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Learning About Washington D.C.

Both New York City and Philadelphia were once the capitals of the United States. Then in 1790, Congress chose the District of Columbia as the permanent seat of government. The 1st President of the U.S. George Washington helped to choose the right spot for the capital. Located on the Potomac River, Washington, D.C., was originally carved out of land taken from the states of Maryland and Virginia. Therefore, the capital of the U.S. is not part of any state. It was French-born American engineer, architect, and urban designer Pierre-Charles L’Enfant who designed the city’s basic plan. The wide avenues of the city stretch out from the Capitol building through a grid of streets that include circles and parks. Today, millions come to Washington, D.C. each year to see the Capitol, the White House, the Library of Congress, and the city’s many museums and monuments. The flower is the American beauty rose.

  • Question /

    Which 2 other cities have served as the capital of the US?

    • Baltimore and Harrisburg
    • New York City and Philadelphia
    • Rochester and Buffalo
  • Question /

    Which district was chosen as the permanent seat of government?

    • District of Maryland
    • District of Delaware
    • District of Columbia
  • Question /

    Who helped select the site for the city?

    • George Washington
    • Christopher Columbus
    • Abraham Lincoln
  • Question /

    From which two states was land taken for the building of the capital?

    • Delaware and Maryland
    • Maryland and Virginia
    • Pennsylvania and New York
  • Question /

    Which river is Washington DC situated on?

    • The Mississippi
    • The Swanee River
    • The Potomac River
  • Question /

    Who designed the city’s basic plan?

    • Christopher Columbus
    • Pierre-Charles L’Enfant
    • George Washington
  • Question /

    What flower is the symbol of the capital?

    • Wild Daisy
    • American Beauty Rose
    • Chrysanthemum
  • Question /

    What bird is the symbol of the capital?

    • Wood thrush
    • Pigeon
    • Red Robin
  • Question /

    What tree is the symbol of the capital?

    • Cheatnut
    • Maple
    • Red Oak


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