“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

District of Columbia Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on January 23, 2021

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 The District of Columbia ranks 25th among territories, states and provinces with markers in this database. The District of Columbia is a territory of the United States of America located in the American Northeast. It is also in the Mid-Atlantic region. District of Columbia is some 68 square miles in size with a population of around 706 thousand people. The District—also known as Washington, D.C.—is divided into 131 neighborhoods and 104 of them have entries in the database. In D.C. we have discovered historical markers lying in 73 different ZIP Codes.

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There are at least 1,900 historical markers in District of Columbia, by our count. We have cataloged 1,900 historical markers and 59 war memorials—each individually presented on 1,952 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this territory make up 1.3% of our total. Our correspondents have been finding and adding hundreds of markers a month to the database from all over the world, so next time you visit this page you will probably find that the numbers here have changed.

The first District of Columbia marker in the database, Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, was added February 22, 2006. It was photographed in Georgetown in Washington and was erected in 1850. The last one added was submitted on January 9, 2021, and titled Jamila El Sahili. It is in Downtown in Washington. Keeping in mind that the erection date of many markers in the database is not known, the earliest historical marker we know of in District of Columbia was erected in 1792. It was this one: Original Federal Boundary Stone, District of Columbia, Southeast 9, and one of our correspondents found it near Bellevue in Washington on April 19, 2018.

District of Columbia Historical Topics
418 • African Americans
317 • Industry and Commerce
297 • Arts, Letters, Music
274 • Government and Politics
224 • Education
221 • Churches and Religion
219 • Architecture
197 • Science and Medicine
193 • Civil War
182 • Women
    ... and others ...

District residents don’t want to forget their African American history. How do we know? Because there are more historical markers in the database from District of Columbia about African Americans—418 of them—than about any other historical topic. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 317 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the African Americans topic was The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, added March 28, 2006. It had been erected in 2000 in The Tidal Basin in Washington. The last one submitted was submitted on December 25, 2020, and titled un/fold. It had been erected in 2020 in Adams Morgan in Washington. The earliest marker erected with the African Americans topic that we have listed was erected in 1876. It is Freedmen’s Memorial Monument to Abraham Lincoln, found in Capitol Hill in Washington on April 21, 2007.

What is the most interesting historical marker in District of Columbia? What we know is that Japanese Stone Lantern is the most viewed entry in the database from District of Columbia since it was added in 2006. It is located in The Tidal Basin in Washington. This year so far, the most viewed District resident entry is located in Pleasant Plains in Washington. It is Ed Murphy Way.

Washington D.C. Neighborhoods

The District of Columbia neighborhood with the most historical markers listed in this database is Navy Yard, with 165 of them. It is followed by The National Mall with 145 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers it’s 20003 at the top of the list with 191 markers in its delivery area. (ZIP Code 20003 is assigned to Washington DC.) It is followed closely by ZIP Code 20002 with 176 markers. (20002 is assigned to Washington DC.)

Historical Markers in These
District of Columbia Neighborhoods
165 • Navy Yard
145 • The National Mall
115 • Georgetown
110 • Arboretum
101 • Downtown
101 • Penn Quarter
88 • Dupont Circle
88 • Foggy Bottom
76 • Capitol Hill
60 • Southwest Waterfront
    ... and others ...
In Navy Yard, the first marker added to the database from there, Swift Boat PCF1, was added June 28, 2008. It was erected in 1998. The last one submitted was uploaded on March 21, 2020, and is titled Flight Path. The earliest marker erected in Navy Yard that we have listed was erected in 1974. It was Washington Navy Yard Chapel on August 24, 2008.

Latest entry from District of Columbia. Click to go there
January 9, 2021
Latest Entry from District of Columbia
“Jamila El Sahili”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from The National Mall. The first: Lock Keeper’s House, was added March 28, 2006. It had been erected in 1928. The last: Anise hyssop added on January 9, 2021. It had been erected in 2019. The earliest marker erected was erected in 1856: Andrew Jackson Downing, added on July 6, 2008.

Who Puts Up Historical Markers?

The District of Columbia Cultural Tourism DC is currently in charge of the familiar tall illustrated sidewalk signs that are the official historical markers found all over the territory. We have 515 of their markers in the database.

Latest entry from District of Columbia. Click to go there
By Devry Becker Jones, March 21, 2020
A Cultural Tourism DC Historical Marker

Then there are federal government agencies that put up historical markers. And finally, there are the numerous public and private organizations and individuals that erect markers. Some do this as a continual endeavor, and others once in a while, to mark something, someone, or someplace they find important or interesting. When one of our correspondents comes across one that satisfies our criteria, we add it to the database.

Tourist Attractions? Or Something Off the Beaten Path?

the District of Columbia offers both and there is plenty of history to check out. If you live in or are visiting Washington, hit the streets and check out places where something of interest once occured, or where famous or infamous people once stood. Our database can help you find some of these places. And perhaps you’ll find some we don’t know about and will take the time to photograph them and add them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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Jan. 23, 2021