As of today, John has completed 3,478 miles, with 22 remaining to reach 3,500 total miles!
As with all of the other places we have visited, there is much history to learn. We decided to start with the website of The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. On this site we found the following two questions and answers, which we hope will be intriguing enough that you will want to learn more: http://www.historydc.org/
Why is Washington, D.C. our nation’s capital?
Between 1776 and 1800, Congress met in several different locations. Philadelphia served as the last temporary capital from 1790-1800. The location of the permanent seat of the federal government was a controversial issue that divided Americans for many years. Various possibilities were suggested and many compromises were made until finally on July 16, 1790, Congress passed a law that permitted President George Washington to select a location for the national capital along the Potomac River and to appoint three commissioners to oversee its development. Washington selected a ten square mile area of land from property in Maryland and Virginia that lay on both sides of the Potomac. (In 1846, land formerly belonging to Virginia was returned to that state. See below.) Congress met for the first time in the new capital on November 17, 1800 and the transfer of the government from Philadelphia was completed by June of 1801.
How did the city get its name?
Shortly after the owners of the land selected for the capital transferred their property to the government, President Washington began to refer to the newly-created town as “the Federal City.” At a meeting on September 9, 1791, the commissioners agreed that the “Federal district shall be called the ‘Territory of Columbia’ and the Federal City the ‘City of Washington.'” (The term “district” was more popular than “territory” and officially replaced it when the capital was incorporated in 1871.) The name “Washington” was chosen by the commissioners to honor the President. “Columbia,” a feminine form of “Columbus,” was popularized as a name for America in patriotic poetry and song after the Revolutionary War. The term idealized America’s qualities as a land of liberty.” http://www.historydc.org/aboutdc.aspx
For a very interesting article about Washington, D.C., please use this link to the Smithsonian website: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/destination-hunter/north-america/united-states/east/washington-dc/washingtondc-history-heritage.html
We were fortunate to be in the D.C. area for Memorial Day Weekend. The RV park where we stayed was filled not only with families, but also with Veterans and those who support them. They came especially at this time to support Rolling Thunder XXV, an annual Memorial Day event. We were deeply touched by our conversations with some of the veterans and their families. “An estimated one million riders roared in procession from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial May 27 in the 25th anniversary Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom in remembrance of American POWs and service members still missing in action.” http://www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/2012/may/31/rolling-thunder-marks-25th-anniversary/ http://rollingthunderrun.com/