Washington, the capital of the United States of America, is situated on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia. The district is a piece of land ten miles square and it does not belong to any separate state but to all the states. The district is named in honour of Columbus, the discoverer of America.
The capital owes much to the first President of the USA George Washington. It was G. Washington, who chose the place for the District and laid in 1790 the corner-stone of the Capitol, where Congress sits.
Washington is not the largest city in the USA. It has a population of 900 000 people.
Washington is a one-industry town. That industry is government. It does not produce anything except very much scrap paper. Every day 25 railway cars leave Washington loaded with scrap paper.
Washington has many historical places. The largest and tallest among the buildings is the Capitol with its great House of Representatives and the Senate chamber. There are no skyscrapers in Washington because no other building must be taller than the Capitol.
The White House is the President’s resiaence. All American presidents except George Washington (the White House was not yet built in his time), have lived in the White House. It was built in 1799. It is a two-storied, white building.
Not far from the Capitol is the Washington Monument, which looks like a very big pencil. It rises 160 metres and is hollow inside. A special lift brings visitors to the top in 70 seconds from where they can enjoy a wonderful view of the whole city.
The Jefferson Memorial was built in memory of the third President of the USA, Thomas Jefferson, who was also the author of the Declaration of Independence. The memorial is surrounded by cherry-trees.
The Lincoln Memorial is devoted to the memory of the 16th President of the US, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, which gave freedom to Negro slaves in America.
On the other bank of the Potomac lies the Arlington National Cemetery where President Kennedy was buried. American soldiers and officers, who died in World Wars I and II are buried there too.
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