Washington, D.C. formally the District of Columbia is the capital of the United States founded on July 16, 1790. The U. S. Constitution allows for the creation of a special district to serve as the permanent national capital. The District is therefore not a part of any U. S. state and is instead directly overseen by the federal government. Within the District, a new capital city was founded in 1791 and named in honor of George Washington. The City of Washington, along with Georgetown and outlying areas within the federal district, were placed under a single, unified government following an act of Congress in 1871. It is for this reason that the city, while legally named the District of Columbia, is known as Washington, D.C. The city shares its name with the U.S. state of Washington located on the country's Pacific coast.
George Washington himself chose the location for the city that bears his name, and which serves as the seat of government for the United States of America. Over the course of 200 years, Washington, D.C. has grown with the nation, and it now represents the very best of America. From its monuments to its incomparable museums, from the Mall to the steps of the Capitol, Washington offers visitors one-of-a-kind attractions. Washington DC is located near the middle of the eastern coast of the USA. It is 230 miles south of New York City, less than an hour drive to Baltimore and slightly more than two hours to Philadelphia. The city is near the vast Chesepeake Bay about 100 miles inland from the Atlantic Ocean. The surrounding landscape is nearly flat with some gently rolling hills and shallow valleys.
Washington DC is a city of variety and contrast. The central area is beautifully designed with broad avenues lined with magnificent buildings and monuments set in spacious green parks. The surrounding neighborhoods vary from modern commercial districts and upscale residential neighborhoods to ethnic enclaves and working class neighborhoods. The city houses a myriad of workers, diplomats, politicians and immigrants from many lands. It is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the US with numerous ethnic neighborhoods and restaurants featuring a wide variety of exotic cuisines. Suburban communities in nearby Virginia and Maryland house an army of government workers and businesses supporting the operation of our huge federal bureaucracy.
Washington is a socially, culturally and economically rich community supported by a host of generous, caring citizens. They contribute time and money to ensure strong educational systems, quality library services, intelligent land use planning, first-rate emergency care and a wide range of intellectual and recreational activities. Washington DC is more than a city but not quite a state. It is a "district" created by the Congress of the United States as a place to meet and transact their affairs of government. It was originally a ten-mile, square of land straddling the Potomac River between Virginia and Maryland. They called it the District of Columbia and named the new capital city, to be constructed within, Washington in honor of our founding father and first president.
While the city of Washington DC's weather is highly seasonal with extreme variations between summer and winter; it has been known to be unpredictable too. Summers tend to be very hot and humid, the conditions exacerbated in the heart of the city with its concrete and steel. Fall and spring are the best seasons, when chilly but bright, perfect days are the norm. Sudden rain or snowfalls are possible though. In winter the city is subject to heavy snowfalls, averaging 17 inches (43cm) a year, and sudden arctic blasts or frozen rainstorms.
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