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Learn more about DC, its history, and how to get around the city.   DC Guide
Learn more about DC, its history, and how to get around the city.


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About DC

History of the Cherry Trees
The idea to plant cherry trees along the Potomac waterfront came from Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore after her first visit to Japan in 1885. But it took more than 25 years for her idea to take root. In 1912, 3,020 cherry trees of 12 varieties were shipped from Yokohama as a gift of friendship to the United States from the people of Japan.

National Cathedral
When Pierre L’Enfant designed Washington, DC, his plans included the building of a national church. In 1907 the foundation stone—a stone from Bethlehem inserted into a larger piece of American granite—was laid, with President Roosevelt and the Bishop of London on hand to address the crowd of 10,000. The first chapel opened in 1912 but it would take 83 years to complete construction on the cathedral.

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Facts and Statistics About DC

In 1790, a survey of the land for the District of Columbia was undertaken by Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker. Forty stones, laid at one-mile intervals, established the boundaries.

The Potomac River was known to Native Americans as the "Co-hon-ho-roo-ta." The first English explorers called it "Elizabeth."

The Residence Bill of July 16, 1790, established a site along the Potomac to be the capital. This federal district was first called the Territory of Columbia and the federal city the City of Washington. The name changed to the District of Columbia in 1793.

The most popular museum in DC-and on the planet-is the National Air and Space Museum, which had 219 million visitors in its first 25 years.

Of adults 25 and older in DC, 42% have at least a bachelor's degree. Washington, DC, is second only to the Silicon Valley, CA region in educational attainment.