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Interesting and Little Known Facts about Washington, DC

Interesting and Little Known Facts about Washington, DC

Washington, DC has so much to offer, but how much do you really know about Washington, DC. Below we offer some cool facts about Washington, DC. Tell us some cool facts people may not know about your city.


1. Washington DC streets are set-up like a grid of letters and numbers. But you may notice that between the lettered streets of “I” and “K”, there is no “J Street”. The reason behind this missing street is that when the colonist were planning the streets, the alphabet wasn’t quite finished and the “J” wasn’t ready.

J Street Missing in Washington DC

2. What do Bill Cosby and Barack Obama have in common? Other than the obvious, the legendary comedian and President are the only two people that eat for free at Ben’s Chili Bowls, a DC institution since 1958. However, being all presidential and everything, Obama insists on paying.

Bens Chilli Bowl free for Cosby and Obama

3. If it was a state The District of Columbia would rank 50th in population. The only state in the United States that has less people is Wyoming.

4. It wasn’t until 1961, that the District of Columbia residents would have their votes counted in a presidential election. The Twenty-third Amendment to the U.S. Constitution gave residents of the District to have their voice heard.

Presidential Inauguration of John F Kennedy 23 Amendment

5.  Before the days of air conditioning came to Washington D.C., it wasn’t uncommon to find whole families sleeping outdoors in their yards or local parks because of the intense heat inside their homes.


6. DC residents pay taxes to the federal government like all citizens of the US. But, they do not have a voting representative in Congress. So that is why you will see DC license plates on cars that say “Taxation without Representation.”

7. DC averages 39 inches of rainfall a year—more than Seattle.

8. The first official White House Christmas Tree was decorated by Benjamin Harrison and family.

9. The U.S. government is based in DC, but the city is run by a mayor and the DC Council. The mayor and the DC Council members are elected to four-year terms.

Mayor Vincent Gray

10. The District of Columbia was named after the great explorer Christopher Columbus.

11. The White House was being built while George Washington was in office, so he never actually lived there.

12. The White House was originally called the “President’s Palace” or the “President’s House.” A Baltimore reporter once called it the “white house” in a newspaper article and the name caught on. Theodore Roosevelt made this the official name in 1901.

13. Woodrow Wilson is the only president to live in Washington, DC after his terms in office. You can tour his former home, the Woodrow Wilson House Museum, located near Dupont Circle.

Woodrow Wilson House Museum

14. Nationals Park is on track to be the first “green-certified” baseball stadium in the country.

15. DC is a very international city, home to more than 170 embassies and international cultural centers. The city’s colleges and universities host about 20,000 international students each year, and 15% of DC residents speak a language other than English at home.

The Holiday Inn Central is located just blocks from DC’s greatest sites. Visit us online for more information on Washington, DC family packages, events and sites at So pack up the family and visit Washington, DC!

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. toursdewashington #

    Woodrow Wilson is buried at the National Cathedral on Massachusetts Ave as is Helen Keller.

    January 19, 2013
  2. Laura Sailer #

    Two typographical errors: DC Licence tags read “Taxation Without Representation” (omitting the word “no” since it is the condition as it exists rather than as it should be); and “Woodrow WILL House Museum” caption under picture should read “Woodrow WILSON House Museum”

    February 9, 2013

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