HOME

TheInfoList



OR:

) , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top left: the
Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk shaped building within the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army (1775–1784) in the American Revolutionary War and th ...
and Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall,
United States Capitol The United States Capitol, often called The Capitol or the Capitol Building, is the seat of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, which is formally known as the United States Congress. It is located on Capitol Hill ...
, Logan Circle,
Jefferson Memorial The Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial built in Washington, D.C. between 1939 and 1943 in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, a central intellectual force behind the A ...
,
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in ...
, Adams Morgan,
National Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, commonly known as Washington National Cathedral, is an American cathedral of the Episcopal Church. The cathedral is located in Washington, D.C., the ca ...
, image_flag = Flag of the District of Columbia.svg , image_seal = Seal of the District of Columbia.svg , nickname = D.C., The District , image_map = , map_caption = Interactive map of Washington, D.C. , coordinates = , subdivision_type =
Country A country is a distinct part of the world, such as a state, nation, or other political entity. It may be a sovereign state or make up one part of a larger state. For example, the country of Japan is an independent, sovereign state, while ...
, subdivision_name = , established_title =
Residence Act The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States (), is a United States federal statute adopted during the second session of the First United States Co ...
, established_date = 1790 , named_for =
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continental Congress as commander of ...
,
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus * lij, Cristoffa C(or)ombo * es, link=no, Cristóbal Colón * pt, Cristóvão Colombo * ca, Cristòfor (or ) * la, Christophorus Columbus. (; born between 25 August and 31 October 1451, died 20 May 1506) was a ...
, established_title1 = Organized , established_date1 = 1801 , established_title2 = Consolidated , established_date2 = 1871 , established_title3 = Home Rule Act , established_date3 = 1973 , unit_pref = imperial , leader_title =
Mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official in a municipal government such as that of a city or a town. Worldwide, there is a wide variance in local laws and customs regarding the powers and responsibilities of a mayor as well ...
, leader_title1 = D.C. Council , leader_title2 =
U.S. House The United States House of Representatives, often referred to as the House of Representatives, the U.S. House, or simply the House, is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, with the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they ...
, leader_name =
Muriel Bowser Muriel Elizabeth Bowser (born August 2, 1972) is an American politician serving since 2015 as the eighth mayor of the District of Columbia. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously represented the 4th ward as a member of the Counci ...
 ( D) , leader_name1 = , leader_name2 =
Eleanor Holmes Norton Eleanor Holmes Norton (born June 13, 1937) is an American lawyer and politician serving as a delegate to the United States House of Representatives, representing the District of Columbia since 1991. She is a member of the Democratic Party. Ea ...
 (D),
Delegate Delegate or delegates may refer to: * Delegate, New South Wales, a town in Australia * Delegate (CLI), a computer programming technique * Delegate (American politics), a representative in any of various political organizations * Delegate (Unit ...
(At-large) , area_total_sq_mi = 68.34 , area_land_sq_mi = 61.05 , area_water_sq_mi = 7.29 , population_as_of =
2020 2020 was heavily defined by the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to global social and economic disruption, mass cancellations and postponements of events, worldwide lockdowns and the largest economic recession since the Great Depression in t ...
, population_total = 689545 , population_rank = 20th in the United States , population_metro_footnotes = , population_metro = 6385162 ( 6th) , population_footnotes = , population_density_sq_mi = 11294.76 , population_density_km2 = 4361.45 , population_demonym = Washingtonian , timezone = EST , utc_offset = −5 , timezone_DST = EDT , utc_offset_DST = −4 , postal_code_type = ZIP Codes , postal_code = 20001–20098, 20201–20599, 56901–56999 , area_code =
202 Year 202 ( CCII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Severus and Antoninus (or, less frequently, year 955 '' Ab urbe condi ...
, 771 (overlay) , elevation_min_ft = 0 , elevation_max_ft = 409 , website = , blank_name_sec1 = International airports , blank_info_sec1 = , blank1_name_sec1 =
Commuter rail Commuter rail, or suburban rail, is a passenger rail transport service that primarily operates within a metropolitan area, connecting Commuting, commuters to a Downtown, central city from adjacent suburbs or commuter towns. Generally commuter r ...
, blank1_info_sec1 = , blank2_name_sec1 =
Rapid transit Rapid transit or mass rapid transit (MRT), also known as heavy rail or metro, is a type of high-capacity public transport generally found in urban areas. A rapid transit system that primarily or traditionally runs below the surface may be ...
, blank2_info_sec1 = Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia, also known as Washington or D.C., is the
capital city A capital city or capital is the municipality holding primary status in a country, state, province, department, or other subnational entity, usually as its seat of the government. A capital is typically a city that physically encompasses t ...
and
federal district A federal district is a type of administrative division of a federation, usually under the direct control of a federal government and organized sometimes with a single municipal body. Federal districts often include capital districts, and they ...
of the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territori ...
. It is located on the east bank of the
Potomac River The Potomac River () drains the Mid-Atlantic United States, flowing from the Potomac Highlands into Chesapeake Bay. It is long,U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map. Retrieved Augu ...
, which forms its southwestern and southern border with the
U.S. state In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its sove ...
of
Virginia Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth ar ...
, and it shares a land border with the U.S. state of
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It shares borders with Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to ...
on its other sides. The city was named for
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continental Congress as commander of ...
, a
Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited with establishing a state. National founders are typically those who played an influential role in setting up the systems of governance, (i.e. ...
and the first
president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States ...
, and the
federal district A federal district is a type of administrative division of a federation, usually under the direct control of a federal government and organized sometimes with a single municipal body. Federal districts often include capital districts, and they ...
is named after Columbia, the female personification of the nation. As the seat of the
U.S. federal government The federal government of the United States (U.S. federal government or U.S. government) is the national government of the United States, a federal republic located primarily in North America, composed of 50 states, a city within a fed ...
and several international organizations, the city is an important world political capital. It is one of the most visited cities in the U.S., with over 20 million annual visitors as of 2016. The
U.S. Constitution The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It superseded the Articles of Confederation, the nation's first constitution, in 1789. Originally comprising seven articles, it delineates the nation ...
provides for a federal district under the
exclusive jurisdiction Exclusive jurisdiction exists in civil procedure if one court has the power to adjudicate a case to the exclusion of all other courts. The opposite situation is concurrent jurisdiction (or non-exclusive jurisdiction) in which more than one court ...
of Congress; the district is not a part of any U.S. state (nor is it one itself). The signing of the
Residence Act The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States (), is a United States federal statute adopted during the second session of the First United States Co ...
on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of the
capital district A capital district, capital region or capital territory is normally a specially designated administrative division where a country's seat of government is located. As such, in a federal model of government, no state or territory has any poli ...
located along the Potomac River near the country's East Coast. The City of Washington was founded in 1791, and Congress held its first session there in 1800. In 1801, the territory, formerly part of Maryland and Virginia (including the settlements of Georgetown and
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, ٱلْإِسْكَنْدَرِيَّةُ ; grc-gre, Αλεξάνδρεια, Alexándria) is the second largest city in Egypt, and the largest city on the Mediterranean coast. Founded in by Alexander the Great, Alexandri ...
), officially became recognized as the federal district. In 1846, Congress returned the land originally ceded by Virginia, including the city of Alexandria; in 1871, it created a single municipal government for the remaining portion of the district. There have been efforts to make the city into a state since the 1880s, a movement that has gained momentum in recent years, and a statehood bill passed the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies in many countries and sub-national entitles. In many countries, the House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral legislature, with the corresponding upper house often c ...
in 2021. The city is divided into
quadrants Quadrant may refer to: Companies * Quadrant Cycle Company, 1899 manufacturers in Britain of the Quadrant motorcar * Quadrant (motorcycles), one of the earliest British motorcycle manufacturers, established in Birmingham in 1901 * Quadrant Privat ...
centered on the
Capitol A capitol, named after the Capitoline Hill in Rome, is usually a legislative building where a legislature meets and makes laws for its respective political entity. Specific capitols include: * United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. * Numerous ...
, and there are as many as 131
neighborhoods A neighbourhood (British English, Irish English, Australian English and Canadian English) or neighborhood (American English; see spelling differences) is a geographically localised community within a larger city, town, suburb or rural area, ...
. According to the 2020 census, it has a population of 689,545, which makes it the 23rd most populous city in the U.S. as of 2020, the third most populous city in the Mid-Atlantic, and gives it a population larger than that of two U.S. states:
Wyoming Wyoming () is a state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the southwest, and Colorado to the s ...
and
Vermont Vermont () is a state in the northeast New England region of the United States. Vermont is bordered by the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to ...
.
Commuters Commuting is periodically recurring travel between one's place of residence and place of work or study, where the traveler, referred to as a commuter, leaves the boundary of their home community. By extension, it can sometimes be any regu ...
from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest (including parts of Maryland, Virginia and
West Virginia West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian, Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States.The Census Bureau and the Association of American Geographers classify West Virginia as part of the Southern United States while the B ...
), had a 2020 estimated population of 6.3 million residents; and over 54 million people live within of the District. The three branches of the U.S. federal government are centered in the district: Congress (legislative), the president (executive), and the Supreme Court (judicial). Washington is home to many national monuments and museums, primarily situated on or around the National Mall. The city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profits, lobbying groups, and professional associations, including the
World Bank Group The World Bank Group (WBG) is a family of five international organizations that make leveraged loans to developing countries. It is the largest and best-known development bank in the world and an observer at the United Nations Development Gr ...
, the
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster glo ...
, the Organization of American States, AARP, the
National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational organizations in the world. Founded in 1888, its interests include geography, archaeology, an ...
, the American Red Cross, and others. A locally elected mayor and a 13-member council have governed the district since 1973. Congress maintains supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. The District of Columbia does not have representation in Congress, although D.C. residents elect a single at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives who has no vote. District voters choose three
presidential electors The United States Electoral College is the group of presidential electors required by the Constitution to form every four years for the sole purpose of appointing the president and vice president. Each state and the District of Columbia appo ...
in accordance with the
Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution The Twenty-third Amendment (Amendment XXIII) to the United States Constitution extends the right to participate in presidential elections to the District of Columbia. The amendment grants to the district electors in the Electoral College, as ...
, ratified in 1961.


