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Washington DC is seen today as the heart of the USA. With it being the birthplace of this great nation as well as the official home of the President of the United States, it is not hard to see why this is the case. If you are curious to learn more about the weird and wonderful Washington and the USA, here are some fun facts. It is one of the top places to visit in the USA. Think about them during your next university trip to Washington, family holiday or around the dinner table.
1. It wasn’t built on a swamp
Did you hear the rumour that Washington is in fact, built on a swamp? This is not the case, in fact, only a small portion of the state is over the site of a swamp. George Washington wanted the capital of the USA to be close to his home in Mount Vernon. The land itself was a mixture of fields, forests, and marshland and this is where the foundation of the capital was built.
2. British Soldiers dined, dashed, and burnt down the White House
Talk about a bad ending to a dinner party! In 1814, British soldiers came to celebrate at the White House at a party set up by Dolley Madison. After some time, she left the party and the British Soldiers subsequently ate dinner and then ransacked the house, setting it on fire as they left.
3. A thunderstorm saved Washington
If you have ever seen Back to the Future you will know how important a thunderstorm can be. Well, in 1814, a thunderstorm literally saved the city. At the time, British soldiers had set fire to most of the city and only the storm managed to put the fire out and drive the troops away.
4. George Washington didn’t live there
It might stand to reason that if George Washington named the city after himself that he would have set up residence here but this was never the case. It turns out that George was fond of his home in Mount Vernon and lived out his days here. The first president to ever live in Washington was John Adams.
5. Football huddles came to be at Gallaudet University
Gallaudet University has a big claim to fame, as it was here that the idea of a football huddle originated. The truth is that this is a deaf college and the quarterback of the team wanted to communicate with his teammates to discuss tactics without the other team seeing their sign language. They huddled close together and the legend was born.
6. The White House wasn’t always called the White House
You might assume that from the moment the white house was erected and painted white that this would be its name, but that is not true. The white house was known as the President’s Palace until 1901 when Teddy Roosevelt coined the term after reading it in the newspaper.
7. The Washington Monument was a fail
A fail is a modern term often used to describe cats not quite making a long leap or sporting people falling over. But the fail was a thing even back in the early days of Washington. The Washington Monument is a huge landmark in the city and it stands to reason that it is incredibly impressive… but it was a mistake. As grand as the monument is, it should have been much grander. There are supposed to be 30 stone columns on the monument as well as statues of the people who signed the Declaration of Independence and more. But due to a budget issue, this never happened. Imagine what it would look like today if it had gone ahead!
What do you think about Weird And Wonderful Washington?
There you have some interesting and share-worthy facts about the weird and wonderful Washington capital. Have you visited Washington? What did you think?