District of Columbia

Washington, D.C. is 90 square miles, surrounded by reality.
It's important to note that while the District of Columbia is not a state, it serves as the seat of the federal government and has its own unique history and governance structure as a federal district.
Brief timeline of the history of the District of Columbia:

  • 1790: The Residence Act of 1790 is signed into law, establishing a federal district along the Potomac River to serve as the permanent capital of the United States. The area selected becomes the District of Columbia.

  • 1800: The federal government is officially relocated from Philadelphia to the newly constructed city of Washington, D.C., which becomes the capital of the United States.

  • 1814: During the War of 1812, British forces capture and burn several public buildings in Washington, D.C., including the White House and the U.S. Capitol. The city is rebuilt in subsequent years.

  • 1846: The southwest portion of the District of Columbia, known as Alexandria County, is retroceded to the state of Virginia.

  • 1861-1865: During the American Civil War, Washington, D.C., remains under Union control and serves as an important center for the federal government and military operations.

  • 1862: President Abraham Lincoln signs the Compensated Emancipation Act, which abolishes slavery in the District of Columbia.

  • 1871: The District of Columbia Organic Act is passed, replacing the local government with a territorial government appointed by Congress.

  • 1964: The Twenty-Third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, granting residents of the District of Columbia the right to vote in presidential elections.

  • 1973: The District of Columbia Home Rule Act is enacted, establishing an elected mayor and city council to govern the District of Columbia. However, Congress retains certain oversight powers.

  • Present: The District of Columbia is a vibrant city with a diverse population. It is home to numerous national landmarks, including the U.S. Capitol, the White House, the Smithsonian museums, and many government agencies.