Washington D.C. History - the history of Washington D.C.
   
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Vacation 2 USA   >   Washington D.C.   >   History
Vacation 2 USA   >   History   >   Washington D.C. History

   
 

Washington D.C. History



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A History Lover's Guide to Washington, D.C.: Designed for Democracy (History & Guide)

By Alison Fortier

The History Press
Released: 2014-05-06
Paperback (240 pages)

A History Lover s Guide to Washington, D.C.: Designed for Democracy (History & Guide)
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This tour of the nation's capital goes beyond the traditional guidebook to offer a historical journey through the federal district. Visit the White House, the only executive home in the world regularly open to the public. Travel to President Lincoln's Cottage and see where he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation. Look around lesser-known sites, such as the grave of Pierre L'Enfant, the city's Botanical Gardens, the Old Post Office and a host of historical homes throughout the capital. From George Washington's Mount Vernon to the Kennedy Center, trek through each era of Washington, D.C., for a tour of America's most beloved sites. Join author and Washington insider Alison Fortier as she carefully curates an expedition to our shining city on a hill.

Empire of Mud: The Secret History of Washington, DC

By J.D. Dickey

LYONS
Paperback (320 pages)

Empire of Mud: The Secret History of Washington, DC
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Washington, DC, gleams with stately columns and neoclassical temples, a pulsing hub of political power and prowess. But for decades it was one of the worst excuses for a capital city the world had ever seen. Before America became a world power in the twentieth century, Washington City was an eyesore at best and a disgrace at worst. Unfilled swamps, filthy canals, and rutted horse trails littered its landscape. Political bosses hired hooligans and thugs to conduct the nation's affairs. Legendary madams entertained clients from all stations of society and politicians of every party. The police served and protected with the aid of bribes and protection money. Beneath pestilential air, the city’s muddy roads led to a stumpy, half-finished obelisk to Washington here, a domeless Capitol Building there. Lining the streets stood boarding houses, tanneries, and slums. Deadly horse races gouged dusty streets, and opposing factions of volunteer firefighters battled one another like violent gangs rather than life-saving heroes. The city’s turbulent history set a precedent for the dishonesty, corruption, and mismanagement that have led generations to look suspiciously on the various sin--both real and imagined--of Washington politicians. Empire of Mud unearths and untangles the roots of our capital’s story and explores how the city was tainted from the outset, nearly stifled from becoming the proud citadel of the republic that George Washington and Pierre L'Enfant envisioned more than two centuries ago.

Washington, D.C.: A Pictorial Celebration

By Jeanne Fogle Lyons

Sterling
Hardcover (160 pages)

Washington, D.C.: A Pictorial Celebration
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Jeanne Fogle Lyons—a historian, professor, and certified tour guide in Washington—and Elan Penn, the gifted photographer who created the superb From Sea to Shining Sea, combine their talents to create a breathtaking and fascinating homage to America’s capital city.

Lavish images of fabled monuments, world-famous museums, distinguished universities, and lush parks—all accompanied by fascinating background information—pay tribute to the beauty and history of Washington, D.C. From government buildings such as the Capitol, White House, and Supreme Court to outdoor statues of Ulysses S. Grant, Mary Leo Bethune, and Mahatma Gandhi, this unique visual tour captures the city’s riches as never before. Visit Mount Vernon, George Washington’s splendid home and plantation; the awe-inspiring Lincoln Memorial; the Arlington National Cemetery, where the eternal flame burns over John F. Kennedy’s grave; and the Smithsonian, which protects the glories of our past. Watch government at work at the Federal Triangle Department Buildings, see the lovely sculpture garden at the National Gallery, and feel the magnificence of sacred structures such as St. John’s of Lafayette Square. Every photo, from Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln lost his life, to Maya Lin’s heartbreaking Vietnam Memorial, is inspirational.

Spy Sites of Washington, DC: A Guide to the Capital Region's Secret History

By Robert Wallace

Georgetown University Press
Paperback (320 pages)

Spy Sites of Washington, DC: A Guide to the Capital Region s Secret History
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Washington, DC, stands at the epicenter of world espionage. Mapping this history from the halls of government to tranquil suburban neighborhoods reveals scores
of dead drops, covert meeting places, and secret facilities ― a constellation of
clandestine sites unknown to even the most avid history buffs. Until now.

Spy Sites of Washington, DC traces more than two centuries of secret history from the Mount Vernon study of spymaster George Washington to the Cleveland Park apartment of the "Queen of Cuba." In 220 main entries as well as listings for dozens more spy sites, intelligence historians Robert Wallace and H. Keith Melton weave incredible true stories of derring-do and double-crosses that put even the best spy fiction to shame. Maps and more than three hundred photos allow readers to follow in the winding footsteps of moles and sleuths, trace the covert operations that influenced wars hot and cold, and understand the tradecraft traitors and spies alike used in the do-or-die chess games that have changed the course of history.

Informing and entertaining, Spy Sites of Washington, DC is the comprehensive guidebook to the shadow history of our nation's capital.

Washington: A History of Our National City

By Tom Lewis

Basic Books
Released: 2015-10-13
Hardcover (560 pages)

Washington: A History of Our National City
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On January 24, 1791, President George Washington chose the site for the young nation's capital: ten miles square, it stretched from the highest point of navigation on the Potomac River, and encompassed the ports of Georgetown and Alexandria. From the moment the federal government moved to the District of Columbia in December 1800, Washington has been central to American identity and life. Shaped by politics and intrigue, poverty and largess, contradictions and compromises, Washington has been, from its beginnings, the stage on which our national dramas have played out.

