If you plan on visiting Washington, the capital of the United States, you should first learn a thing or two about this fascinating district. Namely, it’s rich with history and attractions. Read on to learn more about Washington D.C. facts before heading there!

The Thunderstorm That Saved the White House

Some historical facts about D.C. sound too strange to be true. One of them is the incredible series of events that took place in the war of 1812, fought mainly between Americans and Britains, ending in 1815 with the Treaty of Ghent. 


In 1814, the situation was pretty bad for D.C. residents and the federal government. Namely, British troops entered the capital since the American soldiers couldn’t defend it properly. They started burning down the city and even took a break to dine before entering the White House. 


President James Madison and other residents of the White House had already planned their escape. However, they had difficulties carrying it into effect. The situation was hopeless, and the President and Secretary of State almost lost their lives. The President’s wife, on the other hand, managed to take many precious belongings from the house and escape. 


Nonetheless, something unexpected happened just at the right time to stop the British soldiers and save the city (or at least the residents of the White House). Namely, a tornado appeared and took away more invaders than the Americans managed to kill during the attack. Also, the thunderstorm was a perfect shelter to use for an escape. 

There Are Bathtubs Located in Unusual Parts of the Capitol

If you accidentally run into a marble bathtub while exploring the basements of Capitol Hill, don’t get surprised. This part of the city hides several luxury bathtubs American senators used in the late nineteenth century.


The first marble bathtubs arrived in 1858 and were put to use in 1860. Senators used them for relaxation, socialization, and even work. At that time, only the most politically important guests could get an invitation to these prestigious bathing spots.


As mentioned earlier, you can still run into marble tubs in the basements and boiler rooms in the capitol buildings. 

Washington’s Most Visited “Out-of-Budget Project”

The Washington Monument is an obelisk that rises in the National Mall. It’s one of the most known symbols of Washington D.C., alongside the White House and Lincoln Memorial. If you’re going to visit the nation’s capital, you’ll definitely spot it sooner or later.

But what most people don’t know is that the construction of the Washington Monument was prolonged and pretty tricky. It began in 1848 and ended 23 years later, in 1877. The main reason for the postponement of the construction was the lack of funds. Also, the American civil war started in 1861, causing additional difficulties.


Once it was done, the Washington Monument ranked as the tallest construction globally until the Eiffel Tower was finished in 1889. It was constructed in honor of George Washington. Therefore, this impressive obelisk rather has a symbolic value since it commemorates the first American President and the military leader of the Revolutionary war.

British Soldiers Dined Before Taking the White House Down

The war of 1812 was caused by several incidents involving both the British and the American navy. Thus, you can say that it was fought over maritime rights. The conflict lasted until 1815 and spread over to Canada as well. But despite being short, this war cost many American civilians and soldiers their lives.


One of the greatest attacks of the war of 1812 was the attack on Washington D.C. It occurred in 1814 and turned into an occupation that lasted for 26 hours. The residents of the White House were almost caught. However, they were saved by the tornado that caused British soldiers to retreat just when they were about to finish their business.


But before the tornado hit, the attack was going pretty well for the British. They defeated American soldiers without any issues before entering the city. Once they did, the British army burned down the entire Washington D.C. and turned to the White House. 


Since they had an easy time destroying the city, they decided to take a break and dine before entering the White House. However, the thunderstorm started soon later, and they had to flee the city alongside the remaining residents of Washington.

The Dogs and Their Special Place After Death

The Congressional Cemetery is located in the Southeast part of the town. It’s the cemetery of national memory containing graves of many noted American senators and other people of political importance. 


However, this venue also has a park reserved for pets. The Kingdom of Animals is the first pet cemetery in Washington, D.C. But aside from being a special place for pets after death, the cemetery actually serves as a spot for dog-walking.

Congressional Cemetery was founded in 1807, when Washington, D.C., was a new town. The 35-acre historic burial ground is located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, overlooking the Anacostia River.

Namely, the K9 Corps started a program that increased the cemetery’s income by approximately 25%. Pet owners can use the vast cemetery as a dog park, as long as they pay annual fees (around $235 for a human and $50 for a dog). 


However, many Washington D.C. residents want to partake in the program. Hence, there’s a long waiting list, and you need to pay $75 only to get on it. Many dog owners had to wait for several years to join the program and enjoy walks across the cemetery with their beloved pets.

The “White House” Name

One of the most famous Washington D.C sites is the White House, a residence of important government officials and presidents. However, people used to call it by other names — a Presidential Palace and Extensive Mansion.


Theodore Roosevelt was the one who officially named it the White House. He engraved the words on stationary in 1901, and accordingly, established an official name we use today.

The Separated Cities: Washington & DC

Washington D.C. isn’t an individual American state, but it’s not simply a city either. According to the U.S. Constitution, the seat of the government should not exceed 10 square miles. So, congress established a smaller-sized district by taking some part of the land from Maryland and Virginia. This part of the U.S.A. was known as Columbia before. So, D.C. stands for District of Columbia. Simultaneously, the district carries the name of the American first president.