Nation's Capital

Washington D. C. - the capital of the United States

Washington D.C. is located in the District of Columbia

New York City was the first capital of the United States once the Constitution was ratified. This is where Congress met, and where George Washington took the oath of office from the balcony of the old City Hall to become the first President of the United States.

One of the issues the President had to deal with was a permanent location for the country’s seat of government. As part of a compromise, it was decided that the capital would move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1791 for ten years and then to a suitable permanent location on the Potomac River.

President Washington chose an area from the states of Maryland and Virginia that was primarily farm and marsh lands. Pierre Charles L’Enfant was hired to design the "Federal City" and within three months the plans were completed. Problems had to be overcome, but on June 11, 1800, Philadelphia was no longer the seat of government. The capital of the United States now had a permanent home in Washington, D.C. And Congress was scheduled to meet in the new capital on the first Monday in December 1800.