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Year Organized: 1790
Square Miles: 68.34
Daguerreotype by John Plumbe, 1846.
Earliest known image of the
[Photo submitted by John Sharp]
Washington, D.C., is the capital city of the United States of America.
D.C." stands for the District of Columbia, the federal district
containing the city of Washington. The city is named after George
Washington, military leader of the American Revolution and the first
President of the United States.
The District of Columbia and
the city of Washington are coextensive and are governed by a single
municipal government, so for most practical purposes they are
considered to be the same entity (this was not always the case,
though, as there were multiple jurisdictions within the district as
late as 1871, when Georgetown ceased to be a separate city within the
District). However, although there is a municipal government and a
mayor, Congress has the supreme authority.
The centers of all
three branches of the U.S. federal government are in the District as
well as the headquarters of most independent agencies. It serves as
the headquarters for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund,
and the Organization of American States, and other national and
international institutions. Washington is the frequent location of
large political demonstrations and protests, particularly on the
National Mall. Washington is the site of numerous national landmarks,
museums, and sports teams, and is a popular destination for tourists.
It is commonly known as D.C., the District, or simply
Washington. Historically, it was called the Federal City or Washington
City. It should not be confused with the state of Washington located
in the Pacific Northwest. To avoid confusion, the city is often called
simply D.C. and the state is often called "Washington State".
The District of Columbia, founded on July 16, 1790, is a federal
district as specified by the United States Constitution. The U.S.
Congress has ultimate authority over the District of Columbia, though
it has delegated limited local rule to the municipal government. The
land forming the original District came from the states of Virginia and
Maryland. However, the area south of the Potomac River (39 square
miles or about 100 km²) was returned, or "retroceded", to Virginia in
1847 and now is incorporated into Arlington County and the City of
The term "District of Columbia" is derived from an
old poetic name for the United States, Columbia, which has fallen out
of common use since the early 20th century.
"From Wikipedia, the
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Thanks to Wayne Hinton for his service 2006-2009.
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