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Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington or D.C., is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father. Washington is the principal city of the Washington metropolitan area, which has a population of 6,131,977. As the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is also one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million annual tourists.

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 U.S. Congress, and the District is therefore not a part of any state. The states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria. 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.

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Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass (February 141, 1818 – February 20, 1895) was an American abolitionist, editor, orator, author, statesman and reformer. Called "The Sage of Anacostia" and "The Lion of Anacostia," Douglass was among the most prominent African Americans of his time, and one of the most influential lecturers and authors in American history. Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey, who later became known as Frederick Douglass, was born a slave in Talbot County, Maryland near Hillsboro. He was separated from his mother, Harriet Bailey, when he was still an infant. She died when Douglass was about seven years old. The identity of Douglass' father is obscure; Douglass originally stated that his father was a white man, perhaps his master, Captain Aaron Anthony, but later said that he knew nothing of his father's identity. When Anthony died, Douglass was given to Mrs. Lucretia Auld, wife of Captain Thomas Auld; the young man was sent to Baltimore to serve the Captain's brother, Hugh Auld. When Douglass was about twelve, Hugh Auld's wife, Sophia, broke the law by teaching Douglass some letters of the alphabet. Thereafter, as detailed in his Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave (published in 1845), Douglass succeeded in learning to read from white children in the neighborhood in which he lived, and by observation of writings of the men with whom he worked. Douglass later referred to the lessons he received from Sophia Auld in his first abolitionist speech. (more...)


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1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom

The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom was a large political rally that took place on August 28, 1963. It was organized principally by A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin and Martin Luther King Jr. During this March, King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial. Between 200,000 and 500,000 people were in attendance. (read more...)

Photo credit: Warren K. Leffler; Source: Library of Congress


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    Taken from approximately 38°53′21.79″N, 77°02′24.65″W, centering on approximately 270°
    A panorama of the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.
    - Credit UED77


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