Some of the best things about traveling to certain destination cities is the amount of history, both local and otherwise, that can be learned and explored there. One of the best cities to travel to in order to learn about the history of America, the American military, the East Coast, and more is the city of Washington D.C. The city of Washington D.C. has it all in terms of historic attractions including art galleries, museums, military and government buildings, government offices, memorials, landmarks, monuments, and even actual historic sites. A great deal of information is known about the nation’s capital, but here is a look at fifteen little known facts about Washington D.C.
The famous chair, 20 feet tall and nine feet wide, was built as a promotional gimmick by the Curtis Brothers furniture store in 1959. It lasted at it’s original site for 45 years before it was taken down due to wood rot and disrepair. The original had been made of mahogany, but the replacement was made largely from aluminum that will last for years and years. When it was first erected, the Anacostia Chair was the largest chair in the world. That title now belongs to the city of Anniston, Alabama.
Lack of Air Conditioning
Before the days of air conditioning came to Washington D.C., it wasn’t uncommon to find whole families sleeping outdoors in their yards or local parks because of the intense heat inside their homes.
A First In Football
Though not known for being a football town these days, Gallaudet University of Washington D.C. has a special place in the history of the game. Gallaudet is a school for the deaf and hard of hearing. To avoid having their hand signals seen by the opposing team in between football plays, members of the Gallaudet University football team began doing something that would become a fixture in the game. They began coming together in a huddle before each play to communicate what the next play would be.
The City’s First Resident President
Washington D.C. was being built while George Washington was President of the United States, so during that time Philadelphia served as the temporary national capital. The first president to serve as Commander in Chief and reside in Washington D.C. was John Adams, the second President of the United States.
One Fifth Parkland
For being a major city, there is an awful lot of greenery in the capital of the United States. Just under twenty percent of the city of Washington D.C. is made up of actual parkland.
Washington Doesn’t Exist
The Organic Act of 1871 combined the cities of Washington and Georgetown with Washington County into one new municipality that would be known as the District of Columbia. Officially, the city of Washington no longer exists. The name is kept alive though in the common naming of the city as Washington, D.C.
The Baseball Game That Never Ended
The first Washington Senators baseball team came to the nation’s capital in 1901. They would play there until 1960 when the team was moved to Minnesota and renamed the Minnesota Twins. A new Washington Senators team would come to town as part of Major League Baseball’s expansion. That team would stay through the 1960s, but move in the fall of 1971 to Texas and become the Texas Rangers. The Senators last game in Washington D.C., on September 30th, 1971, was against the New York Yankees. The game never came to a proper end though because Senators fans rushed the field during play and the contest ended up being forfeited to the Yankees.
Leonardo da Vinci’s Presence
One of the most famous men in history, artist or otherwise, is Leonardo da Vinci. The National Gallery of Art, located in Washington D.C., is home to North America’s only Leonardo da Vinci painting.
Counting The People
When ranked by population as if it were a state, the District of Columbia comes in 50th, just behind the state of Vermont. The one state in the union that has less people in it than the District of Columbia? Wyoming.
Religion And Politics
The capital of the United States of America, Washington D.C., is home to a wealth of federal government buildings including everything from the White House where the President resides, to the Library of Congress. The city is also very religious and features more than 750 churches and synagogues.
Your Vote Doesn’t Count
The city of Washington D.C. is home to a number of United States citizens, more than a million people live there these days. Many of them work in a variety of jobs for the federal government. It wasn’t until 1961, when the Twenty-third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was passed that residents of the District of Columbia would have their votes counted in a presidential election.
The Bullet Fired By John Wilkes Booth
One of the most famous days in American history occurred at Ford’s Theater shortly after the end of the American Civil War. It was on that day that John Wilkes Booth killed the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The bullet that killed Lincoln can be seen to this day as it is on display at the National Museum of Health in Washington D.C.
A Double Play For The National Anthem
In 1814 Francis Scott Key penned his poem, “Defence of Fort McHenry”, which would later be set to music and be renamed the Star Spangled Banner. In 1931, by a congressional resolution that was signed by Herbert Hoover, the Star Spangled Banner became the national anthem for the United States. Interestingly, the Star Spangled Banner is also the official song of the city of Washington D.C.
What About Taxation Without Representation?
Residents of Washington D.C. pay the same federal taxes that residents of the rest of the United States do. Even though this is true, those citizens do not have any representation in either the United States House of Representatives or the United States Senate.
Blow The Roof Off This Place
Washington D.C. is known for it’s cold winters and hot summers, but there are a few instances in history when a different weather issue affected the city. In the fall of 1888, a rather large tornado struck down in the city and among other places, ended up damaging the Smithsonian Institutes’ roof.
Ready to visit Washington D.C.?
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There is a great amount of history that has taken place in and around Washington D.C. The lucky traveler that gets to visit the city has the opportunity to take part in and experience some of the rich programs and valued historical sites available and open to the public. From the Washington Monument to the Smithsonian Institute, travelers coming to the capital city of the United States of America have a whole host of options in front of them when it comes to entertainment and interesting things to do. A visit to Washington D.C. is a great way to spend a vacation.
Please feel free to share any additional unique Washington D.C. facts.