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60 D.C. Washington Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about D.C. Washington? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to D.C. Washington (Geography). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
Related Questions & Answers:   Washington Redskins (NFL Teams)  
1 The District of Columbia (DC) was originally how big?
Answer: 100 square miles

It was originally a 10 mile by 10 mile square area straddling the Potomac River and incorporating land from Maryland and Virginia. It is now smaller because the Virginia portion was ceded back in the 19th Century.
  From Quiz: The District of Columbia
2 In what year did Washington become the nation's capital?
Answer: 1790

Washington D.C. is one of the few large cities in the world that was designed before it was built.
  From Quiz: Washington D.C.--The Nation's Capital
3 Many capital cities lie along a river or another body of water. Which river forms one of the borders of Washington, DC?
Answer: Potomac River

The Potomac River flows for 405 miles before entering the Chesapeake Bay. From 1790 to 1846, the Potomac flowed through Washington, DC, before the Federal Government returned a portion of the District to Virginia's control. In general, the portion of the Potomac that borders Washington, DC, flows from the northwest to the southeast.

The James River lies close to Richmond, VA. The Delaware River lies close to Trenton, NJ. The Hudson River lies close to Albany, NY.
    Your options: [ Hudson River ] [ James River ] [ Potomac River ] [ Delaware River ]
  From Quiz: Washington, DC: Capital with a Capitol
4 Not too far from the National Gallery of Art is another museum that is not part of the large museum complex. What is this 'news worthy' museum?
Answer: The Newseum

Visitors to The Newseum are able to see and explore major news stories from the past and present. The Newseum has sections devoted to modern news stories, the Berlin Wall, journalist memorial, and old newspapers with stories about well-known historical events and people.
  From Quiz: Stop Right There!
5 What does D.C. stand for?
Answer: District of Columbia

Washington is the only city in the nation that is not part of any state. The capital lies within a segment of land that is administered by a city council and called the District of Columbia.
  From Quiz: Washington D.C.--The Nation's Capital
6 There are several pro sports teams in Washington, DC. Which team does not play home games in Washington, DC?
Answer: Eagles (NFL)

The Wizards (formerly the Bullets), the Capitals, and the Nationals (formerly the Montreal Expos) all have their home arena or ballpark in downtown Washington, DC. The Eagles are an NFL franchise in Philadelphia, PA, a few hours to the northeast. The Redskins are the NFL franchise for the Washington, DC, area, although their home field--FedEx Field--lies a few miles outside District limits in nearby Maryland.
    Your options: [ Nationals (MLB) ] [ Wizards (NBA) ] [ Eagles (NFL) ] [ Capitals (NHL) ]
  From Quiz: Washington, DC: Capital with a Capitol
7 Facing the reflecting pool is a large building with tall pillars. Inside this building is a statue of a famous American president with his emancipation proclamation written on the walls. What is the memorial called?
Answer: The Lincoln Memorial

At the top of the stairs and in the center of the building is a large statue of President Abraham Lincoln sitting in a chair. One wall has the The Gettysburg Address and the other wall has his second inauguration speech.
  From Quiz: Stop Right There!
8 This Cabinet Department's headquarters is the only one not located within DC.
Answer: Department of Defense

The Pentagon is the Department of Defense's HQ. It lies in Arlington, VA, about a quarter of a mile from the VA/DC line.
    Your options: [ Department of Agriculture ] [ Department of the Interior ] [ Department of Defense ] [ Department of Justice ]
  From Quiz: The District of Columbia
9 The White House is the official residence of the President and First Family. What is the address of the White House?
Answer: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Designed by James Hoban, the White House was completed in 1800. John Adams was the first US President to live there. After receiving significant fire damage during the War of 1812, the home was repaired and painted white. During the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, the name "White House" became official. At different times, the home and grounds have included a putting green, swimming pool, and bowling alley.
  From Quiz: Washington, DC: Capital with a Capitol
10 This round memorial is farther out (on the opposite side of the Tidal Basin) and has a statue of the third American president standing in a long coat. What is the name of this memorial?
Answer: The Jefferson Memorial

Credit for being the principal author of the Declaration of Independence goes to Thomas Jefferson, which is why it is written on the walls of his memorial. Like the Lincoln Memorial, the design resembles ancient Greek architecture and the building is surrounded by pillars.
  From Quiz: Stop Right There!
11 DC's original territory was taken from these two states.
Answer: Maryland and Virginia