In Washington, the historian Tom Lewis paints a sweeping portrait of the capital city whose internal conflicts and promise have mirrored those of America writ large. Breathing life into the men and women who struggled to help the city realize its full potential, he introduces us to the mercurial French artist who created an ornate plan for the city “en grande”; members of the nearly forgotten anti-Catholic political party who halted construction of the Washington monument for a quarter century; and the cadre of congressmen who maintained segregation and blocked the city's progress for decades. In the twentieth century Washington's Mall and streets would witness a Ku Klux Klan march, the violent end to the encampment of World War I “Bonus Army” veterans, the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, and the painful rebuilding of the city in the wake of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination.

“It is our national center,” Frederick Douglass once said of Washington, DC; “it belongs to us, and whether it is mean or majestic, whether arrayed in glory or covered in shame, we cannot but share its character and its destiny.” Interweaving the story of the city's physical transformation with a nuanced account of its political, economic, and social evolution, Lewis tells the powerful history of Washington, DC—the site of our nation's highest ideals and some of our deepest failures.

Very Washington DC: A Celebration of the History and Culture of America's Capital City

By Diana Hollingsworth Gessler

Gessler, Diana Hollingsworth
Hardcover (168 pages)

Very Washington DC: A Celebration of the History and Culture of America s Capital City
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A travel guide with character, this fact-filled keepsake offers all the history, beauty, charm, and culture of our nation's capital city. In eye-catching watercolors and detailed sketches, artist Diana Gessler captures the allure that makes Washington DC one of the most visited destinations in the country. In addition to the national landmarks, stirring memorials, and vibrant neighborhoods, there's the Cherry Blossom Festival, the Twilight Tattoo (a military pageant featuring the Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps and the U.S. Army Drill Team), colorful row houses, famous hotels and restaurants, and more museums than you'll be able to visit in just one trip.

Gessler covers the city's most popular attractions but also heads off the beaten path to share hidden gems, like the quirky Albert Einstein Memorial and Eastern Market, where you can dine on bluebucks and browse for flea market finds. Also included are an index of sites and a useful appendix of addresses, Web sites, Metro stops, and phone numbers.

Very Washington DC is a picture-perfect guidebook―a one-of-a-kind memento for tourists and a cherished reminder of the city's riches for those who have always lived in America's hometown.

Washington: The Making of the American Capital

By Fergus Bordewich

Amistad
Released: 2008-05-06
Hardcover (384 pages)

Washington: The Making of the American Capital
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Washington, D.C., is home to the most influential power brokers in the world. But how did we come to call D.C.—a place one contemporary observer called a mere swamp "producing nothing except myriads of toads and frogs (of enormous size)," a district that was strategically indefensible, captive to the politics of slavery, and a target of unbridled land speculation—our nation's capital? In Washington, acclaimed and award-winning author Fergus M. Bordewich turns his eye to the backroom deal making and shifting alliances between our Founding Fathers and in doing so pulls back the curtain on the lives of slaves who actually built the city. The answers revealed in this eye-opening book are not only surprising and exciting but also illuminate a story of unexpected triumph over a multitude of political and financial obstacles, including fraudulent real estate speculation, overextended financiers, and management more apt for a "banana republic" than an emerging world power.

In this page-turning work that reveals the hidden and somewhat unsavory side of the nation's beginnings, Bordewich, once again, brings his novelist's sensibility to a little-known chapter in American history.

Kid's Guide to Washington, DC (Kid's Guides Series)

By Eileen Ogintz

Globe Pequot Press
Paperback (160 pages)

Kid s Guide to Washington, DC (Kid s Guides Series)
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Before you plan your family’s next excursion in the nation’s capital, get some help from a travel professional… and your kids! The Kid’s Guide to Washington, DC lets the kids help plan the trip and guides you as you explore the city.

The second edition of The Kid’s Guide to Washington, DC contains even more kid-friendly travel tips and games, including:

  • The best things to see in DC (according to local kids)
  • A scavenger hunt at the National Zoo
  • How to think like a secret agent at the International Spy Museum
  • New attractions-- including the African American History Museum
  • Must-see monuments and memorials
  • Lists of restaurants for the whole family to enjoy
  • The best souvenirs to remember your trip
  • And much more!

Along the way, your kids will be engaged by reading and sharing fun DC facts and cool travel tips. Awesome games and quizzes will keep the family entertained.

Discovering Washington, D.C. Activity Book: Awesome Activities About Our Nation's Capital

By George Toufexis

Dover Publications
Released: 2016-05-18
Paperback (48 pages)

Discovering Washington, D.C. Activity Book: Awesome Activities About Our Nation s Capital
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Take a whirlwind tour of Washington, D.C., with this fun-filled book of puzzles! Discover interesting facts about Capitol Hill, the National Mall, the White House, and other famous landmarks of Washington, D.C., including museums, parks, and monuments as well as neighborhoods around the city. Along the way, you'll solve crosswords, search-a-words, mazes, word scrambles, and other challenges that will make this trip to our nation's capital both memorable and fun.

Washington, D.C.: Then and Now®

By Alexander D. Mitchell IV

Pavilion Books
Hardcover (144 pages)

Washington, D.C.: Then and Now®
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  • Pavilion Books
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The book includes all the tourist must-see places of the capital city. Sites include the Capitol, White House, Library of Congress, Supreme Court, Treasury Building, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Smithsonian Museum, Union Station, Ford's Theatre, Pentagon, Arlington Cemetery, Folger Shakespeare Library, Old Post Office, and the offices that Mark Twain described as "the ugliest building in America." It also features some breathtaking vintage panoramas taken from the Washington Monument showing the nascent capital in glorious detail.


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