History & Heritage

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

Capitol Hill By Day & By Night

With the U.S. Capitol as its beacon, Capitol Hill (lovingly named by Thomas Jefferson) has served as the center of politics in Washington since the early 19th century. But there is much more to the Hill than suited staffers and America’s most famous cast iron-domed structure. Hop off a Metro train...

Capitol Hill Rowhouses - Washington, DC
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
7 Ways to Experience the Obamas’ Washington, DC

In addition to being the First Family of the United States, the Obamas are also big fans 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 restaurant, a surprise visit to a boutique...

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
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
Meet a Community-Oriented Museum Director

The Anacostia Neighborhood Museum was founded in 1967 with the intention of inspiring neighborhood residents to visit the National Mall and see more artifacts at its other campuses. Today, savvy museum-seekers, informed residents and community champions the world over are the ones joining Anacostia...

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum Washington DC
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
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
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
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 Smithsonian National Museum of American History

What and where is the National Museum of American History? The National Museum of American History is located on Constitution Avenue NW, just a block away from the National Mall . Through research, in-depth exhibits, extensive collections and public outreach, the museum presents America’s history...

Entrance of the Museum of American History