"D.C." stands for the "District of Columbia" which is the federal district containing the city of Washington.
The city is named for George Washington, military leader of the American Revolution and the first President of the United States.
The District of Columbia and the city of Washington are coextensive and are governed by a single municipal government, so for most practical purposes they are considered to be the same entity. It is known locally as the District or simply D.C. Historically, it was called the Federal City.
The District of Columbia, founded on July 16, 1790, is a federal district as specified by the United States Constitution with limited local rule. The District is ruled "in all cases whatsoever" by the U.S. Congress, while being unrepresented in that body.
The land forming the original District came from the states of Virginia and Maryland. However, the area south of the Potomac River (39 sq miles or about 100 km²) was "retroceded", to Virginia in 1847 and now is incorporated into Arlington County and the City of Alexandria.
The term "District of Columbia" uses an old poetic name for the United States, Columbia, which has otherwise fallen out of common use since the early 20th century.
The US postal abbreviation is DC.
The population of the District of Columbia, as of 2003 U.S. Census Bureau estimates, is 563,384. The Greater Washington, D.C. metropolitan area includes the District of Columbia and parts of Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia, with a population surpassing 4.7 million.
The centers of all three branches of the U.S. federal government are in Washington, D.C., as well as the headquarters of most federal agencies.
Washington also serves as the headquarters for the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the Organization of American States.
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