Do You Know the History of Washington, D.C.?


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About This Quiz

Washington, D.C., is our nation's capital, and that's where all the action is! Things heat up there, and it's not from the weather. D.C. is the seat of our political world, with a marvelous history as rich and fascinating as America itself. How much do you know about the history of Washington, D.C.?

What does D.C. stand for?

D.C. stands for District of Columbia. It got that name thanks to Christopher Columbus, a famous explorer.

The city of Washington was picked by whom?

The location of Washington was picked by our first president, George Washington. It seemed like a prime location for our capital!

D.C.'s population is approximately how many people?

D.C. has a population of just over 600,000. Washington is really not a very large city!

Washington was declared the capital through the _______ ?

Through the Residence Act, Washington was declared the capital. It was agreed upon by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

Who was the first president to live in the White House?

John Adams was the second president and the first to live in the White House. George Washington oversaw its construction.

The White House was set on fire in which war?

It was during the War of 1812 that the White House was set on fire by British troops. The First Lady was able to save a copy of the Declaration of Independence and a portrait of George Washington.

The first bronze equestrian statue in the U.S. was of whom?

The statue of Andrew Jackson in front of the White House was the first bronze statue cast in the U.S., and the first equestrian statue in the world that is balanced solely on the horse's hind legs.

Where is George Washington buried?

George Washington stated in his will that he wanted to be buried at Mount Vernon, his Virginia home. He still lies there today.

What was the original phone number of the White House?

The original phone number for the White House was 1. There was no phone in the Oval Office until 1929, for Herbert Hoover.

How many presidents are buried in D.C.?

Believe it or not, there is only one president buried in D.C. It is Woodrow Wilson, and he's buried at the Washington National Cathedral.

What famous structure eclipsed the height of the Washington Monument?

The Washington Monument was the tallest structure in the world until it was beat out by the Eiffel Tower. This was in 1889.

What is the largest library in the world?

The Library of Congress is actually the largest library in the world. It has more than 162 million objects in the collection.

Which famous memorial has a typo?

The Lincoln Memorial has a typo! Where F should be for Freedom, there was originally an E. It has been fixed but is still visible.

When did professional baseball begin in D.C.?

The Washington Senators began play in D.C. back in 1901. The Washington Nationals play there today.

Did a president invent the 7th Inning Stretch?

It was President William Howard Taft who decided to stretch his legs in the 7th inning - according to one popular story. Everyone else got up as well, out of respect.

Washington is home to the oldest functioning ______ market.

The oldest operating fish market in the country is the Maine Avenue Fish Market. It has been operating nonstop since 1805.

Where did Washington's cherry blossoms come from?

The cherry blossom trees that line the Tidal Basin were a gift from Tokyo in 1912. That being said, the official tree is the Scarlet Oak!

Which is older, Georgetown or D.C.?

Georgetown was around before Washington became the capital. It dates back to 1751.

Which has more rainfall, D.C. or Seattle?

Isn't it shocking? D.C. actually has more rainfall each year than Seattle! D.C averages 43.5 inches, while Seattle averages 37.5.

Where can you see all 44 presidents under the same roof?

At Madame Tussauds in D.C., you can see all 44 presidents! We all need to meet a wax Abe Lincoln once in this life.

What river is D.C. situated on?

POTUS lives on the Potomac! Coincidence? We think not.

What scary animal has lived at the White House?

There were two presidents who had pet alligators! They were Herbert Hoover and John Quincy Adams.

D.C. drinks the most _____ per capita.

They love their rose wine in D.C.! But if you worked for the most powerful government in the world, you'd probably drink a lot of wine too.

Among the gargoyles of the National Cathedral, you will find who?

That's right. Amongst the gargoyles of the National Cathedral you can find the head of Darth Vader.

D.C. uses ______ for their street names.

D.C. uses letters for street names, instead of numbers, for streets running east and west. There is no J street, because the letters I and J looked too similar and would have caused confusion.

The Washington Redskins were originally from what city?

The Washington Redskins were an import from Boston. At least they didn't have to travel too far!

How many Unknown Soldiers are at Arlington National Cemetary?

There were four unknown soldiers selected, from WWI, WWII, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. However, one of those soldiers - the veteran from the Vietnam War - was identified in 1998.

The quadrants of Washington, D.C., surround what?

The four quadrants of the city are centered around the Capitol Building. The layout was designed by Pierre L’Enfant and Andrew Ellicott.

How many levels are there to the White House?

There are actually 6 levels to the White House. There are also 132 rooms and 35 bathrooms.

When were D.C. residents given the right to vote in the presidential election?

In 1961, D.C. residents finally received the right to vote in presidential elections! The 23rd Amendment granted Washington, D.D., electors in the Electoral College.

Where was the MLK memorial built?

The Martin Luther King Memorial was created by Chinese artist Lei Yikin. It is made from 59 pieces of Chinese granite, sculpted in China, then disassembled for transport.

The center for museums and memorials is called the National _________.

You might think the National Mall is a big shopping mall, but it's not! The National Mall stretches from the Capitol Building to the Potomac. It's where you'll find most major museums and memorials.

The Capitol Building has its own _________.

The Capital Building has its own Subway! Can you imagine how much easier the commute to work would be?

What year was the first session of Congress held in the Capitol Building?

Congress first held session in the Capital Building on November 17th, 1800. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to be inaugurated within​ the Senate chamber.

Where will you find the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution​ and Bill of Rights?

The National Archives is home to the most precious documents of our history. Be sure to visit the next time you're there!

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