Washington, D.C., is a great place

November 27, 2012 8:23 am

Washington, D.C., is a great place for a field trip. Tens of thousands of school kids go there every year. What’s so great about Washington? It’s the capital of the United States.
The D.C. stands for District of Columbia, the name of the capital territory. Washington is the name of the city that fills the entire District of Columbia.
SEE THE WHITE HOUSE
The president of the United States lives in the White House, a beautiful mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in the middle of Washington, D.C. The White House has 132 rooms! You can visit it to see where former presidents lived and worked.
The White House is America’s oldest federal(national government) building. George Washington, the first U.S. president, helped lay the building’s first stone in 1792. John Adams, the second president, was the first president to live in the White House.
VISIT CONGRESS
Congress meets to debate and vote on new laws in the Capitol. That’s a building where the representatives and senators from your state help run the nation. Congress has 535 members: 435 representatives and 100 senators. You can visit the Capitol and watch them work.
THE NATION’S ATTIC
“The nation’s attic” is what some people call the Smithsonian Institution. It’s the largest museum complex in the world. The Smithsonian owns dinosaur bones, historic airplanes, a zoo full of wild animals, famous paintings, and millions of other neat things.
At the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum you can see the first airplane. The Wright brothers flew it in 1903. The museum also has the command module from Apollo 11. Apollo 11 was the first mission to land on the Moon.
The Smithsonian’s Museum of National History owns more than 1,500 dinosaur specimens. Center stage is the meat-eating Allosaurusand the 87-foot-long (27-meter-long) vegetarian Diplodocus. The museum also has a collection of famous gems and jewelry. You can go there to see the Hope Diamond, a rare blue diamond almost as big as a golf ball!
PRESIDENTIAL MONUMENTS
No building in the District of Columbia is taller than the Washington Monument. It’s 555 feet (169 meters) high. That is taller than a 50-story building. The Washington Monument was constructed to honor the memory of George Washington.
Inside the round building of the Jefferson Memorial stands a bronze statue of America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson. Jefferson was the author of the Declaration of Independence.
A marble statue of President Abraham Lincoln sits inside the Lincoln Memorial. His short Gettysburg Address is inscribed on a marble wall. He delivered this speech in 1863 during the Civil War. The Lincoln Memorial is where 200,000 people in 1963 heard Martin Luther King, Jr., give his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech expressed the hopes of the civil rights movement in moving words.
The newest presidential memorial is dedicated to Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was the 32nd president of the United States. Roosevelt led the nation through the difficult years of the Great Depression (1930s) and World War II (1939-1945). A 7-acre park of gardens, waterfalls, and bronze statues dedicated to his memory opened in 1997.
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