History

Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking
Piscataway people The Piscataway or Piscatawa , are Native Americans. They spoke Algonquian Piscataway, a dialect of Nanticoke. One of their neighboring tribes, with whom they merged after a massive decline of population following two centuries of interaction ...
(also known as the Conoy) inhabited the lands around the
Potomac River The Potomac River () drains the Mid-Atlantic United States, flowing from the Potomac Highlands into Chesapeake Bay. It is long,U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map. Retrieved Augu ...
when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the
Nacotchtank The Nacotchtank were an indigenous Algonquian people who lived in the area of what is now Washington, D.C. during the 17th century. The Nacotchtank village was within the modern borders of the District of Columbia along the intersection of the ...
(also called the Nacostines by
Catholic missionaries Missionary work of the Catholic Church has often been undertaken outside the geographically defined parishes and dioceses by religious orders who have people and material resources to spare, and some of which specialized in missions. Eventually, p ...
) maintained settlements around the
Anacostia River The Anacostia River is a river in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States. It flows from Prince George's County in Maryland into Washington, D.C., where it joins with the Washington Channel to empty into the Potomac River at Buzzard Point. ...
within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near
Point of Rocks, Maryland Point of Rocks is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Frederick County, Maryland, United States. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 1,466. It is named for the striking rock formation on the adjacent Catoct ...
. On October 6, forced by the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783 to
Princeton, New Jersey Princeton is a municipality with a borough form of government in Mercer County, in the U.S. state of New Jersey. It was established on January 1, 2013, through the consolidation of the Borough of Princeton and Princeton Township, both of whi ...
, Congress resolved itself into a committee of the whole, to take into consideration, respecting a place for the permanent residence of Congress. The following day, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts moved "that buildings for the use of Congress be erected on the banks of the Delaware near Trenton, or of the Potomac, near Georgetown, provided a suitable district can be procured on one of the rivers as aforesaid, for a federal town". In his
Federalist No. 43 Federalist No. 43 is an essay by James Madison, the forty-third of ''The Federalist Papers''. It was published on January 23, 1788, under the pseudonym Publius, the name under which all ''The Federalist'' papers were published. This paper conti ...
, published January 23, 1788,
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, and Founding Father. He served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. Madison is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for h ...
argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety. The Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the
Constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these princ ...
permits the establishment of a "District (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the
Compromise of 1790 The Compromise of 1790 was a compromise between Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, where Hamilton won the decision for the national government to take over and pay the state debts, and Jefferson and Madison obtained the nati ...
, Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He was previously the natio ...
agreed that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the
Southern United States The Southern United States (sometimes Dixie, also referred to as the Southern States, the American South, the Southland, or simply the South) is a geographic and cultural region of the United States of America. It is between the Atlantic Ocean ...
.


Foundation

On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the
Residence Act The Residence Act of 1790, officially titled An Act for establishing the temporary and permanent seat of the Government of the United States (), is a United States federal statute adopted during the second session of the First United States Co ...
, which approved the creation of a national capital on the
Potomac River The Potomac River () drains the Mid-Atlantic United States, flowing from the Potomac Highlands into Chesapeake Bay. It is long,U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map. Retrieved Augu ...
. The exact location was to be selected by President
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continental Congress as commander of ...
, who signed the bill into law on July 16. Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring on each side, totaling . Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, Maryland, founded in 1751, and the
port A port is a maritime facility comprising one or more wharves or loading areas, where ships load and discharge cargo and passengers. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, ports can also be found far inland, such as H ...
city of
Alexandria, Virginia Alexandria is an independent city in the northern region of the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. It lies on the western bank of the Potomac River approximately south of downtown Washington, D.C. In 2020, the population was 159,467. ...
, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, a team under Andrew Ellicott, including Ellicott's brothers
Joseph Joseph is a common male given name, derived from the Hebrew Yosef (יוֹסֵף). "Joseph" is used, along with "Josef", mostly in English, French and partially German languages. This spelling is also found as a variant in the languages of the mo ...
and Benjamin and African-American
astronomer An astronomer is a scientist in the field of astronomy who focuses their studies on a specific question or field outside the scope of Earth. They observe astronomical objects such as stars, planets, moons, comets and galaxies – in either ...
Benjamin Banneker Benjamin Banneker (November 9, 1731October 19, 1806) was an African-American naturalist, mathematician, astronomer and almanac author. He was a landowner who also worked as a surveyor and farmer. Born in Baltimore County, Maryland, to a fr ...
, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed
boundary stones A boundary marker, border marker, boundary stone, or border stone is a robust physical marker that identifies the start of a land boundary or the change in a boundary, especially a change in direction of a boundary. There are several other ty ...
at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new
federal city The term federal city is a title for certain cities in Germany, Switzerland, and Russia. Germany In Germany, the former West German capital Bonn has been designated with the unique title of federal city (''Bundesstadt''). Since 28 April 1994, it ...
was then constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington. The same day, the federal district was named Columbia (a feminine form of "
Columbus Columbus is a Latinized version of the Italian surname "''Colombo''". It most commonly refers to: * Christopher Columbus (1451-1506), the Italian explorer * Columbus, Ohio, capital of the U.S. state of Ohio Columbus may also refer to: Places ...
"), which was a poetic name for the United States commonly in use at that time. Congress held its first session there on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the
District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 The District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, officially An Act Concerning the District of Columbia (6th Congress, 2nd Sess., ch. 15, , February 27, 1801), is an organic act enacted by the United States Congress in accordance with Article 1, Sec ...
, which officially organized the district and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal government. Further, the area within the district was organized into two counties: the County of Washington to the east (or north) of the Potomac and the County of Alexandria to the west (or south). After the passage of this Act, citizens living in the district were no longer considered residents of Maryland or Virginia, which therefore ended their representation in Congress.


Burning during the War of 1812

On August 24–25, 1814, in a raid known as the
Burning of Washington The Burning of Washington was a British invasion of Washington City (now Washington, D.C.), the capital of the United States, during the Chesapeake Campaign of the War of 1812. It is the only time since the American Revolutionary War that a ...
, British forces invaded the capital during the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was fought by the United States, United States of America and its Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous allies against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom ...
. The
Capitol A capitol, named after the Capitoline Hill in Rome, is usually a legislative building where a legislature meets and makes laws for its respective political entity. Specific capitols include: * United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. * Numerous ...
,
Treasury A treasury is either *A government department related to finance and taxation, a finance ministry. *A place or location where treasure, such as currency or precious items are kept. These can be state or royal property, church treasure or i ...
, and
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in ...
were burned and gutted during the attack. Most government buildings were repaired quickly; however, the Capitol was largely under construction at the time and was not completed in its current form until 1868.


Retrocession and the Civil War

In the 1830s, the district's southern territory of Alexandria went into economic decline partly due to neglect by Congress. The city of Alexandria was a major market in the
domestic slave trade The domestic slave trade, also known as the Second Middle Passage and the interregional slave trade, was the term for the domestic trade of enslaved people within the United States that reallocated slaves across states during the Antebellum perio ...
, and pro-slavery residents feared that
abolitionists Abolitionism, or the abolitionist movement, is the movement to end slavery. In Western Europe and the Americas, abolitionism was a historic movement that sought to end the Atlantic slave trade and liberate the enslaved people. The Britis ...
in Congress would end slavery in the district, further depressing the local economy. Alexandria's citizens petitioned Virginia to take back the land it had donated to form the district, through a process known as
retrocession The act of cession is the assignment of property to another entity. In international law it commonly refers to land transferred by treaty. Ballentine's Law Dictionary defines cession as "a surrender; a giving up; a relinquishment of jurisdicti ...
. The
Virginia General Assembly The Virginia General Assembly is the legislative body of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the oldest continuous law-making body in the Western Hemisphere, the first elected legislative assembly in the New World, and was established on July 30, 16 ...
voted in February 1846 to accept the return of Alexandria. On July 9, 1846, Congress agreed to return all the territory that Virginia had ceded. Therefore, the district's area consists only of the portion originally donated by Maryland. Confirming the fears of pro-slavery Alexandrians, the
Compromise of 1850 The Compromise of 1850 was a package of five separate bills passed by the United States Congress in September 1850 that defused a political confrontation between slave and free states on the status of territories acquired in the Mexican–Am ...
outlawed the slave trade in the District, although not slavery itself. The outbreak of the
American Civil War The American Civil War (April 12, 1861 – May 26, 1865; also known by other names) was a civil war in the United States. It was fought between the Union ("the North") and the Confederacy ("the South"), the latter formed by states ...
in 1861 led to the expansion of the federal government and notable growth in the district's population, including a large influx of freed slaves. President
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln ( ; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the nation thro ...
signed the
Compensated Emancipation Act An Act for the Release of certain Persons held to Service or Labor in the District of Columbia, 37th United States Congress, 37th Cong., Sess. 2, ch. 54, , known colloquially as the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act or simply Com ...
in 1862, which ended slavery in the district of Columbia and freed about 3,100 slaves, nine months prior to the Emancipation Proclamation. In 1868, Congress granted the district's
African American African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans and Afro-Americans) are an ethnic group consisting of Americans with partial or total ancestry from sub-Saharan Africa. The term "African American" generally denotes descendants of ens ...
male residents the right to vote in municipal elections.


Growth and redevelopment

By 1870, the district's population had grown 75% from the previous census to nearly 132,000 residents. Despite the city's growth, Washington still had dirt roads and lacked basic sanitation. Some members of Congress suggested moving the capital further west, but President
Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant (born Hiram Ulysses Grant ; April 27, 1822July 23, 1885) was an American military officer and politician who served as the 18th president of the United States from 1869 to 1877. As Commanding General, he led the Union Ar ...
refused to consider such a proposal. Congress passed the Organic Act of 1871, which repealed the individual charters of the cities of Washington and Georgetown, abolished Washington County, and created a new territorial government for the whole District of Columbia. After the reorganization, President Grant appointed
Alexander Robey Shepherd Alexander Robey Shepherd (January 30, 1835 – September 12, 1902), was one of the most controversial and influential civic leaders in the history of Washington, D.C., and one of the most powerful big-city political bosses of the Gilded Age. He ...
to the position of Governor of the District of Columbia in 1873. Shepherd authorized large-scale projects that greatly modernized the City of Washington, but ultimately bankrupted the district government. In 1874, Congress replaced the territorial government with an appointed three-member Board of Commissioners. The city's first motorized streetcars began service in 1888. They generated growth in areas of the district beyond the City of Washington's original boundaries. Washington's urban plan was expanded throughout the district in the following decades. Georgetown's street grid and other administrative details were formally merged to those of the legal City of Washington in 1895. However, the city had poor housing conditions and strained public works. The district was the first city in the nation to undergo
urban renewal Urban renewal (also called urban regeneration in the United Kingdom and urban redevelopment in the United States) is a program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities. Urban renewal involves the clearing out of blighte ...
projects as part of the "
City Beautiful movement The City Beautiful Movement was a reform philosophy of North American architecture and urban planning that flourished during the 1890s and 1900s with the intent of introducing beautification and monumental grandeur in cities. It was a part of the ...
" in the early 1900s. Increased federal spending as a result of the New Deal in the 1930s led to the construction of new government buildings, memorials, and museums in the district, though the chairman of the House Subcommittee on District Appropriations
Ross A. Collins Ross Alexander Collins (April 25, 1880 – July 14, 1968) was a United States House of Representatives, U.S. Representative from Mississippi. Born in Collinsville, Mississippi, Collins attended the public schools of Meridian, Mississippi, ...
from
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Miss ...
justified cuts to funds for welfare and education for local residents, saying that "my constituents wouldn't stand for spending money on niggers."
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a world war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved the vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—forming two opposing ...
further increased government activity, adding to the number of federal employees in the capital; by 1950, the district's population reached its peak of 802,178 residents.


