This past week I had the pleasure of jetting off to Washington D.C for the day with my boyfriend. D.C is one of my favorite cities I’ve ever been to, especially since I’m a Political Science major with a hope of one day running for office. Before leaving for the city, I did some digging around to find some cool places to visit and things to see. Here is a comprehensive list of a few things you may not have known about D.C.:
There is an entire museum dedicated to memorabilia, artifacts, and the mystery behind the life of spies in America and all over the world. There’s a lot about the history of D.C and the FBI, CIA, etc. in the museum for you to learn. Beware – some of it may freak you out. It’s graphic, and you may not realize how many people are not who you think they are.
2. The Martin Luther King Jr.'s Step - Lincoln Memorial
Exactly 18 steps from the top of the Lincoln Memorial landing, there is a step dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have A Dream Speech”. Check out the beautiful inscription next time you visit the monument.3. The Washington Monument Is Two Different Colors
About a third of the way up the beautiful obelisk, there is an unmistakable change of color in the stone. Story goes that funding ran dry early into the project and when it began again, they had to use different stone. Read part of the story here!
4. Technicolor Church
At 700 Delaware Ave there lies a previously white church, now in glittering technicolor as part of an art installation. I have no idea if the church itself is active, but if it is, I hope they sing rock music as part of their services.
5. DEA Museum
The Drug Enforcement Agency Museum renovated and updated recently is located right across the Potomac River. It covers everything from the history of heroine and jazz to Pablo Escobar and his Colombian cartels, and more.
6. The Exorcist Steps
You couldn't pay me enough to see this movie, but apparently the steps from the film where the creepy something comes down are in Georgetown. Have fun - I'll be getting some coffee.
7. Einstein Memorial
Located on the grounds of the National Academy of Sciences, nestled in a grove of trees, sits a huge bronze statue on a base of a map of the universe. It's right by the Vietnam Memorial, so check it out if you're in that part of town.
8. The National Mall AKA 2 Miles of AWESOME
If you've ever been to D.C, chances are you've been on the National Mall. The National Mall runs from the Capitol building to Lincoln's Memorial. It's actually two miles long featuring shops, museums, and other monuments along the way.
9. The White House Was Not Originally White
I have not personally been, but according to others, getting tickets to go inside is worth the hassle. Did you know that the famous white house was not actually white? It takes 570 gallons of white paint to cover the whole thing, but the gray-colored sandstone wasn't painted white until after the British lit it on fire. Found here!
10. Americans Didn't Design The Capitol Or The White House
The Capitol Building was actually designed by a British doctor, and the White House was designed by an irishman.
11. No Taxation Without Representation?
D.C residents could not vote in the presidential elections until the 23rd amendment was ratified in 1961. In fact, D.C was not actually designed to be a place for the population to live, it was meant to simply be a "seat" for the government.
12. Alligators, Anyone?
Herbert Hoover and John Quincy Adams both kept alligators at the White House.
13. Lots Of Politics = Lots Of Alcohol
D.C residents drink more wine per capita than any of the other 50 states!
14. Darth Vader & Religion
The National Cathedral has a Darth Vader grotesque outside, and inside a stained glass panel dedicated to astronomy.
15. There Is No "J"
D.C's streets are lettered, but there is no "J" street. When the founders were creating the city, the alphabet wasn't exactly finalized, and back then the letters "J" and "I" were interchangeable. Thomas Jefferson actually signed his initials "T.I".