Saturday 14 July 2012

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Washington DC

My son Thomas headed to Washington DC early this morning with our church's Youth Group on a week long mission trip.  I pray that they have a safe and successful trip!  Here are ten things you may not know about the American capital.

1.  Washington, District of Columbia is named after George Washington and Christopher Columbus.

2.  The city's population sat at 601,723 as of 2010.

3.  Washington DC is composed of the following groups:
     Black 50.7%
     White 38.5%
     Hispanic 9.1%
     Asian 3.5%
     Native Hawaiian 1%
     Native Indian 0.3%

4.  The city has 610 Protestant Churches and 132 Roman Catholic Churches.  Thomas and the other Youth Group members will be staying at a church in Fairfax, Virginia just outside of the capital.

5.  Washington DC accumulates 39 inches of rain per year.

6.  The Library of Congress contains 565 miles of bookshelves.  Its reference library alone contains 45,000 books.

7.  The White House was originally called the "President's Palace" or "President's House".  However, a Baltimore reporter referred to it as the White House and Teddy Roosevelt made it official in 1901.

8.  George Washington never actually lived in the White House as it was being built when he was President.

9.  The National Art Gallery contains the only Leonardo Da Vinci painting in the Western Hemisphere, called Ginevra de Benci.

10.  Washington DC has no skyskrapers.  Some say this is because no building was supposed to be taller than the Capitol.  However, in reality it was due to the fire department's equipment not being sufficient to fight a blaze in a building higher than 110 feet.  However, a Cairo apartment building is 165 feet high since it was built before the regulations were put in place.  The Washington Monument is by far the highest structure standing 555 1/8 feet high.

Photo of the Washington Monument courtesy

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