This was to appease both Northerners and Southerners by basing the capital in both a Northern and Southern states' territory.
    Your options: [ Pennsylvania and Delaware ] [ Virginia and Pennsylvania ] [ Maryland and Virginia ] [ Delaware and Maryland ]
  From Quiz: The District of Columbia
12 What is Washington DC's official bird?
Answer: Wood Thrush

Thoreau wrote of the wood thrush, "Whenever a man hears it, he is young, and nature is in her Spring; Whenever he hears it, it is a new world and a free country, and the gates of heaven are not shut against him."
  From Quiz: Washington D.C.--The Nation's Capital
13 Coming up Jefferson Street, we come to two art museums of the Smithsonian, the Freer and Sackler Galleries. In the Freer Gallery, you can see the beautiful Peacock Room, which is dedicated to the works of this famous American artist.
Answer: James Whistler

Whistler himself designed the room for an English businessman, calling it "Harmony in Blue and Gold". The Freer Gallery features the collection of Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), a manufacturer with a magnificent art collection, particularly Asian art. Freer's favorite painter was Whistler, whom he befriended; over 1,000 of the artist's works are in his collection. Follow the underground tunnel to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, where you can see more Asian art, including Chinese jade and a series of ancient Islamic manuscripts.
    Your options: [ Norman Rockwell ] [ Georgia O'Keefe ] [ Winslow Homer ] [ James Whistler ]
  From Quiz: Tour of Washington, DC
14 While the President lives in the White House, an ex-President made Washington, DC, his home from 1921 to 1924. Which ex-President resided at 2340 S Street, SW?
Answer: Woodrow Wilson

The home was given to Woodrow Wilson and his wife Edith when they left the White House. The home became a National Historic Landmark in 1964, shortly after Edith's death. Located near Embassy Row, the home can be accessed by visitors. When I visited, the tour guide pointed out a baseball on the President's desk and talk about Wilson's interest in the sport.
    Your options: [ Calvin Coolidge ] [ Theodore Roosevelt ] [ Woodrow Wilson ] [ Grover Cleveland ]
  From Quiz: Washington, DC: Capital with a Capitol
15 This very famous residence is blocked off with gates, so to get from the front to the back requires taking the scenic route through several streets. What is this residence called?
Answer: The White House

The gardens can be seen at the back of the White House. The front of the White House is near a park where protesters have liked to camp out for decades. Secret Service agents in police cars watch as visitors come to take pictures and videos.
  From Quiz: Stop Right There!
16 This attraction looks like a long black granite wall. Wow, there are over 58,000 names of Americans who served for the United States inscribed on the wall. I wonder where we are now. Can you tell me?
Answer: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial is a black granite wall inscribed with the names of Americans killed or missing in the Vietnam War. Construction of the walls was completed in late October 1982, and the memorial was dedicated on November 13, 1982.
  From Quiz: Washington, D.C.- "The City of Monuments"
17 What is the official tree?
Answer: Scarlet Oak

The scarlet oak is a very pretty tree that grows throughout the eastern United States.
  From Quiz: Washington D.C.--The Nation's Capital
18 Washington, DC, is surrounded by Maryland and Virginia. Which jurisdiction does not border Washington, DC?
Answer: Prince William County, VA

Prince William County lies about 20 miles south of Washington, DC, and includes Manassas, VA, site of two significant Civil War battles. Arlington County includes Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon. Montgomery County lies to the northwest of Washington, DC, and Prince George's County lies to the east.
    Your options: [ Montgomery County, MD ] [ Arlington County, VA ] [ Prince William County, VA ] [ Prince George's County, MD ]
  From Quiz: Washington, DC: Capital with a Capitol
19 This memorial is a large circular structure with no roof. What is this memorial called that has quotes from Franklin Roosevelt and Admiral Nimitz?
Answer: The World War II Memorial

The memorial is located on the opposite side of the reflecting pool from the Lincoln Memorial. There is a pond with a fountain in the middle of the memorial, and surrounding the inside of the memorial are engravings of soldiers and the names of each of the fifty states.
  From Quiz: Stop Right There!
20 What is Washington's flower?
Answer: American Beauty Rose

The American beauty rose is a favorite of Washington gardeners, and is given a prized place in many District gardens.
  From Quiz: Washington D.C.--The Nation's Capital
21 This memorial is a long wall along a stone path near a green park that lists out the names of the soldiers who died. What is this memorial called?
Answer: The Vietnam Memorial

