Saturday, September 03, 2005

In Washington - 2

August 28, 2005
Wyndham City Center
1143 New Hampshire Ave
Washington DC
8:06 a.m.

It’s early Sunday morning in Washington. What to do?

Sit back, relax and wait for breakfast and read some history.

There’s no view from my room except the side of buildings. I’m on the second floor and there’s nothing outside.

I arrived with one of the strongest hurricanes in recent history hitting the country. People have been evacuated from as far as Morgan City and Florida. Hurricane Katrina has been declared a Category 5 storm, which is expected to bring in a surge of from 15 to 20 feet of water and strong winds of up to 160 mph.

Whatever that means, I can only imagine the typhoons and storms hitting the Philippines several times a year.

“Katrina” will not hit Washington but rain is expected later in the afternoon.

I called Alan Rudley, my guide during my trip. He said he’s planning to bring me around this afternoon for a three-hour walk to the White House and nearby attractions in the capital.

Washington, District of Columbia, was established as the capital of the United States in 1790. Government is the city’s biggest industry and the federal government dominates both the economic and social life of the city.

Washington is run by a mayor and 13 city council members. The city has a non-voting representative to the US congress but it was only in 1964 that residents were able to vote in presidential elections.

The city is host to Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, American University and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

The Smithsonian Institution, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, the Capitol, Library of Congress, National Archives and the Supreme Court and National Cathedral are all in Washington

The cornerstone of the Capitol building was laid in 1793 after seven years of argument in Congress as to where the “Federal town” should be located. A French soldier and engineer, Pierre L’Enfant, had Paris, France, in mind when he laid out Washington in a series of broad avenues and spacious circles.

When the city was occupied by the British during the War of 1812, the White House, Capitol Building and other Federal buildings were destroyed.

The city has two major newspapers, The Washington Post and The Washington Times.

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