DC in a Nutshell
The Capital of the United States of America, the city of the grand government institutes, the residence of the president, a place full of museums, culture, festivals, gardens, restaurants, and markets.
Tour the streets by foot and follow American history through the famous monuments and memorials. Walk around D.C’s colorful neighborhoods to get to know the area better.
Bike through the cherry trees, or cruise along the Potomac River.
WDC is the heart of the nation and has a lot to offer to any type of traveler.
The Foundation of the City
The Capital of The United States of America is located in the District of Columbia (D.C).
Its establishment is documented in the American Constitution since it was founded on July 16th, 1790.
The city is named after the first president, George Washington.
The origin of the name District of Columbia is said to be referred to Christopher Columbus, or Columbia, the personification of the United States. The district is not a state nor part of another state, and thus its residents do not have voting privileges in the Congress (one of their goal and struggle is to have some).
It was under the federal government rule till the first mayor was elected in 1973.
Geography, Demography, and the Development of the City
Washington DC (or as the local call it – “DC”) lies on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers and borders with Maryland and Virginia states, which both donated from their lands to establish the new city.
George Washington nominated Pierre Charles L’Enfant to design the new capital and together with Andrew and Benjamin Ellicott the first draft was made. Ten more years have passed until the government started to act in the new city.
Back in those days, the population of DC was mainly politicians, congressmen, lobbyists, ambassadors, and all the supporting system the administrate needed. Up until today, it is the house of core branches and departments of the federal government, and it is the residence of the president and foreign embassies.
The first neighborhoods to be inhabited were around the Capitol, and eventually, it expanded to Georgetown, that originally was an area of farms.
Over the years, the population grew with different groups and types of people that decided to make this city their home.
Currently, the DC metropolitan area is consisting of almost 6 million people from the district and the surrounding counties of Maryland and Virginia.
The city changed its face and population mostly by the different wars that happened in the US and overseas.
In 1812, during the war with Great Britain, the city was burned completely, and many of its buildings had to be rebuilt.
During the years of the American Civil War (1861-1865), soldiers lived in the city, and its facilities supported them with field hospitals, bakeries, and food supplies. The World Wars caused a great change for women in the city, as they took over the men, who went out to the battlefront.
Washington DC is divided into wards and neighborhoods, each with a different character, design and unique atmosphere.
“The Mall” was designed in the McMillan plan in 1902. In the center of the city, a wide boulevard, starting at the Capitol and ending at Lincoln Memorial, contains important museums and monuments which are documenting key events and leaders in American history, culture, and legacy.
In the middle of the mall, there is a wide grass area that hosts occasional events, and on a nice day, it’s a good place to rest between museums.
For more information you should check out this Redfin article about Washington DC neighborhoods.
The African-American population in the city was always significant.
Even before the civil war, freed slaves worked in the city. Enslaved people got their freedom in DC on April 16, 1862, nine months before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
Their community was vibrant, and they were active civil rights fighters.
Since the federal government was one of the largest employers in the city, there was no segregation, and equal salary was paid. Segregation started in the Wilson administration in 1912 and ended only by 1950s.