This is the well known fact that Washington – is the capital of the USA. There are government and Capitol there. But Washington is not very big sity, at least not so bid as New York, without skyscrapers and big business part. At all it is forbidden to built the buildings higher than Capitol. Yes, Washington is not the business capital, but as well it can be as a cultural and tourist capital of the USA.
Let us explore a little bit the history of this enigmatic city in order the better understand the present and maybe make some hints to future. So… The founder of Washington was of course George Washington. Black founder of Centralia. George Washington was the son of a slave and a woman of English decent. Soon after his birth, his father was sold to a new owner and his mother took him to the home of the Cochranes, a white couple who later adopted George. Anti-black laws, restrictions, and prejudice followed George and the Cochranes through six moves and six different states from Virginia to Washington. Prior to 1857, a law barring blacks from land ownership prevented George from owning the property he found in Washington. The Cochranes filed for the land chosen by George in order to protect it for him. In 1857 the law was repealed and the Cochranes deeded back to George, the 640 acres he had lived on and developed for the past five years. At last, receiving that title symbolized the attainment of basic rights and in 1875 George filed his intention of laying out a new town, originally named Centerville. In 1889 the town had a population of 1,000 and George had sold his 2,000th lot. In the Panic of 1893, Centralia was hard hit, and George saved the town by purchasing properties gone to the auction block and making wagon trips alone to Portland, Oregon for supplies, and by lending considerable sums of money with no interest or terms for repayment.
The one very big part of present Washington is Georgetown. Georgetown was officially formed in 1751 when the Maryland Assembly authorized the foundation of a town bordering the Potomac River. It was named George Town in honor of King George II, and very soon it prospered. In the beginning, tobacco was the lifeblood of the fledging community, which soon expanded into a profitable shipping community. Because of its access to the Potomac, Georgetown soon had a commercial and industrial hub around the waterfront where flour mills and wharves were constructed. As a result of its prosperity, Georgetown gained a reputation as the fashionable quarter of the capital and was visited by important people from all over the world.
And that famous river Potomac! It has seen enormous changes since the arrival of Native Americans in the first century C.E. The Native American settlements are now gone. Wars have been fought in along its shores; canals, railroads and factories built beside it; and the Nation's Capital built on its banks.
Probably as a result of its popularity, Georgetown was annexed to Washington City in 1871 by Congress. This little plot of land on the Potomac had evolved from a dirt patch to a part of a nation's capital.
After the Civil War, large numbers of freed slaves migrated to Georgetown. These African Americans flourished, becoming increasingly self-reliant. However, all this changed when in 1890 the Colorado and Ohio Canal was severely damaged by a Potomac River flood, and the Canal Company was forced into bankruptcy. The area went into an economic depression, and in the period after the First World War, the area gained a reputation as one of the worst slums in Washington. However, this trend started to reverse itself, when in the 1930s, New Deal government officials discovered Georgetown's beauty and convenience. Georgetown once again became the hip enclave for the affluent and politically inclined.
Today, Georgetown still boasts many attractions. One of these is the C&O Canal. The C & O Canal is scenic park area covered with camping sites, and over 180 miles of biking and hiking trails. Another attraction is the Old Stone House, which is the oldest intact house in the area. It was originally built in 1765 for Christopher Lehman and now is owned by the National Park Service, which opens it to the public.
Georgetown also sports a quiet, darker side. That side is evidenced in its cemeteries. Designed by George de la Roche, Oak Hill Cemetery was a gift to the town from philanthropist William Wilson Corcoran. Its Gothic chapel and gates were the work of the artistic genius of James Renwick, the architect responsible for the Smithsonian Castle and the Renwick Gallery. Among those buried here are Abraham Lincoln's young son Willie and his secretary of war, Edwin M. Stanton; Benjamin Harrison's secretary of state, James G. Blaine; and John Howard Payne, author of “Home, Sweet Home.” The graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers attest to Georgetown's divided loyalties during the Civil War. The Van Ness Mausoleum, also part of the cemetery, was built in 1833 by George Hadfield and eventually was moved to the cemetery in 1872. Another graveyard in Georgetown is the Mount Zion Cemetery. It was established by the Female Union Band Society, a benevolent association that provided free burial for blacks. Even with its darkness, Georgetown is truly a beautiful place.