Civil rights and home rule era

The
Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution The Twenty-third Amendment (Amendment XXIII) to the United States Constitution extends the right to participate in presidential elections to the District of Columbia. The amendment grants to the district electors in the Electoral College, as ...
was ratified in 1961, granting the district three votes in the Electoral College for the election of president and vice president, but still no voting representation in Congress. After the assassination of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., on April 4, 1968, riots broke out in the district, primarily in the U Street, 14th Street, 7th Street, and H Street corridors, centers of black residential and commercial areas. The riots raged for three days until more than 13,600 federal troops and D.C. Army National Guardsmen stopped the violence. Many stores and other buildings were burned; rebuilding was not completed until the late 1990s. In 1973, Congress enacted the
District of Columbia Home Rule Act The District of Columbia Home Rule Act is a United States federal law passed on December 24, 1973, which devolved certain congressional powers of the District of Columbia to local government, furthering District of Columbia home rule. In par ...
, providing for an elected mayor and thirteen-member council for the district. In 1975,
Walter Washington Walter Edward Washington (April 15, 1915 – October 27, 2003) was an American civil servant and politician. After a career in public housing, Washington was the chief executive of Washington, D. C. from 1967 to 1979, serving as the first a ...
became the first elected and first black mayor of the district.


Geography

Washington, D.C., is located in the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. East Coast. Due to the
District of Columbia retrocession A district is a type of administrative division that, in some countries, is managed by the local government. Across the world, areas known as "districts" vary greatly in size, spanning regions or counties, several municipalities, subdivisions ...
, the city has a total area of , of which is land and (10.67%) is water. The district is bordered by Montgomery County, Maryland to the northwest; Prince George's County, Maryland to the east; Arlington County, Virginia to the west; and
Alexandria, Virginia Alexandria is an independent city in the northern region of the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. It lies on the western bank of the Potomac River approximately south of downtown Washington, D.C. In 2020, the population was 159,467. ...
to the south. Washington, D.C., is from Baltimore, from Philadelphia, from New York City, from Pittsburgh, from Charlotte and from Boston. The south bank of the
Potomac River The Potomac River () drains the Mid-Atlantic United States, flowing from the Potomac Highlands into Chesapeake Bay. It is long,U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map. Retrieved Augu ...
forms the district's border with Virginia and has two major tributaries: the
Anacostia River The Anacostia River is a river in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States. It flows from Prince George's County in Maryland into Washington, D.C., where it joins with the Washington Channel to empty into the Potomac River at Buzzard Point. ...
and Rock Creek (Potomac River tributary), Rock Creek. Tiber Creek, a natural watercourse that once passed through the National Mall, was fully enclosed underground during the 1870s. The creek also formed a portion of the now-filled Washington City Canal, which allowed passage through the city to the Anacostia River from 1815 until the 1850s. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal starts in Georgetown and was used during the 19th century to bypass the Little Falls (Potomac River), Little Falls of the Potomac River, located at the northwest edge of Washington at the Atlantic Seaboard fall line. The highest natural elevation in the district is Above mean sea level, above sea level at Fort Reno Park in upper northwest Washington. The lowest point is sea level at the Potomac River. The geographic center of Washington is near the intersection of 4th and L Streets NW. The district has of parkland, about 19% of the city's total area and the second-highest percentage among high-density U.S. cities. This factor contributed to Washington, D.C., being ranked as third in the nation for park access and quality in the 2018 ParkScore ranking of the park systems of the 100 most populous cities in the United States, according to the nonprofit Trust for Public Land. The National Park Service manages most of the of city land owned by the U.S. government. Rock Creek Park is a urban forest in Northwest Washington, which extends through a stream valley that bisects the city. Established in 1890, it is the country's fourth-oldest national park and is home to a variety of plant and animal species, including raccoon, deer, owls, and coyotes. Other National Park Service properties include the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, C&O Canal National Historical Park, the National Mall and Memorial Parks, Theodore Roosevelt Island, Columbia Island (District of Columbia), Columbia Island, Fort Dupont Park, Meridian Hill Park, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, and Anacostia Park. The D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation maintains the city's of athletic fields and playgrounds, 40 swimming pools, and 68 recreation centers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture operates the U.S. National Arboretum in Northeast Washington.


Climate

Washington is in the humid subtropical climate zone (Köppen climate classification, Köppen: ''Cfa''). The Trewartha climate classification, Trewartha classification is defined as an oceanic climate (''Do''). Winters are cool to cold with light snow more common but heavy snow not uncommon, and summers are hot and humid. The district is in plant hardiness zone 8a near downtown, and zone 7b elsewhere in the city, indicating a humid subtropical climate. Spring and fall are mild to warm, while winter is cool to cold with annual snowfall averaging . Summers are hot and humid with a July daily average of and average daily relative humidity around 66%, which can cause moderate personal discomfort. Heat indices regularly approach at the height of summer. The combination of heat and humidity in the summer brings very frequent thunderstorms, some of which occasionally produce tornadoes in the area. Blizzards affect Washington, on average, once every four to six years. The most violent storms are called "nor'easters", which often affect large sections of the East Coast. From Knickerbocker storm, January 27 to 28, 1922, the city officially received of snowfall, the largest snowstorm since official measurements began in 1885. According to notes kept at the time, the city received between from a snowstorm in January 1772. Hurricanes (or their remnants) occasionally track through the area in late summer and early fall. However, they are often weak by the time they reach Washington, partly due to the city's inland location. Flooding of the Potomac River, however, caused by a combination of high tide, storm surge, and runoff, has been known to cause extensive property damage in the neighborhood of Georgetown. Precipitation occurs throughout the year. The highest recorded temperature was on August 6, 1918, and on July 20, 1930. The lowest recorded temperature was on Great Blizzard of 1899#Arctic cold, February 11, 1899, right before the Great Blizzard of 1899. During a typical year, the city averages about 37 days at or above and 64 nights at or below the freezing mark (). On average, the first day with a minimum at or below freezing is November 18 and the last day is March 27.


Cityscape

The City of Washington was a planned city. In the present day, many of the District's street grid, streets are on a grid extending from that of the original city. In 1791, President Washington commissioned Pierre Charles L'Enfant, Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant, a French-born architect and city planner, to design the new capital. He enlisted Scottish surveyor Alexander Ralston to help lay out the city plan. The L'Enfant Plan featured broad streets and avenues radiating out from rectangles, providing room for open space and landscaping. He based his design on plans of cities such as Paris, Amsterdam, Karlsruhe, and Milan that
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809. He was previously the natio ...
had sent to him. L'Enfant's design also envisioned a garden-lined "grand avenue" approximately in length and wide in the area that is now the National Mall. President Washington dismissed L'Enfant in March 1792 due to conflicts with the three commissioners appointed to supervise the capital's construction. Andrew Ellicott, who had worked with L'Enfant surveying the city, was then tasked with completing the design. Though Ellicott made revisions to the original plans—including changes to some street patterns—L'Enfant is still credited with the overall design of the city. By the early 20th century, L'Enfant's vision of a grand national capital had become marred by slums and randomly placed buildings, including a railroad station on the National Mall. Congress formed a special committee charged with beautifying Washington's ceremonial core. What became known as the McMillan Plan was finalized in 1901 and included re-landscaping the Capitol grounds and the National Mall, clearing slums, and establishing a new citywide park system. The plan is thought to have largely preserved L'Enfant's intended design. By law, the District's skyline is low and sprawling. The federal Height of Buildings Act of 1910 allows buildings that are no taller than the width of the adjacent street, plus . Despite popular belief, no law has ever limited buildings to the height of the United States Capitol or the
Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk shaped building within the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army (1775–1784) in the American Revolutionary War and th ...
, which remains the district's tallest structure. City leaders have criticized the height restriction as a primary reason why the district has limited affordable housing and traffic problems caused by suburban sprawl. The district is divided into Quadrants of Washington, D.C., four quadrants of unequal area: Northwest, Washington, D.C., Northwest (NW), Northeast, Washington, D.C., Northeast (NE), Southeast, Washington, D.C., Southeast (SE), and Southwest, Washington, D.C., Southwest (SW). The axes bounding the quadrants radiate from the U.S. Capitol. All road names include the quadrant abbreviation to indicate their location and house numbers generally correspond with the number of blocks away from the Capitol. Most streets are set out in a grid pattern with east–west streets named with letters (e.g., C Street SW), north–south streets with numbers (e.g., 4th Street NW), and diagonal avenues, many of which are List of state-named roadways in Washington, D.C., named after states. The City of Washington was bordered by Boundary Street to the north (renamed Florida Avenue in 1890), Rock Creek to the west, and the Anacostia River to the east. Washington's street grid was extended, where possible, throughout the district starting in 1888. Georgetown street renaming, Georgetown's streets were renamed in 1895. Some streets are particularly noteworthy, such as Pennsylvania Avenue (Washington, D.C.), Pennsylvania Avenue—which connects the White House to the Capitol, and K Street (Washington, D.C.), K Street—which houses the offices of many lobbying groups. Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue (Washington, D.C.), Independence Avenue, located on the north and south sides of the National Mall, respectively, are home to many of Washington's iconic museums, including the Smithsonian Institution buildings and the National Archives Building. Washington hosts 177 List of diplomatic missions in Washington, D.C., foreign embassies, constituting approximately 297 buildings beyond the more than 1,600 residential properties owned by foreign countries, many of which are on a section of Massachusetts Avenue (Washington, D.C.), Massachusetts Avenue informally known as Embassy Row.


