D.C. November 28, 2017
9 Things You Didn’t Know About The History Of DC
DC is a surprising city. You can live here for years and still learn new things about the city. So let yourself be surprised by DC every now and then. Here are 9 unusual historical facts about Washington DC.
1. DC was not actually built on a swamp… sort of
There are quite a few rumors that DC was built on a swamp. It wasn’t at least, it wasn’t for the most part. George Washington wanted the capital to be close to his home in Mount Vernon, which is partly why he chose the area. While much of the land was marshy and swampy, there were also fields, forest and bluffs along the geography. However DC, is still impacted by its surrounded water and it often flooded in the early days. But to be clear, it was not a swamp!
2. The British soldiers who burned the White House down dined at the White House before they did it.
Dolley Madison had prepared dinner and decor for a lavish party in 1814 before she had to flee. The British soldiers apparently sat down, ate dinner and then ransacked the house and set it on fire.
3. A thunderstorm saved DC in in 1814.
Less than one day after the British soldiers attacked DC, a freak storm hit the district. It might have been a hurricane and according to history, a tornado also spun off lifting cannons and killing British troops. It was known as the "Storm that saved Washington."
4. Washington never lived here.
Even though most people think DC is named after George Washington, he never lived here. He lived at Mount Vernon in Alexandria. John Adams was the first president to live in DC.
5. Football huddles began in DC at Gallaudet University.
The football huddle is a well known part of the game but most people don’t know that it originated here in DC. Gallaudet University is a deaf college and the quarterback, Paul Hubbard, began the tradition of having his offense form a tight circle so they could discuss plays without their opponents seeing their signs.
6. The White House wasn’t always called the White House.
The White House didn’t get its official current name until 1901. Teddy Roosevelt gave the house its name after reading it in a newspaper article. Before that most people referred to it as the "President’s Palace" or the "President’s House."
7. The Washington Monument was technically a failed project.
The Washington Monument is one of the most well-known architecture sights in the world and it is incredibly impressive. However, the monument was originally supposed to be much grander. There was supposed to be 30 stone columns, statues of the Declaration of Independence Signers and Revolutionary War heroes. But the budget ran out so the monument remains one sole obelisk.
8. Washington and DC were once two different cities.
In the beginning, there was a city named the District of Columbia, named after Christopher Columbus, and a surrounding area called Washington, named after George Washington and Georgetown. In 1871, th coucil revoked the charters for the cities of Washington and Georgetown and the whole area became known as the District of Columbia.
9. There is a song for every DC metro station.
A musician named Jason Mendelson wrote a unique and original song for all 91 metro stations in the DC area. The songs are based on the neighborhood, history and character. It took Mendelson six years to finish the songs. You can hear them
Were you surprised by any of these unusual historical facts about DC? If you love strange history,
then check out the 10 weirdest things to happen in DC!