Washington DC - Fast Facts & Trivia

The Washington Monument seen across the Tidal Basin during 2007's National Cherry Blossom Festival.

You know, it's the capital of our nation, but were you aware of those funny peculiarities

  • The Capitol Building was not designed by an American. William Thornton was a British doctor.

  • Similarly, the White House was designed by an Irish architect, James Hoban.

  • The Smithsonian is named after an Englishman James Smithson.
  • He had never entered American soil.
  • D.C. residents could not participate in the presidential elections until the 23rd amendment was ratified in 1961.

  • Both Herbert Hoover and John Quincy Adams retained alligators in the White House.

  • The White House Cinema was originally a coatroom.
  • When Jimmy Carter was president, he saw 480 movies there - most of them POTUS.
  • D.C. gets more rain than Seattle.

  • Perhaps D.C. residents drink more wine per capita than the inhabitants of one of the 50 states.

  • The National Cathedral has many crazy gargoyles and grotesques. One of them is Darth Vader.

  • In 1998, one of the strangers was buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery (actually opposite the Potomac of DC).

  • D.C. houses many national museums. But do not forget the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, which houses about 200 carefully trimmed miniature trees!

  • There were more members of the media in March 1963 in Washington than in Kennedy's inauguration two years before.

  • The Washington Monument is (by chance) two different colors.
  • Financing was halfway through the project. When construction resumed, construction workers used stones from another source.
  • When President Woodrow Wilson was forced to leave the White House at the end of his term, Prohibition prohibited him from postponing his precious wine collection. He appealed to Congress and passed a special law that would allow a person to bring alcohol from Pennsylvania Avenue 1600 to Wilson's house.

  • Wilson happens to be the only president buried in the district.

  • Both the Minnesota Twins and the Texas Rangers began as Washington Senators.

  • While the Washington Redskins were originally based in Boston.

  • The D.C. Metro is the second largest subway system in the United States. D.C.'s streets are labeled - but there is no "J" street.
  • For in the 18th century the letters "I" and "J" were basically interchangeable. Thomas Jefferson actually wrote his initials as "T.I."
  • An Empty Crypt Lies Under the Capitol Building - George Washington Should Be Buried There.
Washington DC Fast Facts & Trivia . Washington DC Fast Facts & Trivia