American City: Washington D. C.

Washington, D.C.

        Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as “Washington”, “the District”, or simply “D.C.”, is the capital of the United States. The signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country’s East Coast. The U.S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and the District is therefore not a part of any U.S. state.

Location of Washington D.C.

Location of Washington D.C.

 

Government
• Mayor Muriel Bowser (D)
• D.C. Council
Council members
• U.S. House Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), Delegate (At-large)
Area
• Federal district 68.34 sq mi (177.0 km2)
• Land 61.05 sq mi (158.1 km2)
• Water 7.29 sq mi (18.9 km2)

 

 

 

The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. Named in honor of George Washington, one of the United States’ founding fathers and the leader of the American Continental Army who won the Revolutionary War, the City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the District.

A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, the Congress maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. D.C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the U.S. Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961.

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The National Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrated around the city each spring.

The White House

The White House ranked second on the AIA’s “List of America’s Favorite Architecture” in 2007.