Monday, May 16, 2016

6 Facts of National Importance

1. The District of Columbia isn't part of any state, though it was created on land donated by Virginia and Maryland. (Virginia's land was returned to it by Congress in 1846, largely with regard to slavery in the District). Almost 700,000 people live in D.C., not counting the over 300,000 additional people who commute there to work.

2. A locally-elected mayor and thirteen member council govern Washington D.C., but Congress has supreme authority and may overturn local laws. Residents elect a non-voting delegate to the House of Representatives, but have no representative in the Senate. The 23rd Amendment to the Constitution gave the District three electoral votes.

3. After the assasination of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., rioting on the U Street, 14th Street, 7th Street, and H Street corridors ended after three days through the intervention of federal troops.

4. By law, the skyline is low and sprawling--no building may be taller than the width of the adjacent street (plus 20 feet). The Ronald Reagam building is the largest Washington, with an area of approximately 3.1 million square feet. 19% of the District's total area is parkland.

5. By 1870, though nearly 132,000 people lived in Washington D.C., dirt roads were common and basic sanitation was lacking. On the other hand, Washington was the first city in the nation to pursue urban renewal in the early 1900's.

6. Columbia, used as the name for the federal district established in the Constitution, was a poetic name for America in common use in the late 1700's.