Architecture

The architecture of Washington varies greatly but is generally popular among tourists and locals. Six of the top 10 buildings in the American Institute of Architects' 2007 ranking of "America's Favorite Architecture" are in the District of Columbia: the
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in ...
, the Washington National Cathedral, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the
United States Capitol The United States Capitol, often called The Capitol or the Capitol Building, is the seat of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, which is formally known as the United States Congress. It is located on Capitol Hill ...
, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The neoclassical, Georgian, gothic, and modern architectural styles are all reflected among those six structures and many other prominent edifices in Washington. Many of the government buildings, monuments, and museums along the National Mall and surrounding areas are heavily inspired by classical Ancient Roman architecture, Roman and Ancient Greek architecture, Greek architecture. For examples, the designs of the
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in ...
, U.S. Capitol, Capitol, United States Supreme Court Building, Supreme Court Building,
Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk shaped building within the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army (1775–1784) in the American Revolutionary War and th ...
, National Gallery of Art, Lincoln Memorial, and
Jefferson Memorial The Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial built in Washington, D.C. between 1939 and 1943 in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, a central intellectual force behind the A ...
, are all heavily drawn from these classical architectural movements, consisting of large pediments, domes, columns in the classical order, and heavy walls made of stone. Notable exceptions to the city's classical-style architecture include buildings constructed in the French Second Empire (architecture), Second Empire style, such as the Eisenhower Executive Office Building. The Thomas Jefferson Building, which serves as the main building for the Library of Congress, is built in the style of Beaux-Arts architecture, as is the historic Willard Hotel.Denby, ''Grand Hotels: Reality and Illusion'', 2004, p. 221–222. Meridian Hill/Malcolm X Park, Meridian Hill Park contains a Cascading Waterfall, cascading waterfall with Italian renaissance-style architecture. Modern architecture, Modern, Postmodern architecture, Postmodern, contemporary architecture, contemporary and other non-classical architectural styles are also seen throughout the city. The National Museum of African American History and Culture deeply contrasts the stone-based neoclassical buildings on the Mall, as its design combines modern engineering with heavy inspiration from African Art. Additionally, the interior of the Washington Metro stations are designed with strong influence from the twentieth-century architectural movement of Brutalism, as is the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The Smithsonian Institution Building, often called the "castle", is built of Seneca Quarry, Seneca red sandstone in the Norman architecture, Norman Revival style. The Old Post Office (Washington, D.C.), Old Post Office building, located along Pennsylvania Avenue, was completed in 1899 and was the first building in the city to have a steel frame structure and the first to utilize electrical wiring into its design. Contemporary residential buildings, restaurants, shops, and office buildings have been built extensively throughout the city in new developments. Among the most notable examples are the Wharf (Washington, D.C.), the Wharf, located on the Southwest Waterfront; Navy Yard (Washington, D.C.), Navy Yard, located along the
Anacostia River The Anacostia River is a river in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States. It flows from Prince George's County in Maryland into Washington, D.C., where it joins with the Washington Channel to empty into the Potomac River at Buzzard Point. ...
; and CityCenterDC, located Downtown (Washington, D.C.), Downtown. The Wharf, given its proximity to the
Potomac River The Potomac River () drains the Mid-Atlantic United States, flowing from the Potomac Highlands into Chesapeake Bay. It is long,U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map. Retrieved Augu ...
, has seen the construction of many high-rise modern office and residential buildings overlooking the river, with restaurants located at the bottom of the buildings on street level. Many of these buildings have a modern glass exterior with heavy curvature. CityCenterDC is home to Palmer Alley, a pedestrian-only walkway, and houses numerous apartment buildings, restaurants, and luxury-brand storefronts with streamlined glass and metal facades.Dietsch, Deborah K. "Modernism's March on Washington." ''Washington Times.'' September 8, 2007. Outside Downtown D.C., architectural styles are even more varied. Historic buildings are designed primarily in the Queen Anne style architecture in the United States, Queen Anne, Châteauesque, Richardsonian Romanesque, Georgian revival, Beaux-Arts architecture, Beaux-Arts, and a variety of Victorian architecture, Victorian styles. Rowhouses are especially prominent in areas developed after the Civil War and typically follow Federal architecture, Federalist and late Victorian designs. Georgetown's Old Stone House (Washington, D.C.), Old Stone House was built in 1765, making it the oldest-standing original building in the city. Founded in 1789, Georgetown University features a mix of Romanesque and Gothic Revival architecture. The Ronald Reagan Building is the largest building in the district with a total area of approximately 3.1 million square feet (288,000 m2). Washington Union Station is designed from a combination of different architectural styles. Its Great Hall, which serves as the main hall within the building, has elaborate gold leaf designs along the ceilings, as well as decorative classical-style statues.


Demographics

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the district's population was 705,749 as of July 2019, an increase of more than 100,000 people compared to the 2010 United States Census. When measured on a decade-over-decade basis, this continues a growth trend since 2000, following a half-century of population decline. But on a year-over-year basis, the July 2019 census count shows a population decline of 16,000 individuals over the preceding 12-month period. Washington was the List of United States cities by population, 24th most populous place in the United States . According to data from 2010, commuters from the suburbs increase the district's daytime population to over a million. If the district were a state it would rank List of U.S. states and territories by population, 49th in population, ahead of
Vermont Vermont () is a state in the northeast New England region of the United States. Vermont is bordered by the states of Massachusetts to the south, New Hampshire to the east, and New York to the west, and the Canadian province of Quebec to ...
and
Wyoming Wyoming () is a state in the Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. It is bordered by Montana to the north and northwest, South Dakota and Nebraska to the east, Idaho to the west, Utah to the southwest, and Colorado to the s ...
. The Washington metropolitan area, which includes the district and surrounding suburbs, is the Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas, sixth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with an estimated six million residents. When the Washington area is included with Baltimore and its suburbs, it forms the vast Washington–Baltimore combined statistical area. With a population exceeding 9.8 million residents in 2020, it is the List of United States combined statistical areas, third-largest combined statistical area in the country. According to 2017 Census Bureau data, the population of Washington, D.C., was 47.1% Black or African American, 45.1% White (36.8% non-Hispanic White), 4.3% Asian American, Asian, 0.6% American Indian or Alaska Native, and 0.1% Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander. Individuals from two or more races made up 2.7% of the population. Hispanics of any race made up 11.0% of the district's population. Washington has had a List of U.S. cities with large African-American populations, significant African American population since the city's foundation. African American residents composed about 30% of the district's total population between 1800 and 1940. The black population reached a peak of 70% by 1970, but has since steadily declined due to many African Americans moving to the surrounding suburbs. Partly as a result of gentrification, there was a 31.4% increase in the non-Hispanic white population and an 11.5% decrease in the black population between 2000 and 2010. According to a study by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, D.C. has experienced more "intense" gentrification than any other American city, with 40% of neighborhoods gentrified. About 17% of D.C. residents were age 18 or younger in 2010, lower than the U.S. average of 24%. However, at 34 years old, the district had the lowest median age compared to the 50 states. , there were an estimated 81,734 immigrants living in Washington, D.C. Major sources of immigration include El Salvador, Vietnam, and Ethiopia, with a concentration of Salvadorans in the Mount Pleasant, Washington, D.C., Mount Pleasant neighborhood. Researchers found that there were 4,822 same-sex couples in the District of Columbia in 2010, about 2% of total households. Legislation same-sex marriage in the District of Columbia, authorizing same-sex marriage passed in 2009, and the district began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples in March 2010. A 2007 report found that about a third of district residents were functionally illiterate, compared to a national rate of about one in five. This is attributed in part to immigrants who are not proficient in English. , 85% of D.C. residents age5 and older spoke English at home as a primary language. Half of residents had at least a four-year college degree in 2006. In 2017, the median household income in D.C. was $77,649; also in 2017, D.C. residents had a States of the United States of America by income, personal income per capita of $50,832 (higher than any of the 50 states). However, 19% of residents were below the poverty level in 2005, higher than any state except
Mississippi Mississippi () is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Miss ...
. In 2019, the poverty rate stood at 14.7%. , more than 90% of D.C. residents had health insurance coverage, the second-highest rate in the nation. This is due in part to city programs that help provide insurance to low-income individuals who do not qualify for other types of coverage. A 2009 report found that at least three percent of district residents have HIV or AIDS, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) characterizes as a "generalized and severe" epidemic. Of the district's population, 17% is Baptist, 13% is Catholic, 6% is evangelical Protestant, 4% is Methodist, 3% is Episcopal Church (United States), Episcopalian/Anglican, 3% is Jewish, 2% is Eastern Orthodox, 1% is Pentecostal, 1% is Buddhist, 1% is Adventism, Adventist, 1% is Lutheran, 1% is Muslim, 1% is Presbyterian, 1% is Mormon, and 1% is Hindu. The city is populated with many religious buildings, including the Washington National Cathedral, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (which comprises the List of largest church buildings, largest Catholic church building in the United States), and the Islamic Center of Washington, which was the largest mosque in the Western Hemisphere when opened in 1957. St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, St. John's Episcopal Church is located off Lafayette Square (Washington, D.C.), Lafayette Square and has held services for every U.S. president since
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, and Founding Father. He served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. Madison is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for h ...
. The Sixth & I Historic Synagogue is a synagogue located in Chinatown, Washington, D.C., Chinatown and was completed in 1908. The Washington D.C. Temple is a large Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormon Temple (Latter Day Saints), temple located just outside the city in Kensington, Maryland. It can be viewed when driving south on the Capital Beltway. It is the tallest Mormon temple in existence, and third-largest by floor area.


Crime

Approximately 60,000 residents are ex-convicts. In 2021, the annual murders continued on an upward trend, totaling 226, a significant rise from previous lows. In 2012, D.C.'s annual murder count had dropped to 88, the lowest total since 1961. The city was once described as the "murder capital" of the United States during the early 1990s. The number of murders peaked in 1991 at 479, but the level of violence then began to decline significantly. In 2016, the district's Metropolitan Police Department tallied 135 homicides, a 53% increase from 2012 but a 17% decrease from 2015. Many neighborhoods such as Columbia Heights, Washington, D.C., Columbia Heights and Logan Circle, Washington, D.C., Logan Circle are becoming safer and vibrant. However, incidents of robberies and thefts have remained higher in these areas because of increased nightlife activity and greater numbers of affluent residents. Even still, citywide reports of both property and violent crimes have declined by nearly half since their most recent highs in the mid-1990s. On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court of the United States held in ''District of Columbia v. Heller'' that the city's 1976 Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975, handgun ban violated the Right to keep and bear arms in the United States, right to keep and bear arms as protected under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, Second Amendment. However, the ruling does not prohibit all forms of gun control; laws requiring firearm registration remain in place, as does the city's assault weapon ban. In addition to the district's own Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, Metropolitan Police Department, many Federal law enforcement in the United States, federal law enforcement agencies have jurisdiction in the city as well—most visibly the United States Park Police, U.S. Park Police, founded in 1791.


Economy

The Washington, D.C. region has one of the country's largest and most advanced economies. Currently, it is the fourth largest metropolitan economy, as measured by Gross Metropolitan Product (GMP), in the United States. Its growing and diversified economy has an increasing percentage of professional and business service jobs in addition to more traditional jobs rooted in tourism, entertainment, and government. Between 2009 and 2016, GDP per capita in Washington has consistently ranked on the very top among U.S. states. In 2016, at $160,472, its GDP per capita is almost three times as high as that of Massachusetts, which was ranked second in the nation. , the Washington Metropolitan Area had an unemployment rate of 6.2%; the second-lowest rate among the 49 Table of United States Metropolitan Statistical Areas, largest metro areas in the nation. The District of Columbia itself had an unemployment rate of 9.8% during the same time period. In 2019, D.C. had the highest median household income in the United States at $92,266.


