The US capital city is rich is history, with many world changing events having taken place here. It was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that Martin Luther King made his famed 'I Have a Dream' speech to an audience of thousands.
This paved the way for radical changes in the African American community. The Lincoln Memorial itself is a 30 metre tall tribute to the former president of the United States, looking out onto the reflecting pool in front. Opposite the presidential statue, beyond the pool is the Washington Monument. Standing 555 feet tall, it is the tallest structure in the district.
The most iconic building within Washington DC, is of course The White House; home to every president since John Adams in 1800. President Barack Obama and his family now reside in the house, which holds the annual Easter Egg Roll on the front lawn on Easter Monday. Washington DC_The White House It is rumoured to have begun in 1814 by the wife of President James Madison.One of the city's largest events is the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, running over March and April for three weeks. This celebrates the gift of 3000 cherry trees to DC in 1912 from the mayor of Tokyo. Performances, food and music are city wide and it is one of the city's biggest celebrations.
The city has the supreme authority of the Congress guiding major decisions. A mayor, through local election, along with a council of 13 members have governed the District since 1973, but Local laws may still be overturned by the Congress.
In July of 1790, Congress passed the Residency Act, therefore creating the national capital on the Potomac River. This bill was signed into a law on July 16th by President George Washington after land was donated by Maryland and Virginia. The borders of the capital were surveyed between 1791 and 1792, with boundary stones being placed every 100 metres. Many of these stones still stand today, giving an insight into the historical layout to the city.
1814 saw a notable historical event for Washington DC, the Burning of Washington. British forces invaded the capital as part of the War of 1812 - spanning 32 months, between the United States and the UK. The Capitol, Treasury and White House were seriously damaged in these attacks, some being gutted out and had to be reconstructed.
Weather in Washington DC has clear seasons. Winters are cold with some snow fall, while summers are hot and humid, with temperatures that have peaked at 40 degrees centigrade. This weather can cause frequent thunderstorms with some tornado risk, although much lower than tornado alley further west.
Last updated: 3 February 2014