Washington D. C.


general facts

- Washington is not a state and not in a state --> independent federal district

- the population is about 630,000 (metropolitan area about 31/2 million)

- 3/4 of the population is non-white

- since 1964 the people living in Washington have the right to vote for the president

- was planned as a capital --> the streets are organised in a special pattern; the National Mall is in the centre of the town, other buildings are arranged around it

- the layout of the city reflects also the system of government (White House is connected to the Capitol, where Congress meets, and to the Supreme Court)

- the names of the streets are given in a special way, too (the horizontal streets are named with letters; the vertical ones with numbers)

- few factories, most of the people work in offices

- government is the largest employer in the city (345,000 people)

- more than 600 parks; Washington has a larger variety of trees than any other city

- no skyscrapers because there is a rule, that no building should be higher than 40 metres; this rule ensures that the Capitol and the monuments can be seen from anywhere in Washington

Close Up Foundation

- founded in 1970

- aims are to learn something about the political system and about Washington

- people should be involved in all that happens around them

- the people learn what it means to live in a democracy

- students and teacher from all parts of the country are participants

- in one year there are 27,000 participants

- the programme is divided into political and cultural information


- the Capitol: it is the building where Congress works

- the House of Representatives: the representatives work here

- the Lincoln Memorial: memorial of Abraham Lincoln (1732-1799)

- the National Mall: it is a promenade between Capitol and Lincoln Memorial

- the Oval Office: this is a room of the White House were the President works

- the Pentagon: here is the defence office

- the Senate: here is the American Senate

- the Washington Monument: a 170 metres high obelisk for George Washington

- the White House:

* oldest public building in Washington; the title was given later

* home of the most famous government people and the official residence of the president

* every president, except George Washington, lived in the White House

* until 1834 the White House had no running water; gas lamps 1848 installed

* opened for two hours a day from Tuesday to Saturday

* you can't visit the president or the room where he works

- Vietnam Veterans Memorial:

* one of the most recent monuments; for many people the most moving one

* it should remember, that this war divided the country; also the many died people and many people, fighting in the war were even still teenagers

* some people thought the war should not be, others wanted this

* average age of the soldiers in this war was 19

* in this war 58,123 men died or are still missing


- the Supreme Court: this is the most powerful court in the USA

- the Smithsonian Institution:

* here are several museums

* the money for the Smithsonian Institution was from a wealthy Englishman, who gave all his money to the USA

* today there are 13 Smithsonian museums in the USA (12 in Washington and 1 in New York)

* the most popular ones are the National Air and Space Museum where you can see the Apollo 11 spaceship

* here are also libraries and an observatory

- FBI Headquarters:

* FBI means Federal Bureau of Investigation

* FBI was founded in 1908 by J. Edgar Hoover

* he founded the FBI because he wanted to fight against crime throughout the nation, that's why the name is 'Federal'

* in this building there are many laboratories (hair, pieces of cloth, paint...); from a piece of paint they can say what make and model the car is

* the agents watch the evidence and the other information here

* often the work of the agents is not dangerous and with guns, because often it is only a paperwork

- Bureau of Engraving and Printing:

* the money of the USA is made in this institution since 1863

* 2,300 people work here day and night and six days a week

* most of the money is made to replace old money

* visitors can watch how money is made, and they also can see a $100,000 bill

* every day $22,5 million are printed

* the visitors also can learn that for the printing of money no trees are cut down, because the bills are made of cloth

* the $1 bill is used for only about 18 months, than the bill is destroyed an a new one is made

* there are many security guards watching the people, that no money is stolen

840 Worte in "englisch"  als "hilfreich"  bewertet