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Washington DC History

D.C. is chock full of monuments, memorials, and museums that make it a must-see. Washington D.C. history is directly linked to our nation's government and growth. But, of course, it wasn’t always the nation’s capital. Eight other cities housed the government until an official center for the growing nation was established in 1800. D.C. history begins when George Washington himself handpicked this site along the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, which was then more than 5,000 acres of woods, valleys, and pastureland. Architect Pierre L’Enfant was hired in 1791 to create a grand plan and given 10 years to make it happen. Ground was broken for the Capitol Building in 1793 and that along with the White House and the U.S. Treasury were the first of the major buildings to be completed. The boundaries for the city were expanded after the Civil War to include the busy port of Georgetown as well as more of the surrounding farmland. The farms may have been swallowed up, but the animals didn’t want to leave. In 1877 stray cows damaged the plants and bushes growing on the grounds of the Capitol, which must have annoyed Frederick Law Olmsted. The Central Park architect was the mastermind behind those acres as well as the National Zoo.
Washington D.C. history tells the story of the United States and the monuments, museums, mansions and memorials housed in this city serve as a reminder of what our capital city stands for.