Washington D.C. was the first carefully planned capital in the world. The capital of the U.S. was transferred from Philadelphia to Washington on Dec. 1, 1800.
In 1978, a proposed constitutional amendment to give the District of Columbia voting representation in the U.S. Congress was passed by Congress; the proposal died in 1985, having failed to get the needed 28 states to approve it.
Now in the Washington is all the government and White house of course. It exist a very curious rules abut the national symbol – American flag. No record has been found for the earliest date the flag was flown over the east and west fronts of the Capitol. Early engravings and lithographs in the office of the Architect of the Capitol show flags flying on either side of the original low dome above the corridors connecting the areas now known as Statuary Hall and the Old Senate Chamber.
After the addition of the new House and Senate wings in the 1850s, even before the great dome was completed in 1863, photographs of the period show flags flying over each new wing and the central east and west fronts.
The custom of flying the flags 24 hours a day over the east and west fronts was begun during World War I. This was done in response to requests received from all over the country urging that the flag of the United States be flown continuously over the public buildings in Washington, DC.
The east and west front flags, which are 8 x 12 feet, are replaced by new ones when they become worn and unfit for further use. Prior to machine-made flags, individuals were hired by the Congress to handsew these flags.
Presidential proclamations and laws authorize the display of the flag 24 hours a day at the following places:
Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Baltimore, Maryland (Presidential Proclamation No. 2795, July 2, 1948).
Flag House Square, Albemarle and Pratt Streets, Baltimore Maryland (Public Law 83-319, approved March 26, 1954).
United States Marine Corp Memorial (Iwo Jima), Arlington, Virginia (Presidential Proclamation No. 3418, June 12, 1961).
On the Green of the Town of Lexington, Massachusetts (Public Law 89-335, approved November 8, 1965).
The White House, Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No. 4000, September 4, 1970).
Washington Monument, Washington, DC. (Presidential Proclamation No. 4064, July 6, 1971, effective July 4, 1971).
Fifty flags of the United States are displayed at the Washington Monument continuously. United States Customs Ports of Entry which are continually open (Presidential Proclamation No. 413 1, May 5, 1972).
Grounds of the National Memorial Arch in Valley Forge State Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania (Public Law 94-53, approved July 4,1975).
Many other places fly the flag at night as a patriotic gesture by custom. All America are really proud of its capital and flag if on every corner it fly the flag showing to everybody the power of the democracy.
Washington D.C.'s official tree is the Scarlet oak.
The Washington city is also famous by the famous people that were born here. Among the are: Billie Burke, comedienne and actress best known for playing Glenda the good witch in The Wizard of Oz, Duke Ellington, jazz musician, Goldie Hawn, television and movie actress whose credits include Laugh In and The First Wives Club, J. Edgar Hoover, former director of the F.B.I, John Philip Sousa, composer known for his compositions for marching bands.
Culture and art are everywhere in this city. It is like it says “OK, you don’t want to make a metropolitan area with me, I’m very thankful!” And really who can boast with such a great verity of museums, art galleries and national parks? Who, except Washington? From Art to Zebras, Washington DC is host to world famous aquariums, archives, galleries, historical sites, libraries, museums and parks that offer something that will appeal to even the most diverse interest.
Let we make just little excursion through this marvelous city. Please look to the left, look to the right. Ladies and gentlemen! You are interested in Arts? To your pleasure Art and Industries building. The Arts and Industries building houses a re-creation of the 1881 Exposition for which it is named. The original U.S. National Museum, this architectural wonder once held many specimens (such as the Spirit of St. Louis) that are now on display in other Smithsonian museums. Presently, the museum features exhibition spaces and galleries that host historical artifacts and displays, along with a Discovery theater for educational programs. Maybe on your childhood you’ve read a lot of police stories, you should go to make a tour at FBI building! One of the most popular attractions in D.C. is the one-hour tour of the J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building. The tour gives an inside look at how the F.B.I. works with exhibits on famous cases, a look at the F.B.I.'s "ten most wanted fugitives," a visit to the F.B.I.'s scientific laboratory, and a firearms demonstration by a Special Agent. Tours are free. Maybe you will be so lucky that can meet Edgar Hoover there! And what about something special like for example National Museum of Health and Medicine? Where someone can visit fascinating exhibits which examine the nature and technology of medicine used to treat disease, from as far back as the Civil War until the treatment of AIDS. Medical kits used by Civil War doctors and displays of battlefield injuries bring medical history to life. Learn about staying healthy in today's world and the challenges of modern medicine through computer interactive tools. See 18th century microscopes alongside electron microscopes. The museum's Human Developmental Anatomy Center houses one of the largest embryological collections in the nation. Or The National Postal Museum? Drawing on its vast postal history and philatelic collection, the museum includes six major exhibition galleries touching on a range of topics, from the earliest history of the post office to the art of letter writing and the history of stamp collecting. An impressive atrium features three suspended airmail planes and is one of five exhibit galleries. The museum also has a library and research center, which includes a rare book reading room, an audiovisual room, and a workroom for viewing items from the collection. Educational programs include a Discovery Center for children.
