Everyone knows that Washington DC is our nation’s capital and that it’s where you can visit some of the world’s most famous monuments and memorials. But there are a few little known facts about DC that many people would be surprised by. Read on to learn more.
It’s true; both Herbert Hoover and John Quincy Adams had pet alligators in the White House.
To date, nobody has beat his record of watching 480 movies in the White House movie theater.
It’s a fact that these folks drink more wine per capita than any other US state.
This iconic building has many gargoyles and one of them is the sculpted head of Darth Vader. Bring binoculars and check him out on the northwest tower.
Washington DC uses letters for streets traveling east to west. But numbers are also used for streets. Streets traveling north and south are numbered. The “I” and “J” were very similar in older English. Quite often they were interchangeable. Thomas Jefferson would often use the initials T.I. Oddly enough, this is also why there was no J company during WWII. So there is no J Street because it looks like an I.
They were installed in 1859 to keep the senators from stinking; during that time, they lived in boarding houses that had no running water.
This is because they are reserved for senators.
Miles and miles of tunnels are for senators and members of the House only and are never seen by the public.
Although he was not buried there, the crypt still exists; they also had a viewing chamber built so people could go by and see him.
Beat out only by New York City, which has an average weekday ridership of over 9 million people.
The team was actually first based in Boston.
Among the 19 Smithsonian Museums and the many others in the city, the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum holds its own, featuring 200 bonsai trees.
In 1998, a soldier buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was identified.
One of the world’s only museums of its kind, the International Spy Museum continues to intrigue guests in Washington DC.
It’s the dividing center for all the quadrants of the city, so all roads actually do lead there.
In the Supreme Court chamber inside the Capitol, there are cat paw prints just outside the door. The floor was set before it arrived at the U.S. Capitol, so no one knows where they really came from, but legend tells of a ghost cat lingering.
There are many more around the city and across the United States as well.
Only about 2 inches more on average, yet still surprising.
George Washington never lived there; it was built after he died.
Who knew? There are also 132 rooms and 6 levels in the residence. Even more staggering are the 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplaces, 8 staircases and 3 elevators.
Woodrow Wilson is entombed at the Washington National Cathedral.
There are more than 160,000 objects in its collection, including 6,000 books originally owned by Thomas Jefferson.
It’s been touched up since, but the letter E was accidentally chiseled into the beginning of the word Future on the north wall of the memorial.
The Maine Avenue Fish Market opened its doors in 1805 and has been operating ever since.
All except one, George Washington, have lived and worked in the iconic building.
While most buildings in the city have changed throughout history, the Old Stone House dates back to 1765 and has remained unchanged since.
The Washington Monument, rising to 555 feet, 5 1/8 inches, is the also the world’s tallest obelisk.
DC stands for District of Columbia and it was deemed so to honor the famed explorer.
Until 1901, when President Theodore Roosevelt made it official after it appeared in a newspaper article, the White House was called the President’s Palace or the President’s House.
A very international city, DC is home to more than 170 embassies and international cultural centers. More than 15% of the residents in the city speak a language other than English in their home.
The memorial was created just two years after Abe Lincoln was assassinated and was constructed in 1914. It was also where Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “I have a Dream” speech in 1963.