Federal government

In July 2022, 25% of D.C. employees were employed by the federal government. The vast majority of these government employees serve in various Executive Branch of the United States, Executive Branch departments, agencies, and institutions, while only a small percentage serve as temporary staff for presidents, United States Congress, Congress members, or in the Federal judiciary of the United States, Judicial Branch. Many of the region's residents work for companies and organizations that sign contracts with the federal government or work on issues directly related to the work of the federal government, such as law firms, defense contractors, independent contractor, civilian contractors, nonprofit organizations, lobbying in the United States, lobbying firms, trade unions, industry trade groups, and professional associations, many of which have their headquarters in or near D.C. in order to be close to the federal government. The largest U.S. government agencies located in or near D.C. are: (1) the United States Department of Defense (headquartered in the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia), (2) the United States Postal Service, (3) the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, (4) the United States Department of Homeland Security, and (5) the United States Department of Justice.


Diplomacy and global finance

The city also hosts nearly 200 foreign embassies and international organizations. Embassy Row is the informal name given to a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue (Washington, D.C.), Massachusetts Avenue which is occupied by many of the city's foreign embassies. In 2008, the foreign diplomatic corps in Washington employed about 10,000 people and contributed an estimated $400 million annually to the local economy. Additionally, many prominent global financial and diplomatic institutions are headquartered in the city. These include the World Bank Group, World Bank, the
International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is a major financial agency of the United Nations, and an international financial institution, headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 190 countries. Its stated mission is "working to foster glo ...
(IMF), the Organization of American States, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Pan American Health Organization. These institutions seek to use money lending and other financial and economic tools to improve the state of a country's economy and level of development. The Federal Reserve, which is the central bank for the United States of America, is located along Constitution Avenue. Commonly called "the Fed," this institution's policies are made by the members of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Through monetary policy, the Board adjusts various interest rates in the United States, which heavily impacts the U.S. economy as well as the economies for many countries across the world. Because of the power of the United States dollar, U.S. dollar, the actions of the Board are closely watched by world leaders as well as economic and diplomatic experts across the globe.


Research and non-profit organizations

Washington, D.C. is a leading center for national and international research organizations, especially as it relates to think tanks that engage heavily with questions about education, finance, domestic policy, foreign policy, as well as science and technology. Some leading think tanks and research organizations headquartered in the city are partisan in nature, while many others work as non-partisan centers for research and policy formation. Among notable research organizations headquartered in the city are the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), the Brookings Institution, Atlantic Council, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for American Progress, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the US Institute of Peace, and the Wilson Center, among many others. As of 2020, 8% of the country's think tanks are headquartered in Washington. Many non-think tanks are also leading research centers, such as the Washington Hospital Center, the Children's National Medical Center, and the National Institutes of Health, located in nearby Bethesda, Maryland. The city is also home to many other non-profits that engage with issues of domestic and global importance by conducting advanced research, running programs, or advocating on behalf of people. Many of these organizations are headquartered in the city or have major offices in Washington. Among these organizations are the UN Foundation, Human Rights Campaign, Amnesty International, and the National Democratic Institute. The city is also the country's primary location for international development firms, many of whom find funding by contracting with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is the U.S. federal government's aid agency and is itself located in Washington. Additionally, the American Red Cross, which is a humanitarian agency focused on emergency relief, is headquartered in the city.


Private sector

The Washington region has one of the country's largest private sectors. According to statistics compiled in 2011, four of the Fortune 500, largest 500 companies in the country were headquartered in the district. In the 2021 Global Financial Centres Index, Washington was ranked as having the 14th most competitive financial center in the world, and fourth most competitive in the United States (after Economy of New York City#Finance, New York City, San Francisco#Economy, San Francisco, and Economy of Los Angeles#Finance, Los Angeles). Among the largest companies headquartered in Washington, D.C. are Fannie Mae, Amtrak, Lockheed Martin, Marriot International, Danaher Corporation, FTI Consulting, and Hogan Lovells. Neighboring
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It shares borders with Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to ...
and Northern Virginia serve as a base of operations for several large companies, including some Fortune 500 companies. Due to the building height restrictions in place within the District of Columbia, many of these companies are able to build taller buildings in the suburban financial centers of
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It shares borders with Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to ...
and
Virginia Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth ar ...
. Capital One Bank, which is one of the largest banks in the country, is headquartered in nearby Tysons, Virginia, a large and growing financial center located in Fairfax County. The headquarter building for Capital One Bank, known as Capital One Tower (Virginia), Capital One Tower, is the tallest occupied building in the Washington region. Additionally, in 2018 Amazon (company), Amazon announced it would build a second headquarters building (known as "HQ2") in the Crystal City, Arlington, Virginia, Crystal City neighborhood of Arlington County, Virginia, which sits just across the Potomac River from Washington. In addition to Capital One, some of the largest companies headquartered in Northern Virginia include Hilton Worldwide, Hilton, Navy Federal Credit Union, Mars, Incorporated, Mars, Freddie Mac, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics. The Washington economy also benefits from being home to many prominent news and media organizations. Among these are ''The Washington Post'', ''The Washington Times'', ''Politico'', and ''The Hill (newspaper), The Hill''. There are also many television and radio media organizations either headquartered in or near the city or with large offices in the region, such as CNN, PBS, C-SPAN, CBS, NBC, Discovery Channel, Discovery, and NPR, among others. The Gannett Company is a mass media holding company headquartered in Tysons, Virginia which owns numerous national and local newspapers that publish across the country. Gannett is the largest U.S. newspaper publisher as measured by total daily circulation. Most notably, it is the owner of USA Today, which itself is headquartered in Tysons, and which is by far the largest newspaper in the United States by circulation.


Tourism

Tourism is Washington's second-largest industry, after the federal government. Approximately 18.9 million visitors contributed an estimated $4.8 billion to the local economy in 2012. In 2019, the number of tourists who visited the city increased to 24.6 million, of which 22.8 million were domestic tourists. In total, the tourists spent $8.15 billion during their stay. This heavy tourism helps many of the region's other industries, such as lodging, food and beverage, entertainment, shopping, and transportation. Additionally, tourism helps the city maintain a robust network of world-class museums and cultural centers, most notably the Smithsonian Institution. The city and wider Washington region has a diverse array of attractions for tourists, such as monuments, memorials, museums, sports events, and trails. Within the city, the National Mall serves as the center of the tourism industry. It is there that many of the city's museums and monuments are located. Adjacent to the mall sits the Tidal Basin, where several additional memorials and monuments lie, including the popular
Jefferson Memorial The Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial built in Washington, D.C. between 1939 and 1943 in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, a central intellectual force behind the A ...
. Additionally, Union Station (Washington, D.C.), Union Station is a very popular tourist spot with its multitude of restaurants and shops. Among the most visited tourist destinations is Arlington National Cemetery in nearby Arlington County, Virginia. This is a military cemetery that serves as a burial ground for former military combatants. It is also the location of President John F. Kennedy's tomb, marked by an John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame, eternal flame. President William Howard Taft is also buried in Arlington. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Arlington), Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located in the cemetery and is guarded 24/7 by a tomb guard. The changing of the guard is a popular tourist attraction and occurs once every hour from October through March and every half-hour during the rest of the year.


Culture


Landmarks


National Mall and Tidal Basin

The National Mall is a large, open park in Downtown (Washington, D.C.), Downtown Washington between the Lincoln Memorial and the
United States Capitol The United States Capitol, often called The Capitol or the Capitol Building, is the seat of the legislative branch of the United States federal government, which is formally known as the United States Congress. It is located on Capitol Hill ...
. Given its prominence, the mall is often the location of List of protest marches on Washington, D.C., political protests, concerts, festivals, and United States presidential inauguration, presidential inaugurations. The
Washington Monument The Washington Monument is an obelisk shaped building within the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the Continental Army (1775–1784) in the American Revolutionary War and th ...
and the Jefferson Pier are near the center of the mall, south of the
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in ...
. Located on the mall directly northwest of the Washington Monument is Constitution Gardens, which includes a garden, park, pond, and a Memorial to the 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence, memorial to the signers of the United States Declaration of Independence. Just north of Constitution Gardens is the Lockkeeper's House, C & O Canal Extension, Lockkeeper's House, which is the second oldest building on the mall, after the White House. The house is operated by the National Park Service (NPS) and is open to the public for visitation. Also on the mall are the National World War II Memorial at the east end of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Directly south of the mall, the Tidal Basin (District of Columbia), Tidal Basin features rows of Japanese cherry trees. Every spring, millions of cherry blossoms bloom, an event which attracts visitors from across the world as part of the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, George Mason Memorial,
Jefferson Memorial The Jefferson Memorial is a presidential memorial built in Washington, D.C. between 1939 and 1943 in honor of Thomas Jefferson, the principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence, a central intellectual force behind the A ...
, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the District of Columbia War Memorial are around the Tidal Basin.


Other landmarks

Numerous historic landmarks are located outside the National Mall. Among these are the Old Post Office (Washington, D.C.), Old Post Office, the Treasury Building (Washington, D.C.), Treasury Building, Old Patent Office Building, the
National Cathedral The Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, commonly known as Washington National Cathedral, is an American cathedral of the Episcopal Church. The cathedral is located in Washington, D.C., the ca ...
, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the National World War I Memorial (Washington, D.C.), National World War I Memorial, the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Lincoln's Cottage, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, and the United States Navy Memorial. The Octagon House, which was the building that President
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, and Founding Father. He served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. Madison is hailed as the "Father of the Constitution" for h ...
and his administration moved into following the burning of the White House during the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was fought by the United States, United States of America and its Indigenous peoples of the Americas, indigenous allies against the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, United Kingdom ...
, is now a historic museum and popular tourist destination. The National Archives and Records Administration, National Archives is headquartered in a National Archives Building, building just north of the National Mall and houses thousands of documents important to American history, including the United States Declaration of Independence, Declaration of Independence, the
Constitution A constitution is the aggregate of fundamental principles or established precedents that constitute the legal basis of a polity, organisation or other type of entity and commonly determine how that entity is to be governed. When these princ ...
, and the United States Bill of Rights, Bill of Rights. Located in three buildings on Capitol Hill, the Library of Congress is the largest library complex in the world with a collection of more than 147 million books, manuscripts, and other materials. The United States Supreme Court is located immediately north of the Library of Congress. The United States Supreme Court Building was completed in 1935; before then, the court held sessions in the Old Senate Chamber of the Capitol. Chinatown (Washington, D.C.), Chinatown is located just north of the National Mall. It houses many Chinese-inspired restaurants and shops as well as Capital One Arena, which serves as the primary indoor sports and entertainment arena in Washington. Chinatown's Friendship Archway is one of the largest Chinese ceremonial archways outside of China. The Archway bears the Chinese characters for Chinatown below the roof. The Southwest Waterfront along the Potomac River has been redeveloped in recent years and now serves as a popular cultural center. The Wharf (Washington, D.C.), The Wharf, as it is called, contains the city's historic Maine Avenue Fish Market. This is the oldest fish market currently in operation in the entire United States. The Wharf also has many hotels, residential buildings, restaurants, shops, parks, piers, docks and marinas, and live music venues. Several other landmarks are located in neighboring Northern Virginia. Among these are Arlington National Cemetery, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Arlington), Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, The Pentagon, the Pentagon Memorial, 9/11 Pentagon Memorial, the United States Air Force Memorial, Old Town Alexandria, and Mount Vernon, the former home of
George Washington George Washington (February 22, 1732, 1799) was an American military officer, statesman, and Founding Father who served as the first president of the United States from 1789 to 1797. Appointed by the Continental Congress as commander of ...
. National Harbor in Prince George's County, Maryland and its Capital Wheel, a ferris wheel providing riders with views of the D.C. area, are also notable landmarks. The National Spelling Bee is held annually since 2011 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor.


