“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
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District of Columbia Facts and Figures

Gleaned from the Historical Marker Database


on February 21, 2020

1876 artwork by Henry Mitchell, via Wikipedia Commons

 The District of Columbia ranks 22nd among districts, states and provinces with markers in this database. The District of Columbia is a district 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 Districtóalso known as Washington, D.C.óis divided into 131 neighborhoods and 106 of them have entries in the database. In D.C. we have discovered historical markers lying in 72 different ZIP Codes.

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How many historical markers are there in the District of Columbia? There are least 1,862 of them, by our count. We have cataloged 1,862 historical markers and 54 war memorialsóeach individually presented on 1,916 illustrated, annotated, and searchable pages of the Historical Marker Database. Pages for historical markers from this district make up 1.5% 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 February 20, 2020, and titled The Hawarden. It is in Logan Circle 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 1850. It was this one: Chesapeake & Ohio Canal, and one of our correspondents found it in Georgetown in Washington on February 22, 2006.

District of Columbia Historical Categories
405 • African Americans
305 • Industry and Commerce
264 • Arts, Letters, Music
256 • Government and Politics
212 • Education
211 • Churches and Religion
196 • Architecture
194 • Civil War
182 • Science and Medicine
148 • Horticulture and Forestry
    ... and more ...

District residents donít 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 Americansó405 of themóthan about any other historical category. It is followed by Industry and Commerce with 305 markers.

The first marker added to the database with the African Americans category 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 January 17, 2020, and titled Alice Moore Dunbar [Nelson] and Paul Laurence Dunbar Residence. It had been erected in LeDroit Park in Washington. The earliest marker erected with the African Americans category that we have listed was erected in 1876. It was Freedmenís Memorial Monument to Abraham Lincoln, found in Capitol Hill in Washington on April 21, 2007.

Washington D.C. Neighborhoods

The District of Columbia neighborhood with the most historical markers listed in this database is Navy Yard, with 163 of them. It is followed closely by The National Mall with 148 markers. For the ZIP Code with the most markers itís 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 177 markers. (20002 is assigned to Washington DC.)

Historical Markers in These
District of Columbia Neighborhoods
163 • Navy Yard
148 • The National Mall
112 • Georgetown
109 • Arboretum
101 • Downtown
98 • Penn Quarter
88 • Foggy Bottom
86 • Dupont Circle
80 • Capitol Hill
58 • Southwest Waterfront
    ... and more ...
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 October 24, 2019, and is titled The Lumber Shed and was erected in 2019. 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
By Devry Becker Jones, February 20, 2020
Latest Entry from District of Columbia
“The Hawarden”

And finally the first, last, and oldest markers from The National Mall. The first: Lock Keeperís House, was added March 28, 2006. It had been erected in 1928. The last: Live Oaks: A Gathering Place added on December 7, 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 district. We have 496 of their markers in the database.

Latest entry from District of Columbia. Click to go there
By Allen C. Browne, December 28, 2016
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 road 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 youíll find some we donít know about and will take the time to photograph them and add them to the database. Happy Hunting!

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