Washington, DC

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Founded:
July 16, 1790
Land Area:
68.3 sq mi.
Highest Point:
409 ft
Official Bird:
Wood Thrush
Official Flower:
American Beauty Rose
Official Song:
America the Beautiful
Official Tree:
Scarlet Oak
Nickname
D.C., or "the District"
Border States:
Virginia, Maryland
Motto:
Justitia Omnibus  ("Justice for All")
Origin of Name:
"Columbia" is a poetic name for the United States, from Christopher Columbus' name

Although New York City and Philadelphia each served briefly as the capital of the United States, in 1790, Congress chose the District of Columbia as the permanent seat of government. George Washington helped select the site for the city. Situated on the Potomac River, Washington, D.C., was originally carved out of land transferred from Maryland and Virginia (Virginia's portion south of the river was returned to that state in 1846).

White House Tours

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Public tours of the White House are available for groups of 10 or more people. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress and are accepted up to six months in advance. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday (excluding federal holidays). Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis approximately one month in advance of the requested date. We encourage you to submit your request as early as possible since a limited number of tours are available. All White House tours are free of charge. For the most current tour information, please call the 24-hour line at 202-456-7041. Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.

White House Gardens and Grounds Tours

White House Gardens and Grounds Tours will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 18, and from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 19, 2009. Visitors will be able to view the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the Children's Garden and the South Lawn of the White House. The White House Kitchen Garden, a new addition to the South Lawn, will be viewable from a distance along the tour route.

The tours are open to the public; however, a ticket is required for all attendees, including small children. The National Park Service will distribute free, timed tickets at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion located at 15th and E Streets on each tour day beginning at 8:00 a.m. Tickets will be distributed -- one ticket per person -- on a first-come, first-served basis.

Lincoln Memorial 

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Built to honor the nation's 16th President, the memorial blends the work of architect Henry Bacon, sculptor Daniel Chester French, artist Jules Guerin, and a host of others. The materials used in this memorial demonstrate a concerted effort to assemble stones from several regions of the Union into a great classical tribute to Lincoln. The proportions of the architectural elements are meant to impress, inspire, and ensure that the simple Lincoln is elevated elegantly to a level commensurate with his historical role and achievements.

Materials

Exterior: Memorial walls, entablature, attic frieze, Doric columns, and upper steps-Colorado Yule marble; Tripods-Tennessee pink marble; Lower steps and terrace walls-pink Milford, Massachusetts granite.

Interior: Walls and Ionic columns-Indiana limestone; Statue and plinth-George white marble; Pedestal and chamber floor-Tennessee pink marble; Ceiling panels-Alabama marble saturated with melted beeswax for translucency; Ceiling beams-Copper alloy to form bronze and/or brass; Murals-Oil paint mixed with white wax and kerosene and applied to canvas.

Exterior Statistics

Retaining wall: Height-14 feet; Width (east and west sides)-257 feet; Depth (north and south sides)-187 feet. 

Foundation of building: Piles extending between 44 to 65 feet from original grade to bedrock.

Height of building: 79 feet 10 inches from foundation top; 99 feet above grade at foot of terrace walls.

Total height including foundation: 169 to 192 feet depending on bedrock surface.

Total width of building north to south: 201 feet 10 inches at widest point.

Total depth of building east to west: 132 feet at widest point.

Tripod(s) height: 11 feet.

Diameter of memorial site: Approximately 1200 feet.

Acreage of memorial site: 109.63 acres.

Memorial weight: 38,000 tons or 76,000,000 pounds.

Doric colonnade: Width (east and west sides)-188 feet 4 inches; Depth (north and south sides)-118 feet 6 inches; Height-44 feet; Number-36 plus 2 at entrance; Column diameter-7 feet 5 inches; Drums in column-11 including capital; Flutes in column-20.

Platform under colonnade: Height-8 feet divided into three steps; Bottom step 201 feet 1o inches on east and west sides and 132 feet on north and south sides.

Hope in Our City: Anacostia, A Place of Spirit

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This two-part project used visual art, music, and seminars to celebrate the rich diversity and historic heritage of Anacostia, the area of the nation's capital on the east side of the Anacostia River.

The first part was an exhibition of artists and photographers in Anacostia in November of 1998.

The second part, held at Washington's Union Station for the first three weeks of February 1999, celebrated National Black History Month by focusing on the relationship between the spiritual roots of freedom and contemporary outreaches in the inner city.

Source: Library of Congress
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