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Funny Thoughts on Washington, DC

As I'm officially leaving Washington, DC on Friday, I thought I would share some quotes from one of my favorite books about Washington: Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway.

On choosing Washington, DC as the Capital City:

...In 1790 Congress decided to creat a permanent capital by taking a piece of land from Virginia, a piece of land from Maryland, and a piece of land from Vermont that was hauled in at great expense. Congress chose this location for four reasons:
1. It was near Chevy Chase.
2. It was shaped pretty much like a square.
3. It was located on the Potomac River, which guaranteed that the capital would have an abundant natural supply of humidity.
4. It had already been settled by a small but hardy population of lobbyists, who produced nothing but had been able to survive for three decades in the harsh wilderness by taking one another to lunch.

On Potholes and Snow

The streets of Washington were full of potholes, which today are painstakingly maintained in their original condition by the Department of Historic Pothole Preservation. (Another road related tradition that has continued into modern times is that the entire city shuts down if it snows, or it looks like it might snow, or anybody named "Snow" is visiting the area.)

On the U.S. Capitol Building

The cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol was laid in 1793 by George Washington on a site carefully selected by surveyors. Unfortunately, the cornerstone was stolen that night and abandoned in a bad neighborhood, so that's where the Capitol ended up being built.

**All quotes are taken from Dave Barry Hits Below the Beltway, copyright 2001, Random House publishers**

posted by Lauren@ 8:44 PM


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