And if still the patriotic feelings play inside of you like champagne you should visit National Archives & Records Administration. Preserving "the nation's memory," the National Archives displays proudly every day the U.S. Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. At night they are lowered into a 50-ton vault to shield them from vandals and nuclear attack.
And of course we can never forget about the other symbol, about the living memorial, about The Kennedy Center!
The theater is represented at the ground-breaking ceremony by (among others) Mell Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn, and Frederick Brisson.
The Kennedy Center, located on the banks of the Potomac River near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, opened to the public in September 1971. But its roots date back to 1958, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed bipartisan legislation creating a National Cultural Center. In honor of Eisenhower's vision for such a facility, one of the Kennedy Center's theaters was named for him.
The National Cultural Center Act included four basic components: it authorized the Center's construction, spelled out an artistic mandate to present a wide variety of both classical and contemporary performances, specified an educational mission for the Center, and stated that the Center was to be an independent facility, self-sustaining and privately funded. As a result of this last stipulation, a mammoth fundraising campaign began immediately following the Act's passage into law.
President John F. Kennedy was a lifelong supporter and advocate of the arts, and frequently steered the public discourse toward what he called "our contribution to the human spirit." Kennedy took the lead in raising funds for the new National Cultural Center, holding special White House luncheons and receptions, appointing his wife and Mrs. Eisenhower as honorary co-chairwomen, and in other ways placing the prestige of his office firmly behind the endeavor. [The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Library and Museum, Boston, Massachusetts]
President Kennedy also attracted to the project the man who would become the Center's guiding light for nearly three decades. By the time Kennedy appointed him as chairman of the Center in 1961, Roger L. Stevens had already achieved spectacular success in real estate (negotiating the sale of the Empire State Building in 1951), politics, fundraising, and the arts; as a theatrical producer, he had brought West Side Story, A Man for All Seasons, and Bus Stop to the stage. Over the next 30 years, Stevens would oversee the Center's construction, then would shepherd it to prominence as a crucible for the best in music, dance, and theater.
Signing of the John F. Kennedy Center Act by President Johnson on January 23, 1964
Two months after President Kennedy's assassination in November 1963, Congress designated the National Cultural Center as a "living memorial" to Kennedy, and authorized $23 million to help build what was now known as the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Fundraising continued at a swift pace--with much help coming from the Friends of the Kennedy Center volunteers, who fanned out across the nation to attract private support [View profiles of Friends/Volunteers Founding members]--and nations around the world began donating funds, building materials, and artworks to assist in the project's completion. In December 1965, President Lyndon Johnson turned the first shovelful of earth at the Center's construction site, using the same gold-plated spade that had been used in the groundbreaking ceremonies for the Lincoln Memorial in 1914 and the Jefferson Memorial in 1938.
From its very beginnings, the Kennedy Center has represented a unique public/private partnership. Because the Center is the nation's living memorial to President Kennedy, it receives federal funding each year to pay for maintenance and operation of the building, a federal facility. However, the Center's artistic programs and education and outreach initiatives are paid for almost entirely through ticket sales and gifts from individuals, corporations, and private foundations.
The Center made its public debut September 8, 1971, with a gala opening performance featuring the world premiere of a Requiem mass honoring President Kennedy, commissioned from legendary composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. [View the opening night's program for Mass.] The occasion enabled Washington to begin earning a reputation as a cultural hub as well as a political one; as The New York Times wrote in a front-page article the next morning, "The capital of this nation finally strode into the cultural age tonight with the spectacular opening of the $70 million [Kennedy Center]...a gigantic marble temple to music, dance, and drama on the Potomac's edge." [Read the dedication statements by the original honorary chairmen.]