Parks

There are also numerous parks, gardens, and squares that have become notable landmarks, such as Rock Creek Park. Rock Creek Park, located in Northwest D.C., is the largest park in the city and is administered by the National Park Service. Located on the northern side of the White House, Lafayette Square (Washington, D.C.), Lafayette Square is a historic public square. Named after Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, the Marquis de Lafayette, a Frenchman who served as a commander during the American Revolutionary War, the square has been the site of many protests, marches, and speeches over the decades. The houses bordering the square have served as the home to many notable figures, such as First Lady Dolley Madison and
Abraham Lincoln Abraham Lincoln ( ; February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was an American lawyer, politician, and statesman who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in 1865. Lincoln led the nation thro ...
's Secretary of State William H. Seward, who was stabbed by an intruder in his Lafayette Square house on the evening of Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, President Lincoln's assassination. Located next to the square and on Pennsylvania Avenue across from the White House is the Blair House, which serves as the primary state guest house for the U.S. president. The United States National Arboretum is a dense arboretum in Northeast D.C. filled with gardens and trails. Its most notable landmark is the National Capitol Columns monument. A smaller urban park located in the city's limits is Theodore Roosevelt Island. This is an island in the
Potomac River The Potomac River () drains the Mid-Atlantic United States, flowing from the Potomac Highlands into Chesapeake Bay. It is long,U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map. Retrieved Augu ...
named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt. The island has many trails used by walkers and runners, as well as a statue and memorial in honor of Theodore Roosevelt. Other parks, gardens, and squares include Dumbarton Oaks, Meridian Hill Park, The Yards (Washington, D.C.), the Yards, Anacostia Park, Lincoln Park (Washington, D.C.), Lincoln Park, Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens, Franklin Square (Washington, D.C.), Franklin Square, Washington Circle, McPherson Square, Farragut Square, and the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park.


Museums


Smithsonian museums

The Smithsonian Institution is an educational foundation chartered by Congress in 1846 that maintains most of the nation's official museums and galleries in Washington, D.C. It is the world's largest research and museum complex. The U.S. government partially funds the Smithsonian, and its collections are open to the public free of charge. The Smithsonian's locations had a combined total of 30 million visits in 2013. The most visited museum is the National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall. Other Smithsonian Institution museums and galleries on the mall are: the National Air and Space Museum; the National Museum of African Art; the National Museum of American History; the National Museum of the American Indian; the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art, Freer galleries, which both focus on Asian art and culture; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the Arts and Industries Building; the S. Dillon Ripley Center; and the Smithsonian Institution Building (also known as "The Castle"), which serves as the institution's headquarters. The Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery (United States), National Portrait Gallery are housed in the Old Patent Office Building, near Washington's Chinatown, Washington, D.C., Chinatown. The Renwick Gallery is officially part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum but is in a separate building near the White House. Other Smithsonian museums and galleries include: the Anacostia Museum, Anacostia Community Museum in Southeast Washington; the National Postal Museum near Union Station (Washington, D.C.), Union Station; and the National Zoological Park (United States), National Zoo in Woodley Park, Washington, D.C., Woodley Park.


Other museums

The National Gallery of Art is on the National Mall near the Capitol and features American and European artworks. The U.S. government owns the gallery and its collections. However, they are not a part of the Smithsonian Institution. The National Building Museum, which occupies the former Pension Building near Judiciary Square, Washington, D.C., Judiciary Square, was chartered by Congress and hosts exhibits on architecture, urban planning, and design. The United States Botanic Garden, Botanic Garden is a botanical garden and museum operated by the U.S. Congress that is open to the public. There are many private art museums in the District of Columbia, which house major collections and exhibits open to the public, such as the National Museum of Women in the Arts and The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C., Dupont Circle, the first museum of modern art in the United States. Other private museums in Washington include the Newseum, the O Street Museum, the International Spy Museum, the
National Geographic Society The National Geographic Society (NGS), headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational organizations in the world. Founded in 1888, its interests include geography, archaeology, an ...
Museum, and the Museum of the Bible. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum near the National Mall maintains exhibits, documentation, and artifacts related to the Holocaust.


Arts

Washington, D.C. is a national center for the arts and houses numerous leading concert halls and theaters. The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is home to the National Symphony Orchestra (United States), National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington National Opera, and the Washington Ballet. The Kennedy Center Honors are awarded each year to those in the performing arts who have contributed greatly to the cultural life of the United States. This ceremony is often attended by the sitting American President as well as other dignitaries and celebrities. The Kennedy Center also awards the annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, which is one of the most prestigious comedy awards in the U.S. The historic Ford's Theatre, site of the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln, assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, continues to operate as a functioning performance space as well as a museum. The Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C., Marine Barracks near Capitol Hill houses the United States Marine Band; founded in 1798, it is the country's oldest professional musical organization. American march music, American march composer and Washington-native John Philip Sousa led the Marine Band from 1880 until 1892. Founded in 1925, the United States Navy Band has its headquarters at the Washington Navy Yard and performs at official events and public concerts around the city. Founded in 1950, Arena Stage achieved national attention and spurred growth in the city's independent theater movement that now includes organizations such as the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, and the Studio Theatre. Arena Stage opened its newly renovated home in the city's emerging Southwest Waterfront, Washington, D.C., Southwest waterfront area in 2010. The GALA Hispanic Theatre, now housed in the historic Tivoli Theatre (Washington, D.C.), Tivoli Theatre in Columbia Heights (Washington, D.C.), Columbia Heights, was founded in 1976 and is a National Center for the Latino Performing Arts. Other performing arts spaces in the city include the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Federal Triangle, the Atlas Performing Arts Center on H Street (Washington, D.C.), H Street, the Carter Barron Amphitheater in Rock Creek Park, DAR Constitution Hall, Constitution Hall in Downtown, Washington, D.C., Downtown, the National Theatre (Washington, D.C.), National Theatre in Downtown, the Keegan Theatre in Dupont Circle, the Lisner Auditorium in Foggy Bottom, the National Sylvan Theater, Sylvan Theater on the National Mall, and the Warner Theatre (Washington, D.C.), Warner Theatre in Penn Quarter. The Folger Shakespeare Library is a research library and museum located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It houses the world's largest collection of Shakespeare-related material and third largest collection of English books printed before 1641. The Folger Library also runs special events and cultural attractions, most notably the Folger Theatre, which is known for being a leading interpreter of Shakespeare works, in addition to those from other authors. The U Street Corridor in Northwest D.C., once known as "Washington's Black Broadway", is home to institutions like the Howard Theatre, Bohemian Caverns, and the Lincoln Theatre (Washington, D.C.), Lincoln Theatre, which hosted music legends such as Washington-native Duke Ellington, John Coltrane, and Miles Davis. Washington has its own native music genre called go-go; a post-funk, percussion-driven flavor of rhythm and blues that was popularized in the late 1970s by D.C. band leader Chuck Brown. The district is an important center for indie music scene, indie culture and music in the United States. The label Dischord Records, formed by Ian MacKaye, frontman of Fugazi, was one of the most crucial independent labels in the genesis of 1980s punk and eventually indie rock in the 1990s. Modern Alternative rock, alternative and indie music venues like Black Cat (Washington, D.C. nightclub), The Black Cat and the 9:30 Club bring popular acts to the U Street area. The hardcore punk scene in the city, known as Washington, D.C. hardcore, D.C. hardcore, is an important genre of D.C.'s contemporary music scene. Starting in the 1970s, it is considered to be one of the most influential punk music movements in the country.


Cuisine

Washington, D.C. is rich in both fine dining as well as casual eating, and is now considered by many to be one of the best cities for dining in the United States. The city benefits from a diverse food scene made up of restaurants with a wide variety of international cuisines. The city's Chinatown (Washington, D.C.), Chinatown, for example, is filled with Chinese-style restaurants. The city also has many Middle Eastern, European, African, Asian, and Latin American cuisine options. D.C. is known for being one of the best cities in the world for Ethiopian cuisine, due in part to the Ethiopians in Washington, D.C., heavy influx of Ethiopian immigrants during the 20th century, many of whom opened restaurants in the city. A part of the Shaw (Washington, D.C.), Shaw neighborhood in central D.C. is known as "Little Ethiopia" and has a high concentration of Ethiopian restaurants and shops. Despite the cosmopolitan nature of the city, D.C. is known for being the birthplace of particular foods and has some recognizable restaurants and eateries. Among the most famous D.C.-born food is the half-smoke, which is a half-beef, half-pork sausage placed in a hotdog-style bun and topped with onion, chilly, and cheese. Additionally, the city is the birthplace of mumbo sauce, a type of condiment often placed on meat and french fries. This sauce is similar to barbecue sauce but sweeter in flavor. Georgetown Cupcake is a famous cupcake restaurant whose fame grew following its appearance on the reality T.V. show DC Cupcakes. Washington, D.C. is also known for popularizing the jumbo slice pizza, which is an enlarged New York-style pizza. The jumbo slice has particular roots in the Adams Morgan neighborhood. Due to limited dining options along the National Mall, the city is known for having a heavy concentration of food trucks offering diverse ethnic cuisine options parked along the tourist-dense areas of the mall. Among the District's signature restaurants is Ben's Chili Bowl, which has been located on U Street (Washington, D.C.), U Street since its founding in 1958. The restaurant rose to prominence as a peaceful escape during the violent 1968 Washington, D.C., riots, 1968 race riots in the city. The restaurant is famous for its chili dogs and half-smokes. The restaurant has been visited by numerous presidents and celebrities over the years. Washington, D.C.'s fine dining options are extensive, with the Michelin Guide awarding numerous D.C. restaurants with prestigious Michelin stars in recent years. The city currently has the third-highest number of Michelin stars in the country, only after New York City and San Francisco. The city's growth as a fine dining location has garnered the attention of many celebrity chefs, who have opened restaurants in the city. Among these chefs are José Andrés, Kwame Onwuachi, Gordon Ramsay, and previously Michel Richard.


