Washington DC

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WASHINGTON, D. C. general facts - Washington is not a state and not in a state -> independent federal district - the population is about 630, 000 (metropolitan area about 31/2 million) - 3/4 of the population is non-white - since 1964 the people living in Washington have the right to vote for the president - was planned as a capital -> the streets are organised in a special pattern; the National Mall is in the centre of the town, other buildings are arranged around it - the layout of the city reflects also the system of government (White House is connected to the Capitol, where Congress meets, and to the Supreme Court) - the names of the streets are given in a special way, too (the horizontal streets are named with letters; the vertical ones with numbers) - few factories, most of the people work in offices - government is the largest employer in the city (345, 000 people) - more than 600 parks; Washington has a larger variety of trees than any other city - no skyscrapers because there is a rule, that no building should be higher than 40 metres; this rule ensures that the Capitol and the monuments can be seen from anywhere in Washington Close Up Foundation - founded in 1970 - aims are to learn something about the political system and about Washington - people should be involved in all that happens around them - the people learn what it means to live in a democracy - students and teacher from all parts of the country are participants - in one year there are 27, 000 participants - the programme is divided into political and cultural information sights - the Capitol: it is the building where Congress works - the House of Representatives: the representatives work here - the Lincoln Memorial: memorial of Abraham Lincoln (1732-1799) - the National Mall: it is a promenade between Capitol and Lincoln Memorial - the Oval Office: this is a room of the White House were the President works - the Pentagon: here is the defence office - the Senate: here is the American Senate - the Washington Monument: a 170 metres high obelisk for George Washington - the White House: * oldest public building in Washington; the title was given later * home of the most famous government people and the official residence of the president * every president, except George Washington, lived in the White House * until 1834 the White House had no running water; gas lamps 1848 installed * opened for two hours a day from Tuesday to Saturday * you cant visit the president or the room where he works - Vietnam Veterans Memorial: * one of the most recent monuments; for many people the most moving one * it should remember, that this war divided the country; also the many died people and many people, fighting in the war were even still teenagers * some people thought the war should not be, others wanted this * average age of the soldiers in this war was 19 * in this war 58, 123 men died or are still missing institutions - the Supreme Court: this is the most powerful court in the USA - ...

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