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The world's largest man-made waterfall is 438 feet tall. It is the spillway over the Shasta Dam in Redding, California.

The Space Needle, built in 1961 in Seattle, Washington is the first revolving restaurant.
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The very site for the new country's capital was agreed upon at a dinner between James Madison and Alexander Hamilton, hosted by Thomas Jefferson. The site was part of the deal that led to the new national government's assumption of debts from the Revolutionary War. The southern states had largely paid off their war debts; collectivizing debt was to northern advantage, so a southern capital was a compromise. The plan incorporated broad avenues and major streets which radiate out from traffic circles, providing vistas towards important landmarks and monuments. While all of the original colonies had avenues named for them, the most prominent states received more prestigious locations.

The city was officially named "Washington" on September 9, 1791. Out of modesty, George Washington never referred to it as such, preferring to call it "the Federal City." Despite choosing the site and living nearby at Mount Vernon, he rarely visited the city. The federal district was named the District of Columbia because Columbia was a poetic name for the United States used at the time..

Initially, the District of Columbia included four distinct sections, of which the city of Washington was only one. The others were Alexandria County, Georgetown and the County of Washington. In 1791-92, Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker surveyed the border of the District with both Maryland and Virginia, placing boundary stones at every mile point; many of these still stand. The cornerstone of the White House, the first newly constructed building of the new capital, was laid on October 13, 1792. That was the day after the first celebrations of Columbus Day in the United States.

On August 24, 1814, Canadian forces under British command burned the capital during the most notable raid of the War of 1812 in retaliation for the sacking and burning of York during the winter months, which had left many Canadians homeless. President James Madison and U.S. forces fled before the British forces arrived and burned public buildings, including the Capitol and the Treasury building. The White House was burned and gutted. The Washington Navy Yard was also burned by American sailors to keep ships and stores from falling into the hands of the British. The British had approached the city hoping to secure a truce. However, they were fired upon, triggering frustration and anger among the British, which ultimately led to the sacking of government buildings.

During the 1830s, the District was home to one of the largest slave trading operations in the country. The slave trade, though not slavery, in the capital was outlawed as part of the Compromise of 1850.Washington remained a small city until the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861. The significant expansion of the federal government to administer the war and its legacies led to notable growth in the city's population. In July 1864, Confederate forces under General Jubal Anderson Early made a brief raid into Washington, culminating in the Battle of Fort Stevens. The Confederates were repelled, and Early eventually returned to the Shenandoah Valley. This was the only battle where a U.S. president, Abraham Lincoln, was present and under enemy fire while in office. In 1878, Congress passed an Organic Act that made the boundaries of the city of Washington blended with those of the District of Columbia.

The Washington Monument opened in 1888. However, development of the Lincoln Memorial and other structures on the National Mall did not begin until the early 20th century. he District's population peaked in 1950.The population declined in the following decades, mirroring the suburban emigration from many of the nation's older urban centers following World War II. The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified on March 29, 1961, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to vote for president and have their votes count in the Electoral College as long as Washington, D.C. does not have more electoral votes than the least populous state.

After the assassination of civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis, on April 4, 1968, riots broke out in some sections of the city. The violence raged for four days, and buildings were burned. At one point, the rioters came within two blocks of the White House. President Lyndon Johnson ordered over 13,000 federal troops to occupy the city--the largest occupation of an American city since the Civil War. It took years for the city to recover.

One of the most important developments in bringing people back downtown was the building of the subway system. The first 4.6 miles of the Washington Metro subway system opened on March 27, 1976. Today the system knits together Washington and its suburbs.Washington D.C. is known to literally be the most monumental city in the US.
September 11th 2001
On September 11, 2001, a hijacked aircraft deliberately crashed into the Pentagon, just across the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia, partially damaging a side of the building. Al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaydah told American officials while under interrogation that the White House was the intended target, while Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi Binalshibh have said that the United States Capitol Building was the intended target of the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93.

Historic Figures

George Washington (1732 –1799)
James Madison (1751-1836)

George Washington (1732 –1799)
A critical figure in the founding of the United States, and is commonly referred to as father of the nation. He led America's Continental Army to victory over Britain in the American Revolutionary War and in 1789 was elected the first President of the United States of America. He served two four-year terms from 1789 to 1797. His devotion to republicanism and civic virtue made him an exemplary figure among early American politicians.As the symbol of republicanism in practice, Washington embodied American values and across the world was seen as the symbol of the new nation. Scholars perennially rank him among the three greatest U.S. Presidents. During Washington's funeral oration, Henry Lee said that of all Americans, he was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen."

James Madison (1751-1836)
One of the most significant Founding Fathers of the United States. Considered to be the "Father of the Constitution", he was the principal author of the document. In 1788, he wrote over a third of the Federalist Papers, still the most influential commentary on the Constitution. As a leader in the first Congresses, he drafted many basic laws and was responsible for the first ten amendments to the Constitution, and thus is also known as the "Father of the Bill of Rights".

July 19, 2024

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