Sports

Washington is one of 13 cities in the United States with teams U.S. cities with teams from four major sports, from all four major professional men's sports and is home to one major professional women's team. The Washington Wizards (National Basketball Association) and the Washington Capitals (National Hockey League) play at the Capital One Arena in Chinatown. The Washington Mystics (Women's National Basketball Association) play in the St. Elizabeths East Entertainment and Sports Arena. Nationals Park, which opened in Southeast D.C. in 2008, is home to the Washington Nationals (Major League Baseball). D.C. United (Major League Soccer) plays at Audi Field. The Washington Commanders (National Football League) play at FedExField in nearby Landover, Maryland. D.C. teams have won a combined thirteen professional league championships: the Washington Commanders (then named the Washington Redskins) have won five (including three Super Bowls during the 1980s); D.C. United has won four; and the Washington Wizards (then the Washington Bullets), Washington Capitals, Washington Mystics and Washington Nationals have each won a single championship. Other professional and semi-professional teams in Washington include: DC Defenders (XFL (2020), XFL), Old Glory DC (Major League Rugby), the Washington Kastles (World TeamTennis); the Washington D.C. Slayers (USA Rugby League); the Baltimore Washington Eagles (U.S. Australian Football League); the D.C. Divas (Independent Women's Football League); and the Potomac Athletic Club RFC (Rugby Super League). The William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park hosts the Citi Open. Washington is also home to two major annual marathon races: the Marine Corps Marathon, which is held every autumn, and the Rock 'n' Roll USA Marathon held in the spring. The Marine Corps Marathon began in 1976 and is sometimes called "The People's Marathon" because it is the largest marathon that does not offer prize money to participants. The district's four National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA Division I (NCAA), Division I teams, American Eagles, George Washington Colonials, Georgetown Hoyas and Howard Bison and Lady Bison, have a broad following. The Georgetown Hoyas men's basketball team is the most notable and also plays at the Capital One Arena. From 2008 to 2012, the district hosted an annual college football bowl game at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, RFK Stadium, called the Military Bowl. The D.C. area is home to one regional sports television network, NBC Sports Washington, based in Bethesda, Maryland.


Media

Washington, D.C. is a prominent center for national and international media. ''The Washington Post'', founded in 1877, is the oldest and most-read local daily newspaper in Washington. "''The Post''", as it is popularly called, is well known as the newspaper that exposed the Watergate scandal. It had the sixth-highest readership of all news dailies in the country in 2011. From 2003 to 2019, The Washington Post Company published a daily free commuter newspaper called the ''Express (Washington, D.C. newspaper), Express'', which summarized events, sports and entertainment; it still publishes the Spanish-language paper ''El Tiempo Latino''. ''The Atlantic'' magazine, which covers politics, international affairs, and cultural issues, is also headquartered in Washington. Another popular local daily is ''The Washington Times'', the city's second general interest broadsheet and also an influential paper in conservative political circles. The Alternative newspaper, alternative weekly ''Washington City Paper'', with a circulation of 47,000, is also based in the city and has a substantial readership in the Washington area. Some community and specialty papers focus on neighborhood and cultural issues, including the weekly ''Washington Blade'' and ''Metro Weekly'', which focus on LGBT issues; the ''Washington Informer'' and ''The Washington Afro American'', which highlight topics of interest to the black community; and neighborhood newspapers published by The Current Newspapers. ''Congressional Quarterly'', ''The Hill (newspaper), The Hill'', ''Politico (newspaper), Politico'', and ''Roll Call'' newspapers focus exclusively on issues related to Congress and the federal government. Other publications based in Washington include the ''National Geographic (magazine), National Geographic'' magazine and political publications such as ''The Washington Examiner'', ''The New Republic'', and ''Washington Monthly''. The Washington Metropolitan Area is the ninth-largest television media market in the nation, with two million homes, approximately 2% of the country's population. Several media companies and cable television channels have their headquarters in the area, including C-SPAN; Radio One (company), Radio One; the National Geographic Channel; Smithsonian Networks; National Public Radio (NPR); Travel Channel (in Chevy Chase, Maryland); Discovery Channel, Discovery Communications (in Silver Spring, Maryland); and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) (in Arlington County, Virginia). The headquarters of Voice of America, the U.S. government's international news service, is near the Capitol in Southwest Washington. Washington has two local NPR affiliates, WAMU and WETA (FM), WETA.


City government and politics


Politics

Article One of the United States Constitution, Article One, Section Eight of the United States Constitution grants the United States Congress "exclusive jurisdiction" over the city. The district did not have an elected local government until the passage of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, 1973 Home Rule Act. The Act devolved certain Congressional powers to an Mayor of the District of Columbia, elected mayor and the thirteen-member Council of the District of Columbia. However, Congress retains the right to review and overturn laws created by the council and intervene in local affairs. Washington, D.C., is overwhelmingly Democratic Party (United States), Democratic, having voted for the Democratic presidential candidate solidly since it was granted electoral votes in 1964 United States presidential election, 1964. Each of the city's eight Ward (country subdivision), wards elects a single member of the council and residents elect four at-large members to represent the district as a whole. The council chair is also elected at-large. There are 37 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs) elected by small neighborhood districts. ANCs can issue recommendations on all issues that affect residents; government agencies take their advice under careful consideration. The Attorney General of the District of Columbia, attorney general of the District of Columbia is elected to a four-year term. Washington, D.C., observes all Federal holidays in the United States, federal holidays and also celebrates Emancipation Day on April 16, which commemorates the end of slavery in the district. The flag of Washington, D.C., was adopted in 1938 and is a variation on George Washington's family coat of arms. Washington, D.C., has been a member state of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) since 2015. The idiom "Inside the Beltway" is a reference used by media to describe discussions of national political issues inside of Washington, by way of geographical demarcation regarding the region inner to the Capital's Beltway, Interstate 495, the city's highway loop (beltway) constructed in 1964. The phrase is used as a title for a number of political columns and news items by publications like the populist ''Washington Times''.


Budgetary issues

The mayor and council set local taxes and a budget, which Congress must approve. The Government Accountability Office and other analysts have estimated that the city's high percentage of tax-exempt property and the Congressional prohibition of commuter taxes create a structural deficit in the district's local budget of anywhere between $470 million and over $1 billion per year. Congress typically provides additional grants for federal programs such as Medicaid and the operation of the National Capital Revitalization and Self-Government Improvement Act of 1997, local justice system; however, analysts claim that the payments do not fully resolve the imbalance. The city's local government, particularly during the mayoralty of Marion Barry, was criticized for mismanagement and waste. During his administration in 1989, ''The Washington Monthly'' magazine claimed that the district had "the worst city government in America". In 1995, at the start of Barry's fourth term, Congress created the District of Columbia Financial Control Board to oversee all municipal spending. Mayor Anthony A. Williams, Anthony Williams won election in 1998 and oversaw a period of
urban renewal Urban renewal (also called urban regeneration in the United Kingdom and urban redevelopment in the United States) is a program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities. Urban renewal involves the clearing out of blighte ...
and budget surpluses. The district regained control over its finances in 2001 and the oversight board's operations were suspended. The district has a federally funded "Emergency Planning and Security Fund" to cover security related to visits by foreign leaders and diplomats, presidential inaugurations, protests, and terrorism concerns. During the Trump administration, the fund has run with a deficit. Trump's January 2017 inauguration cost the city $27 million; of that, $7 million was never repaid to the fund. Trump's 2019 Independence Day event, "A Salute to America", cost six times more than Independence Day events in past years.


Voting rights debate

The district is not a state and therefore has no voting representation in Congress. D.C. residents elect a Non-voting members of the United States House of representatives, non-voting delegate to the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies in many countries and sub-national entitles. In many countries, the House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral legislature, with the corresponding upper house often c ...
(District of Columbia's At-large congressional district, D.C. At-Large), who may sit on committees, participate in debate, and introduce legislation, but cannot vote on the Floor (legislative), House floor. The district has no official representation in the United States Senate. Neither chamber seats the district's elected Shadow congressperson, "shadow" representative or senators. Unlike residents of Territories of the United States, U.S. territories such as Puerto Rico or Guam, which also have non-voting delegates, D.C. residents are subject to all federal taxes. In the financial year 2012, D.C. residents and businesses paid $20.7 billion in federal taxes, more than the taxes collected from 19 states and the highest Federal tax revenue by state, federal taxes per capita. A 2005 poll found that 78% of Americans did not know residents of the District of Columbia have less representation in Congress than residents of the fifty states. Efforts to raise awareness about the issue have included campaigns by grassroots organizations and featuring the city's unofficial motto, "No taxation without representation, End Taxation Without Representation", on Vehicle registration plates of Washington, D.C., D.C. vehicle license plates. There is evidence of nationwide approval for D.C. voting rights; various polls indicate that 61 to 82% of Americans believe D.C. should have voting representation in Congress. Opponents of D.C. voting rights propose that the Founding Fathers of the United States, Founding Fathers never intended for district residents to have a vote in Congress since the Constitution makes clear that representation must come from the states. Those opposed to making D.C. a state claim such a move would destroy the notion of a separate national capital and that statehood would unfairly grant Senate representation to a single city.


Sister cities

Washington, D.C., has fifteen official sister city agreements. Each of the listed cities is a national capital except for Sunderland, which includes the town of Washington, Tyne and Wear, Washington, the ancestral home of George Washington's family. Paris and Rome are each formally recognized as a partner city due to their special one sister city policy. Listed in the order each agreement was first established, they are: * Bangkok, Thailand (1962, renewed 2002 and 2012) * Dakar, Senegal (1980, renewed 2006) * Beijing, China (1984, renewed 2004 and 2012) * Brussels, Belgium (1985, renewed 2002 and 2011) * Athens, Greece (2000) * Paris, France (2000 as a friendship and cooperation agreement, renewed 2005) * Pretoria, South Africa (2002, renewed 2008 and 2011) * Seoul, South Korea (2006) * Accra, Ghana (2006) * Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, Sunderland, United Kingdom (2006, renewed 2012) * Rome, Italy (2011, renewed 2013) * Ankara, Turkey (2011) * Brasília, Brazil (2013) * Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2013) * San Salvador, El Salvador (2018)


Education

District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS), the sole public school district in the city, operates the city's 123 public schools. The number of students in DCPS steadily decreased for 39 years until 2009. In the 2010–11 school year, 46,191 students were enrolled in the public school system. DCPS has one of the highest-cost, yet lowest-performing school systems in the country, in terms of both infrastructure and student achievement. Mayor Adrian Fenty's administration made sweeping changes to the system by closing schools, replacing teachers, firing principals, and using private education firms to aid curriculum development. The District of Columbia Public Charter School Board monitors the 52 public charter schools in the city. Due to the perceived problems with the traditional public school system, enrollment in public charter schools had by 2007 steadily increased. As of 2010, D.C., charter schools had a total enrollment of about 32,000, a 9% increase from the prior year. The district is also home to 92 private schools, which enrolled approximately 18,000 students in 2008. The District of Columbia Public Library operates 25 neighborhood locations including the landmark Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.


