least 38 state legislatures within seven years to become effective. It died in 1985. A petition asking for the district's admission to the Union as the 51st state was filed in Congress on Sept. 9, 1983, and new statehood bills were introduced in 1993. The district is continuing this drive for statehood.

The federal government and tourism are the mainstays of the city's economy, and many unions, business, professional, and nonprofit organizations are headquartered there. Among the city's many educational institutions are the Catholic University of America, Georgetown University, Howard University, and Gallaudet University. Cultural attractions include the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Folger Shakespeare Library.

What does "D.C." stand for?

D.C. stands for District of Columbia. It is called District of Columbia, because it was built on land of the Territory of Columbia, a 10 square mile piece of land, that used to be part of Virginia and Maryland. The territory of Columbia was named such after Christopher Columbus.

Official Bird, Flower and Tree and Flag

Official Bird is the Wood Thrush.
Official Flower is the American Beauty Rose
Official Tree is the Scarlet Oak
Motto: Justitia Omnibus (Justice for All)

     
Flag  Wood Thrush   Scarlet Oak

 

Area of Washington D.C. and Location

The area of Washington D.C. is 68.2 square miles.  Washington D.C. is located at 38.90N 77.05W

Zip Codes

Zip Codes in Washington D.C. are as follows: 20004, 20011, 20012, 20014, 20016, and 20020

Population

Washington D.C. population was recorded as 572,059 as of December 2000.

Climate and Weather

Average temperatures for Washington D.C. are:
Winter - 37° F.
Spring - 56° F.
Summer - 77° F.
Fall - 60° F

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