The District of Columbia (also Washington D.C.) is the capital of the United States and originated on July 16, 1790. The land came from Maryland and Virginia, but the land south of the Potomac River was given back to Virginia in 1847. The land that makes up the District of Columbia is the area from the original Maryland gave for the capital. The city was developed to keep it separate for the states.
Maps of Famous Landmarks
Washington D.C. was named for our first president, George Washington, District of Columbia refers to Christopher Columbus. The city has a population of over 588,000, with more than 5 million people in the Washington Metro area.
The three branches of the government are in the city, as well as many other national and international institutions. Washington, D.C. is a well known vacation spot because of the many historical and cultural landmarks, memorials, museums, art, music, cathedrals and universities. There are also natural areas by the Potamac and Anacostia rivers, along with Rock Creek and Theodore Roosevelt Island located in the Potomac River.
The National Mall is a large, open park area in the middle of Washington that features monuments to U.S. leaders and world events; it also connects the White House and the United States Capitol buildings. Washington Monument is located in the center of the Mall with other sites around it; Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, National World War II Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, District of Columbia War Memorial, Albert Einstein Memorial, and United States Navy Memorial.
There are many art museums in D.C., as well as those that are connected to the Smithsonian, including the free National Gallery of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Corcoran Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection.
Other areas to visit include Chinatown, Folger Shakespeare Library, Ford's Theatre, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, National Building Museum, National Geographic Society, Old Post Office Building, Theodore Roosevelt Island, Franciscan Monastery, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Victims of Communism Memorial, and the Washington National Cathedral.
Washington D.C. has a moderate climate representative of the Mid-Atlantic United States, with four separate seasons. Summer is very hot and humid with highs in July and August in the 80's to 90's. Because of the humidity there can be many thunderstorms, some with tornadoes. Spring and fall are very pleasant with low humidity and temperatures in the 60's to 70's. Many trees and bushes are in bloom, most notably the cherry blossoms. Winter can feature cold temperatures, snow and freezing rain and sometimes sizable snowstorms. Average highs are in the low 40's and lows in the mid 20's from mid-December to mid-February. The temperature can occasionally drop into the teens.