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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 of

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

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

    Which district was chosen as the permanent seat of government?

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

    Who helped select the site for the city?

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

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

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

    Which river is Washington DC situated on?

    • The Mississippi
    • The Swanee River
    • The Potomac River
  • Question of

    Who designed the city’s basic plan?

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

    What flower is the symbol of the capital?

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

    What bird is the symbol of the capital?

    • Wood thrush
    • Pigeon
    • Red Robin
  • Question of

    What tree is the symbol of the capital?

    • Cheatnut
    • Maple
    • Red Oak


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