A Guide to Washington, D.C., Materials
Today In History
On March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and the
Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted
two Yoshino cherry trees on the northern bank of the Potomac
Basin in Washington, D.C. The event celebrated the Japanese
government’s gift of 3,020 trees to the United States.
Trees were planted along the Potomac Tidal Basin near the
Memorial, in East Potomac Park, and on the White
On April 16, 1862, President Lincoln signed an act abolishing
slavery in the District of Columbia, an important step in
the long road toward full emancipation and enfranchisement
for African Americans.
On May 23, 1865, the Army of the Potomac celebrated the
end of the Civil War by parading down Pennsylvania Avenue
in Washington, D.C.
On May 24, 1844, Samuel F. B. Morse dispatched the first
telegraphic message over an experimental line from Washington,
D.C. to Baltimore.
On July 16, 1790, Congress declared the city of Washington
in the District of Columbia the permanent capital of the
The United States Congress abolished the slave trade in
the District of Columbia on September 20, 1850 as part of
the legislative package called the Compromise
On October 10, 1850, the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal was
completed and opened for business along its entire 184.5-mile
length from Washington, D.C., to Cumberland, Maryland.
The cornerstone of the White House was laid on October
On November 1, 1897, the first Library of Congress building
opened its doors to the public. Previously, the Library
had been housed in the Congressional Reading Room in the
On November 20, 1866, ten members of the First Congregational
Society of Washington, D.C. gathered in the home of Deacon
Henry Brewster for a missionary meeting. While there, they
resolved to establish a seminary for the training of African-American
preachers. By early 1867, the founders had broadened their
mission to encompass a liberal-arts college and university.
Howard University was incorporated on March 2, 1867, and
accepted its first students the following May.
On December 6, 1884, workers placed the 3,300-pound marble
capstone on the Washington Monument, and topped it with
a nine-inch pyramid of cast aluminum, completing construction
of the 555-foot Egyptian obelisk.