History & Heritage

The country’s history starts with our own history and heritage.

The History of Washington, DC

Founded on July 16, 1790, Washington, DC is unique among American cities because it was established by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the nation’s capital. You can read the actual line at the National Archives. From its beginning, it has been embroiled in political maneuvering,...

Washington, DC Aerial View
3 Days in Washington, DC for Families

Morning Start your day at the Willard InterContinental for a historic breakfast in the same building where Abraham Lincoln used to stay and where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. completed his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Then visit any (or all) of DC's famous monuments and memorials on the Nat...

Family picnicking on National Mall by Lincoln Memorial
Visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

What is the National Museum of the American Indian and where is it? The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) is located on Independence Avenue SW in Washington, DC, on the National Mall . The museum boasts one of the world’s most expansive collections of Native American objects,...

@travelmemories74 - Visitors at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian - Free Museum in Washington, Dc
Visiting the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

What is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and where is it? The Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall pays tribute to the brave members of the U.S. Armed Forces who fought in the Vietnam War and were killed or missing in action. The memorial consists of three separate parts: The Three Soldiers...

@506thcurrahee - Sunrise at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial - Washington, DC
Visiting the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum

Shining a lens on urban life, the Anacostia Community Museum examines, documents and interprets the impact of historical and contemporary social issues on communities. However, the museum didn’t always focus on global communities, as the museum owes its roots to Anacostia’s local African American...

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum Washington DC
Visiting the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

What is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and where is it? The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is situated on a four-acre site along the National Mall 's Tidal Basin, adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memoria l and shares a direct line of sight between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials...

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall - Monument in Washington, DC
Visiting the Smithsonian American Art Museum & Renwick Gallery

Wander through three centuries of American art The Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC is one of the largest and most expansive collections of American art in the world. The museum’s two locations, the main building in Penn Quarter and the Renwick Gallery in Downtown , represent...

Smithsonian American Art Museum - Washington, DC
Visiting the Jefferson Memorial

Where and what is the Jefferson Memorial? The location and architecture of the Jefferson Memorial make it stand out among DC’s amazing array of monuments and memorials. Designed by John Russell Pope in 1925, the memorial resembles the Pantheon in Rome, an adaptation of Neoclassical architecture...

@roy_howell4 - Nighttime at the Jefferson Memorial - Monuments and Memorials in Washington, DC
7 Ways to Experience the Obamas’ Washington, DC

In addition to being the former First Family of the United States, the Obamas are also big fans (not to mention current residents) of Washington, DC, regularly getting out into the neighborhoods and on the National Mall . Local blogs and newspapers often report on unexpected date nights at a hot...

resident Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama walk from Marine One on the South Lawn upon arrival at the White House following a trip to California, June 16, 2014
12 Things to See & Do in Anacostia

The historic riverside neighborhood of Anacostia is truly a gem. Some people think all Smithsonian Institution museums live on the National Mall , but Anacostia has its own completely dedicated to the concept of community. Perhaps the most famous member of the Anacostia community, Frederick...

Things to See & Do in Anacostia - Washington, DC