One of the inscriptions written on the wall is, "All Gave Some Some Gave All". Nearby are statues of soldiers who fought and books listing out names.
  From Quiz: Stop Right There!
22 Looking toward the Capitol on the right, you can see the glass dome of the conservatory of the US Botanic Garden. This garden features over 25,000 plants, including cacti, orchids, and cycads. What are cycads?
Answer: Ancient seed plants

Cycads are an ancient group of seed plants with large compound leaves and a stout trunk. They are found in tropical and subtropical regions. Although rare today, they were everywhere during the Jurassic period, which is why the Jurassic period is sometimes referred to as the "Age of Cycads".
  From Quiz: Tour of Washington, DC
23 Washington, DC, has been the site of many political protests and marches. Which landmark provided the backdrop for Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1963 when he delivered the famous "I Have a Dream" speech?
Answer: Lincoln Memorial

The location of the speech was not accidental. Dr. King refers to Lincoln's connection with Civil Rights. The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in 1922, with Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert, in attendance. Visitors today can see a plaque on the ground marking where Dr. King stood when he delivered his 1963 speech. Inside the monument one can see a larger than life statue of a seated Lincoln. The texts of the Gettysburg Address and Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address are on the interior walls.
    Your options: [ Capitol Building ] [ Washington Monument ] [ Lincoln Memorial ] [ Jefferson Memorial ]
  From Quiz: Washington, DC: Capital with a Capitol
24 This famous memorial is a tall obelisk that sort of resembles the number one. What memorial is this?
Answer: The Washington Monument

The Washington Memorial honors the first president of America, George Washington. The monument is on the same side of the reflecting pool as the World War II monument and is surrounded by American flags.
  From Quiz: Stop Right There!
25 At the end of the Mall sits the magnificent Capitol building. What former President died in this building?
Answer: John Quincy Adams

John Quincy Adams, who became a member of the House of Representatives after his Presidential term, collapsed from a stroke while speaking here on March 23, 1848. He was carried to an adjacent room, where he died. Adams was known as "Old Man Eloquent" for his impassioned speeches, many of which were against slavery.
  From Quiz: Tour of Washington, DC
26 Which interstate highway helps to form the famous Washington Beltway?
Answer: Interstate 95

Interstate 95 runs from Maine to Florida. While the highway runs through several east coast US cities, it does not travel through Washington, DC, itself, but instead skirts the city to the east through nearby Prince George's County, MD. Interstate 495 runs from near College Park, MD to near Springfield, VA, making a loop around Washington, DC, on the north, west, and south.
    Your options: [ Interstate 58 ] [ Interstate 76 ] [ Interstate 95 ] [ Interstate 34 ]
  From Quiz: Washington, DC: Capital with a Capitol
27 Across the bridge and just outside Washington, DC is what famous national cemetery?
Answer: Arlington

Arlington is large and hilly, but there is a tour that stops at the main tourist locations. The first stop is at JFK's grave with the eternal flame. Buried next to JFK is Jackie Kennedy and their two children who died shortly after they were born. The second stop is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Audie Murphy's grave, the mast of the Maine, and the memorials to the space shuttles Columbia and Challenger. The third stop is the Lee House that can be toured. Arlington stands on land previously belonging to George and Martha Washington. Washington's step great-granddaughter married Robert E. Lee and the home has belonged to the federal government since the Civil War.
  From Quiz: Stop Right There!
28 At the foot of the Capitol lawn, there is a memorial to this US President, dedicated in 1922.
Answer: Ulysses Grant

The Grant Memorial consists of a 250-foot long sculpture group designed by Henry Merwin Shrady. The memorial depicts a calm-looking General Grant standing amid a chaotic battle scene, with cavalry and an artillery group.
    Your options: [ Theodore Roosevelt ] [ Andrew Jackson ] [ James Madison ] [ Ulysses Grant ]
  From Quiz: Tour of Washington, DC
29 Washington, DC, does not have an airport within its borders. Which airport lies closest to Washington, DC?
Answer: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport lies in in nearby Arington, VA. Washington Dulles International Airport is on the border of Fairfax and Loudon Counties, VA. Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport lies in Anne Arundel County, Maryland. There is no Union Airport near Washington, DC, but Union Station is the city's main train station.
    Your options: [ Washington Union National Airport ] [ Washington Dulles International Airport ] [ Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport ] [ Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport ]
  From Quiz: Washington, DC: Capital with a Capitol
30 This final stop is a bit of a drive from Washington, DC, and is the well-known home and farm of George Washington. Name it.
Answer: Mount Vernon