Under Roger Stevens' continued direction, the Kennedy Center presented season after season of the finest and most exciting in the performing arts: new plays by Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, and Tom Stoppard; new ballets by Antony Tudor, Agnes DeMille, and Jerome Robbins; new scores by Aaron Copland, Dmitri Shostakovich, and John Cage. The Center co-produced musicals including Annie and Pippin in its early years, and later co-produced the American premiere of Les Miserables and co-commissioned the preeminent American opera of recent times, John Adams' Nixon in China. Stevens also initiated the American National Theater (ANT) company, which pushed the boundaries of traditional drama during a brief and controversial, but influential reign during the mid-1980s.
The Center also enabled Washington to become an international stage, hosting the American debuts of the Bolshoi Opera and the Ballet Nacional de Cuba, as well as the first-ever U.S. performances by Italy's legendary La Scala opera company. [See our Performance Highlights for a more thorough review of the Center's artistic achievements.]
Ralph P. Davidson replaced Stevens as Kennedy Center Chairman in 1988, and helped secure the ongoing Japanese endowment that brings that nation's arts to Washington each year. (Another of Japan's gifts to the Center, the Terrace Theater, had opened in 1979.) James D. Wolfensohn was elected the Center's third Chairman in 1990; under the leadership of Wolfensohn and President Lawrence J. Wilker, the Center solidified its fundraising, strengthened its relations with Congress, and extended the nationwide reach of its education programs to serve millions of young people in every state. The Center renewed its commitment to the creation of new works, and became a national leader in arts education and community outreach as well as a friendlier and more accessible home for the arts in Washington. [The Kennedy Center 25th Anniversary Gala, April 1996]
James A. Johnson, chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Fannie Mae, began his tenure as the Kennedy Center's fourth Chairman in May 1996. He inherits a thriving national treasure, one that is guided and inspired by the vision of its namesake. "I am certain that after the dust of centuries has passed over our cities," President Kennedy once said, "we, too, will be remembered not for our victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." [Concert Hall Renovation, November 1997]
If you are already tired of all that presidents and chairmen let we now explore some wild places of American capital. What will you say about Harpers Ferry National Historical Park?
Throughout its history, Harpers Ferry has been the backdrop for remarkable and unparalleled events. Here, in one setting, several themes in the American story converge: Native Americans, industry and transportation, African-Americans, John Brown, the Civil War, and the natural environment. Harpers Ferry became part of the National Park System in 1944. The park covers over 2,300 acres.
Or National Park Trust. The private land conservancy dedicated exclusively to America's Parklands, saving nationally significant wildlife, scenic wonders, and historic monuments.
So now it is time to speak a little bit about politics. About the man who maintain all the businesses and links in this capital. We should say some words about the Mayor.
Mayor Anthony A. Williams took office on January 2, 1999, and identified his vision and a plan of action for Washington, DC. Mayor Williams asks the people of DC to come together and work together to improve the quality of life in the District for both its citizens and the local business community.
His political strategy and vision for life at the Washington can be assumed as following:
The vision for the District is a simple vision, but one that is shared by citizens from Anacostia to Adams Morgan: our citizens deserve the best city in America. That means:
Strong schools, safe streets, clean communities, affordable housing, and reliable transportation;
Access for all people to health care where our senior citizens and children at risk receive quality services;
A wealth of social and cultural growth opportunities;
Vibrant economies downtown and in the neighborhoods;
True inclusion, a seat at the table for all;
Taking advantage of the District's truly unique assets — tourism that is second to none, unique partnerships with federal agencies, a strong regional economy that lacks only a vital urban center; and
Empowering men, women, and children of all communities to solve problems together. Coming together, working together, succeeding together.
Everybody agree that this is a very strong program and you can bet that Washington life will flourish and blossom.
So we make a little trip now through the capital of the USA and we really see that this city is absolutely deserves the name of one of the world’s powerful capitals. Because the power of any capital isn’t tanks and weapons and not also the quantity of millionaires for one square kilometer. The power is the pride of the city of the citizens of the principles and culture. Washington is a big example of this theory.