Washingtont DC

sites to see, musemums, monuments, memorials
www.houstonkelley.com

This site lists most of the monuments, museums and sites to see, in Washington D.C.

All of the sites listed here are free, and you could easily spend a day at each of the museums.
Along with a description of the sites are pictures, to give you a sense of the attractions, and a map with links to the most popular sites to see in Washington D.C..

If you are traveling to D.C. we include a map of local hotels, close to the main attractions, with links to the hotel�s web sites for your connivance.

Washington D.C.


Washington D.C.    is like no other national capitol in the world. It is the only capitol who's concept, location and operation was planned for long before the first corner stone was set. In 1783, when the discussions of a seat of government started, it was with the intention that the capitol be central to the population, on a major river connecting to the Atlantic, and that the territory be the exclusive property of the federal government.

The southern states favored a site on the Potomac, while the northern states favored a site on the Delaware. A law was passed in December 1784 to put up buildings for the use of congress and the appointment of three commissioners to lay out a district on the banks of the Delaware. They were authorized to purchase land and could draw on the treasury a sum not to exceed $100,000. No action was taken except to elect three commissioners.

Three years later, in 1787 an effort was made to substitute the Potomac in place of the Delaware, but failed. By now congress had accepted the constitution and had submitted it to the states for approval. The following year with the constitution was ratified by the states; congress again turned is attention to a location for the "federal city".

It became clear that the southern states were determined the site be central to what was then regarded as the center of the 13 colonies. This narrowed the choices to Pennsylvanian, Maryland and Virginia. A more pressing problem at the same time was the funding of public and state debts, mostly due to the revolutionary war. Alexander Hamilton, then Secretary of the Treasury, proposed these debts become obligations of the United States government.

Since the southern states were relatively debt free and the northern states were carrying a large debt, a compromise was reached. If the northern states would vote for a more southern location for the capital, the southern states would vote for the funding bill proposed by Hamilton.

In July 1790 the residence bill passed, naming Philadelphia as the temporary site for the nation's capital, and a site somewhere on the Potomac as the permanent site. The Potomac site was to be ready and occupied on the first Monday in December 1800. The funding bill passed a few days later.

Four months later President George Washington took a trip to look over the proposed site for the nation's capitol. In January 1791, President Washington sent a note to congress, detailing the site's location. On the same day he instructed the three commissioners to start surveying the land.

Andrew Ellicott was hired to survey the boundaries of the city; Charles Pierre L'Enfant was hired to layout the city plan. L'Enfant plan incorporated many of its features from a rough draft that Thomas Jefferson had made of his ideas of how the city should be designed.

On Sept 9 1791 the city and the district was official named the City of Washington, District of Columbia. The district's name, "Columbia", is an early poetic name for the United States and a reference to Christopher Columbus. Out of modesty, George Washington never referred to it as such, preferring to call it "the Federal City". Despite choosing the site and living nearby at Mount Vernon, he rarely visited the city.

The official first day of attendance in the Washington DC was Nov 17th 1800, since neither the House nor the Senate had a quorum, it was not until a few days later on the 22nd that President John Adams meat with congress to congratulate them on the move from Philadelphia and the first meeting of the national government in it's new and permanent home.

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