The welcome center buildings have learning centers and museums with interesting George Washington artifacts. The main house that Washington lived in is toured, as are the surrounding buildings. George and Martha's stone tombs are visible behind a metal gate. The farm is still a working farm with fruit trees, live animals, a greenhouse with a lecturer inside, and a working blacksmith.
    Your options: [ Mount Vernon ] [ Monticello ] [ Arlington ] [ Gettysburg ]
  From Quiz: Stop Right There!
31 This place is famous for Lincoln's assassination. Where could we be?
Answer: Ford's Theatre

John Wilkes Booth stepped into the president's theatre box and assassinated Lincoln in Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865. Lincoln was the first American president to be assassinated.
  From Quiz: Washington, D.C.- "The City of Monuments"
32 The District of Columbia gets how many electoral votes for presidential elections?
Answer: 3

Amendment to the US Constitution: "Article [amendment] XXIII: The District... shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct... [a] number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a State, but in no event more than the least populous State..." As of 2002, the least populous state (actually, several states) has only 1 Representative in the House and the constant 2 Senators for a total of 3. Unless there's a massive campaign to convince people to move from California, Texas, and Florida to the cold northern states of Wyoming, Montana, Alaska, and the Dakotas, there will probably always be just three electoral votes for DC.
  From Quiz: The District of Columbia
33 Directly across the Capitol on First Street is the Library of Congress. Right in front of the building you see a statue of which Roman god?
Answer: Neptune

The Library, today the world's largest, was originally opened in 1800, when Congress decided that it needed a research facility. The first books were destroyed by the 1814 fire set by the British. Thomas Jefferson came to the rescue by selling his personal collection of 6,500 books to the Library. Unfortunately, most of these were destroyed by another fire, in 1851.
    Your options: [ Jupiter ] [ Mars ] [ Mercury ] [ Neptune ]
  From Quiz: Tour of Washington, DC
34 Who was the architect that designed the White House?
Answer: James Hoban

Hoban modeled the White House after the large manor houses that were popular in Britain and Ireland.
  From Quiz: Washington D.C.--The Nation's Capital
35 Across the street from the Supreme Court is the Sewall-Belmont House, where many historic events have occurred. From 1801 to 1813 the house was occupied by Albert Gallatin. What position did he hold?
Answer: Secretary of the Treasury

Albert Gallatin was President Jefferson's Secretary of the Treasury. It was here in 1804 that the details of the Louisiana Purchase were worked out. In 1929 the house was purchased by the National Women's Party and named in honor of Alva Belmont, a major supporter. Today it serves as the party's headquarters.
  From Quiz: Tour of Washington, DC
36 In what year did the Smithsonian celebrate its 150th birthday?
Answer: 1996

The Smithsonian includes 16 museums and galleries in Washington.
  From Quiz: Washington D.C.--The Nation's Capital
37 Driving down Massachusetts Avenue, we pass Lincoln Park. In the park is a statue of Abe Lincoln and Archer Alexander. Who was Archer Alexander?
Answer: The last man captured under the Fugitive Slave Act

The statue is called, fittingly enough, "Emancipation". It was built in 1876.
  From Quiz: Tour of Washington, DC
38 On what street is the White House?
Answer: Pennsylvania Avenue

Pennsylvania Avenue has always been Washington's main street.
  From Quiz: Washington D.C.--The Nation's Capital
39 As we drive down G Street, the bus driver points out number 636. In 1854 the famous American composer known as "the March King" was born here. What was his real name?
Answer: John Philip Sousa

Sousa was one of America's best-loved composers. The leader of the Marine Band from 1880 to 1892, his most famous work may be "The Stars and Stripes Forever".
  From Quiz: Tour of Washington, DC
40 On the bank of the Anacostia River is the Navy Museum, next to the Navy Yard. Among the museum's many exhibits is the Trieste. What sort of craft is this?
Answer: Bathyscaphe

The Trieste is a deep-diving bathyscaphe, a type of vehicle specially designed to reach great depths. In 1960 the Trieste dived to a record 35,810 feet in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point in the Pacific Ocean. The first bathyscaphe was built in Belgium in 1946.
  From Quiz: Tour of Washington, DC
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