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2.2.3 Washington dc

Washington, D.C., officially the District of Columbia is the capital city and ad­ministrative district of the United States of America. Washington, D.C. is part of the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area, which also includes parts of Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Washington, D.C. is near the East Coast. It should not be confused with the State of Washington, located in the Pacific Northwest.

The population of the District of Columbia, as of 2003 U.S. Census Bureau es­timates, is 563,384.

The headquarters of all three branches of the U.S. federal government are in Washington, as well as the headquarters of most federal agencies. Washington also serves as the headquarters for the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

Washington, DC, was created to serve as the national capital from its inception. The original street layout was designed by Pierre Charles L' Enfant at the time of the city's founding. L'Enfant based his design on Paris, which incorporated a basic grid system, inter-cut with broad diagonal avenues radiating from circles and squares.

To preserve the grandeur of the National Mall, the White House, the Capitol, and various other key locations, the entire city is subject to strict height limits. This limitation was placed in effect just prior to the 20th century when government of­ficials realized that structural steel "skyscrapers" could overwhelm the city and so Washington has a relatively modest skyline in comparison to the majority of American cities-Washington has many nation­al landmarks, museums, and spor­ts teams, and is a popular destinat­ion for tourists.

The Washington Monument

is a large white-colored obelisk in the centre of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., built as a me­morial to George Washington, the first President of the United States and the leader of the revolutionary Continental Army, which won ind­ependence from the British.

The National Mall is the most important venue for celebrations, demonstrations and protests.

Left the Washington Monume­nt from the air.

As the office of the President of the United States, the term White House is of­ten used as a substitute name (metonym) for the President's administration, as in, "Today, the White House announced that..." The Secret Service codename for it is "The Crown." The property is owned by the National Park Service and is known by them as the President's Park.

The White House is the official resid­ence and principal workplace of the Pre­sident of the United States.

It is a white painted, neoclassical ma­nsion located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave­nue, NW in Washington, D.C. Although faced with white sandstone, the visible building is mostly constructed from steel girders and concrete.

The Southern facade right

Very few people realize the size of the White House, since much of it is below ground or otherwise minimized by landscaping. In fact, the White House has: 6 stories, 134 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircas­es, 3 lifts, a tennis court, a cinema, a swimming pool, a jogging track and a bowling lane. 5 full-time chefs cater for the staff and there are 5,000 visitors every day.

The Library of Congress is one of four official national libraries of the United States (together with the National Library of Medicine, National Agricultural Li­brary, and the National Archives and Records Administration). Originally founded as a research library for the U.S. Congress in 1800, its original collection was com­posed of the books of former U.S. President Thomas Jefferson. Later, the Library assumed a role as a legal repository to guarantee copyright protection. All authors seeking American copyright had to submit two copies of the work to the Library. This requirement is no longer enforced, but copies of many books published in the U.S. still arrive at the Library regularly. It contains many important books, such as a copy of the Gutenberg Bible.

The Library itself is spread over three buildings in Washington, D.C, each named after an early president, being James Madison, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

With over 128 million items, it is one of the largest libraries in the history of the world, surpassed only by the British Library, which contains over 150 million items. With over 1000 km of shelves, the Library of Congress certainly is the longest library in the world.

Left the Main Library Building at the start of the 20th century.

The Lincoln Memorial, on the National Mall in Washington, DC, is a memorial to United States President Abraham Lincoln.

The focus of the memorial is inside the monument, Daniel Chester French's statue of Lincoln, seated, right. French studied many of Mathew Brady's photo­graphs of Lincoln, and depicted the pres­ident as worn and pensive, gazing east­wards down the Reflecting Pool at the capital's starkest emblem of the Union, the Washington Monument. One hand is clenched, the other open. Beneath his hands, the Roman fasces, symbols of the authority of the Republic, are sculpted in relief on the seat.

At the peak of the violent crime wave in the early 1990s, Washington DC was known as the murder capital. The number of homicides peaked in 1991, with 482 in that year. Despite the high rate of crime, violence was not evenly distributed across the city, but rather was primarily concentrated in specific neighborhoods.

As of 2005, violent crime in DC is primarily concentrated in areas east of the Anacostia River, and tourist advice generally recommends that visitors do not ven­ture east of the U.S. Capitol building.

Religion appears to be more important to the citizens of DC than in many other cities. The key religions reflect the overall mix in the USA, other than the "non-re­ligious" category being rather smaller than other cities. The Breakdown is (2004): Protestant: 68 %, Roman Catholic: 16 %, Other Christian: 1 %, Other Religions: 3 % and Non-Religious: 7 %

The three largest Protestant denominations in DC are: Baptist (47 % of the total population), Methodist (7 %) and Episcopalian (5 %). •

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts hosts the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Opera, the Washington Ballet, and other musical and stage performances.

The Washington Post is the oldest and most read daily newspaper in Washing­ton. The Post is also one of the most reputable daily newspapers in the U.S. and is highly influential in its political reporting, particularly after the role of its reporters in cracking the Watergate scandal.