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Washington DC

Washington DC Travel Guide

The offices of the various government agencies take up most of the space of the city, and most offer free tours to the public. The White House also offers free tours to the public, and the lines can sometimes stretch around the block to visit "the people's house." Just outside of the city, the National Zoo houses thousands of animals on 163 acres of park. Among its residents are two giant pandas given to the United States as gifts from the People's Republic of China. Across the river in Arlington, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stands amidst the sombre majesty of Arlington National Cemetery, where John and Robert Kennedy are also buried.

Washington has many other distractions from politics. Washington's theatre life is thriving; it is second only to New York in number of theatre seats. The National Symphony and other musical companies play full schedules. As a temporary home to diplomats from around the world, Washington's restaurant offerings are the finest and most diverse around.

And finally, how did Washington get its name. Well like lots of other places in the US itís pretty difficult to get away from our cousins across the pond, the Brits. So it will come as no surprise to find out that the cityís name and the first presidentís roots go back to the North east of England. Washington Village, Tyne-Wear, is renowned the world over as the ancestral home of George Washington, the First President of the United States of America. His great-grandfather, Colonel John Washington, emigrated to Virginia in 1656 from Sulgrave Manor in Northamptonshire. The Washington family relocated to Sulgrave Manor from Washington Manor, via Westmoreland, Lancashire and Warwickshire, in the early to mid sixteenth century.

Some other interesting Washington facts.

Washington D.C.'s official tree is the Scarlet oak.

The District of Columbia is divided into four quadrants--Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, and Southeast, with the U.S. Capitol building marking the spot where all four meet.

Washington D.C. was the first completely planned capital in the world.

The capital of the U.S. was until November 30th 1800 Philadelphia the next day Dec. 1, 1800 it was transferred to Washington.

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