History & Heritage

History & Heritage: The country’s history starts with ours.

100 Free & Almost Free Things to Do: African American History & Culture

Washington, DC’s history is entwined with its large population of African American residents, as evidenced by the more than 200 sites on the African American Heritage Trail in the city. Here are more than 20 important sites that celebrate the history and experience of African Americans in the...

Funk parade
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
Turning Back the Clock with Virginia Ali

You might have heard that Washington, DC has experienced a significant resurgence in recent years, as new restaurants, retail and attractions flock to the city. Few people have witnessed as much change in the District as Virginia Ali, who along with her husband Ben opened up the DC institution Ben’...

bens chili bowl
Visiting the Smithsonian National Postal Museum

Since its opening in 1993 in the historic City Post Office Building, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum has served to honor and celebrate America’s proud postal history. Located next to Union Station in DC’s NoMa neighborhood , the museum houses a vast collection of stamps, postal artifacts and...

Smithsonian National Postal Museum
Washington, DC Fun Facts for Kids

Presidential Pastimes George Washington never lived in DC. The White House was completed a year after he died and the second U.S. President, John Adams, was the first to live there. The statue of Andrew Jackson in Lafayette Square (directly across from the White House) was partially made from...

Washington, DC Fun Facts for Kids
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...

Jefferson Memorial Lit Up at Night
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 White House

Why visit? Sure, the White House is where the American President lives and works, but the national landmark actually belongs to the people of the United States. The house is on loan to the President and his or her family while serving in office. Visitors to Washington, DC (and locals, too) are...

the white house north lawn
5 Jazz Venues In DC That Are The Bee’s Knees

The online etymology dictionary credits jazz sax player Lester Young with coining the use of “cool” as an adjective to describe jazz, which helped give rise to the now oft-used descriptor. Young used to flash his sax chops in Washington, DC—sometimes at Olivia Davis’ Patio Lounge. Unlike that jazz...

Howard Theatre
11 Reasons to Check Out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Each summer, the National Mall plays host to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a massive, multiple-day celebration of international cultures. The 2016 edition (June 29 – July 4, July 7-10) features two themes: Basque: Innovation By Culture and Sounds of California . Read on to learn what...

Smithsonian Folklife Festival - Washington, DC