Washington DC short history and tourist attractions
The first people to appreciate Washington's
landscapes arrived around 13,000 years ago. The British and the Spanish were the
first Europeans to explore what is today the state of Washington.
Britain and the U.S. shared control of the Oregon
Territory, as the area was called, for a number of years.
In this century, Washington has seen its share of
boom times, first with the gold rushes of the 1900s and more recently with the
establishment of huge aerospace-manufacturing and computer-related industries.
But even when boom has turned to bust, the state's marine and agricultural
riches have helped it to maintain an even keel.
The Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s
largest museum and research complex, with 16 museums, the National Zoo and
several research facilities around the world. It has more than 6,000 employees,
most of whom work in Washington, where Smithsonian museums line the National
Mall between the Capitol and the Washington Monument.
More than 73 million visits to the
Smithsonian nationwide were tallied in 2001, including 29 million visits to the
museums in Washington and New York, an estimated 3 million visitors to the
National Zoo, and 41 million people viewing Smithsonian travelling exhibitions,
Web sites and museums that are part of the Smithsonian Affiliations Program.
The U.S. Capitol
The United States Capitol Complex is comprised of the Capitol,
the House and Senate Office Buildings, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Capitol
Grounds, the Library of Congress buildings, the Supreme Court Building, the
Capitol Power Plant, and various support facilities.
The headquarters of the US Department of Defence is one of the
world's largest office buildings. The Pentagon is virtually a city in itself,
with approximately 23,000 employees, both military and civilian.
Over 200,000 telephone calls are made daily through phones
connected by 100,000 miles of telephone cable. The Defence Post Office handles
about 1,200,000 pieces of mail monthly.
Other tourist attractions: Jefferson
Memorial, The Holocaust Museum, The Botanical Gardens.
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