History & Heritage

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

African American History in Washington, DC

With its Southern connections, Washington, DC has always had a significant African American population. Before the Civil War, the city was home to a growing number of free blacks who worked as skilled craftsmen, hack drivers, businessmen and laborers, and slave auctions were outlawed altogether in...

Howard Theater Tim Cooper
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
Holidays in the White House: First Family Traditions

Holidays at the White House are a family affair…with thousands of guests. Each December, the President and his family deck the White House’s halls and opens the doors for dozens of parties and public tours. It’s a big job to prepare the country’s most famous residence for a month of celebrations...

national Christmas tree lighting
8 Things to See & Do in Upper Northwest

Upper Northwest is where Washingtonians live and play. Leafy, livable neighborhoods including Glover Park, Tenleytown and Friendship Heights offer both tourist attractions like the National Cathedral and lures like bars, restaurants and shopping.

Hillwood Estate Gardens
Pay Tribute During Veterans Day in Washington, DC

Many of the monuments and memorials in the nation’s capital honor servicemen and women, and the city’s museums are packed with important military history that sheds light on the immense sacrifices that American armed forces have made to protect this country. On Veteran’s Day, commemorations at said...

WWII Memorial
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 Tidal Basin, adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memoria l and shares a direct line of sight between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials. Its official...

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Spring
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
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 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
Visiting the Washington National Cathedral

Stained-glass windows, Gothic spires and flying buttresses make the Washington National Cathedral look ages old, but the grand church was actually constructed during the 20th century. Though overseen by the Episcopal Church, the house of worship welcomes people of all faiths to its impressive site...

National Cathedral Exterior