Higher education

Private universities include American University (AU), the Catholic University of America (CUA), Gallaudet University, George Washington University (GWU), Georgetown University (GU), Howard University (HU), the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), and Trinity Washington University. The Corcoran College of Art and Design, the oldest art school in the capital, was absorbed into the George Washington University in 2014, now serving as its college of arts. The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) is a public land-grant university providing undergraduate and graduate education. The district's medical research institutions include Washington Hospital Center and Children's National Medical Center. The city is home to three medical schools and associated teaching hospitals: George Washington, Georgetown, and Howard universities.


Infrastructure


Transportation


Streets and highways

There are of streets, parkways, and avenues in the district. Due to the Highway revolts in the United States, freeway revolts of the 1960s, much of the proposed interstate highway system through the middle of Washington was never built. Interstate 95 in the District of Columbia, Interstate 95 (I-95), the nation's major east coast highway, therefore bends around the district to form the eastern portion of the Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway), Capital Beltway. A portion of the proposed highway funding was directed to the region's public transportation infrastructure instead. The interstate highways that continue into Washington, including Interstate 66 in the District of Columbia, I-66 and Interstate 395 in the District of Columbia, I-395, both terminate shortly after entering the city. According to a 2010 study, Washington-area commuters spent 70 hours a year in traffic delays, which tied with Chicago for having the nation's worst road congestion. However, 37% of Washington-area commuters take public transportation to work, the second-highest rate in the country. An additional 12% of D.C. commuters walked to work, 6% carpooled, and 3% traveled by bicycle in 2010.


Bicycle

D.C. is part of the regional Capital Bikeshare program. Started in 2010, it is one of the largest bicycle sharing systems in the country with more than 4,351 bicycles and more than 395 stations, all provided by PBSC Urban Solutions. By 2012, the city's network of marked bicycle lanes covered of streets.


Walkability

A 2011 study by Walk Score found that Washington was the seventh-most walkable city in the country with 80% of residents living in neighborhoods that are not car dependent. In 2013, the Washington Metropolitan Area had the eighth lowest percentage of workers who commuted by private automobile (75.7 percent), with 8percent of area workers traveling via rail transit.


River crossings

There are multiple transportation methods to cross the city's two rivers, the
Potomac River The Potomac River () drains the Mid-Atlantic United States, flowing from the Potomac Highlands into Chesapeake Bay. It is long,U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map. Retrieved Augu ...
and the
Anacostia River The Anacostia River is a river in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States. It flows from Prince George's County in Maryland into Washington, D.C., where it joins with the Washington Channel to empty into the Potomac River at Buzzard Point. ...
. There are numerous bridges that take cars, trains, pedestrians, and bikers across the rivers. Among these are Arlington Memorial Bridge, the 14th Street Bridges, Francis Scott Key Bridge (Washington, D.C.), Francis Scott Key Bridge, Theodore Roosevelt Bridge, Woodrow Wilson Bridge, and Frederick Douglass Bridge. There are also ferries and water cruises that cross the Potomac River. One of these is the Potomac Water Taxi, operated by Hornblower Cruises, which goes between the Georgetown Waterfront Park, Georgetown Waterfront, the Wharf (Washington, D.C.), the Wharf, the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront, and National Harbor.


Rail

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) operates the Washington Metro, the city's rapid transit rail system. The system serves Washington, D.C. as well as its Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Metro opened on March 27, 1976, and consists of six lines (each one color coded), List of Washington Metro stations, 91 stations, and of track. With an average of about one million trips each weekday, Metro is the List of United States rapid transit systems by ridership, second-busiest rapid transit system in the country and List of North American rapid transit systems by ridership, fifth-busiest in North America. It operates mostly as a deep-level passenger rail terminology#Subway, subway in more densely populated parts of the D.C. metropolitan area (including most of the District itself), while most of the suburban tracks are at surface level or elevated railway, elevated. Metro is known for its iconic Brutalism, brutalist-style vaulted ceilings in the interior stations. It is also known for having long escalators in some of its underground stations. The longest single-tier escalator in the Western Hemisphere, spanning , is located at Metro's Wheaton station in Maryland. Union Station (Washington, D.C.), Union Station is the city's main train station and serves approximately 70,000 people each day. It is Amtrak's second-busiest station with 4.6 million passengers annually and is the southern terminus for the Northeast Corridor and Acela Express routes. Maryland's MARC Train, MARC and Virginia's Virginia Railway Express, VRE commuter trains and the Metrorail Red Line (Washington Metro), Red Line also provide service into Union Station. Following renovations in 2011, Union Station became Washington's primary intercity bus transit center. Although Washington was famous throughout the 19th and early- to mid-20th centuries for Streetcars in Washington, D.C., its streetcars, these lines were dismantled in the 1960s. In 2016, however, the city brought back a streetcar line. The DC Streetcar consists of a single line in Northeast D.C., along H Street (Washington, D.C.), H Street and Benning Road, known as the H Street/Benning Road Line.


Bus

Two main public bus systems operate in Washington. Metrobus (Washington, D.C.), Metrobus, operated by WMATA, is the primary public bus system in Washington, D.C. Serving more than 400,000 riders each weekday, it is one of the nation's List of United States local bus agencies by ridership, largest bus systems by annual ridership. The city also operates its own DC Circulator bus system, which connects commercial and touristic areas within central Washington. The DC Circulator costs only $1 to ride and is composed of six distinct routes that cover central D.C. and suburban Rosslyn, Virginia. The DC Circulator is run via a public-private partnerships between the District of Columbia Department of Transportation, WMATA, and DC Surface Transit, Inc. (DCST). The bus system services each stop approximately every 10 minutes. Many other public bus systems operate in the various jurisdictions of the Washington region outside of the city in suburban Maryland and Virginia. Among these are the Fairfax Connector in Fairfax County, Virginia; DASH (bus), DASH in
Alexandria, Virginia Alexandria is an independent city in the northern region of the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States. It lies on the western bank of the Potomac River approximately south of downtown Washington, D.C. In 2020, the population was 159,467. ...
; and TheBus (Prince George's County), TheBus in Prince George's County, Maryland. There are also numerous commuter buses that residents of the wider Washington region take to commute into the city for work or other events. Among these are the Loudoun County Transit Commuter Bus and the Maryland Transit Administration Commuter Bus. D.C. also has numerous buses used by tourists and others visiting the city. Among the most popular tourist buses are Big Bus Tours, Old Town Trolley Tours, and DC Trails. The city also sees many charter buses carrying young students and other tourists from across the country to the Washington region's historic sites. These buses are often found parked beside famous tourist locations, such as the National Mall.


Air

Three major airports serve the district, though none are within the city's borders. Two of these major airports are located in suburban
Virginia Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of Virginia, is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern regions of the United States, between the Atlantic Coast and the Appalachian Mountains. The geography and climate of the Commonwealth ar ...
and one in suburban
Maryland Maryland ( ) is a state in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It shares borders with Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware and the Atlantic Ocean to ...
. The closest is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, which is located in Virginia just across the
Potomac River The Potomac River () drains the Mid-Atlantic United States, flowing from the Potomac Highlands into Chesapeake Bay. It is long,U.S. Geological Survey. National Hydrography Dataset high-resolution flowline dataThe National Map. Retrieved Augu ...
about 5 miles from the city. This airport is primarily reserved for domestic flights and has the lowest number of passengers of any of the three airports in the region. The busiest by international flights and the largest by land size and amount of facilities is Dulles International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, located in suburban Virginia, about 24 miles west of the city. Dulles has the most international passenger traffic of any airport in the Mid-Atlantic outside the New York metropolitan area, including approximately 90% of the international passenger traffic in the Washington–Baltimore metropolitan area, Washington-Baltimore region. The busiest by number of total passenger boardings is Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI), located in suburban Maryland about 30 miles northeast of D.C. Each of these three airports also serves as a hub for a major American airline: Reagan is a small hub for American Airlines, Dulles is a major hub for United Airlines and Star Alliance partners, and BWI is a hub for Southwest Airlines. The President of the United States does not use these airports for travel. Instead, he rides Marine One from the
White House The White House is the official residence and workplace of the president of the United States. It is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and has been the residence of every U.S. president since John Adams in ...
lawn to Joint Base Andrews, located just beyond the city's limits in Maryland. There, he takes Air Force One to his destination. The air base was originally built in 1942. From 1942 to 2009, it was solely an Air Force Base, but became a joint Air Force and Naval base in 2009, when Andrews Air Force Base and Naval Air Facility Washington were merged.


Utilities

The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority (i.e., WASA or D.C. Water) is an independent authority of the D.C. government that provides drinking water and wastewater collection in Washington. WASA purchases water from the historic Washington Aqueduct, which is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Army Corps of Engineers. The water, sourced from the Potomac River, is treated and stored in the city's Dalecarlia Reservoir, Dalecarlia, Georgetown Reservoir, Georgetown, and McMillan Reservoir, McMillan reservoirs. The aqueduct provides drinking water for a total of 1.1 million people in the district and Virginia, including Arlington, Falls Church, and a portion of Fairfax County. The authority also provides sewage treatment services for an additional 1.6 million people in four surrounding Maryland and Virginia counties. Pepco is the city's electric utility and services 793,000 customers in the district and suburban Maryland. An 1889 law prohibits overhead wires within much of the historic City of Washington. As a result, all power lines and telecommunication cables are located underground in downtown Washington, and traffic signals are placed at the edge of the street. A plan announced in 2013 would bury an additional of primary power lines throughout the district. Washington Gas is the city's natural gas utility and serves more than a million customers in the district and its suburbs. Incorporated by Congress in 1848, the company installed the city's first gas lights in the Capitol, the White House, and along Pennsylvania Avenue.


See also

* Index of Washington, D.C.–related articles * Outline of Washington, D.C. * List of people from Washington, D.C. * Caput Mundi


Notes


References


External links

*
Guide to Washington, D.C.
materials from the Library of Congress * *
Why is Washington, D.C. Called the District of Columbia?
{{Authority control Washington, D.C., Capitals in North America Members of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization Planned capitals Planned cities in the United States Populated places established in 1790 Populated places on the Potomac River Mid-Atlantic states Southern United States Northeastern United States States and territories established in 1790 Political divisions of the United States Washington metropolitan area 1790 establishments in the United States Contiguous United States