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 Washington, D.C.



Book Introduction

     This photographic portrait is a celebration of Washington, D.C., the capital city of the world’s greatest democracy. Jake McGuire has not only captured the famous ‘postcard’ views of this great city, he has captured its many moods and seasons.

     When you stroll along the well-manicured paths and verdant lawns connecting the city’s stately marble and stone buildings, it is hard to imagine a time when Washington had to struggle for its life. Indeed, the city is a microcosm of the wars and hardships Americans endured along the way to greatness—Washington was spared no pain.

The City of Washington

     After our young government met briefly in Philadelphia, New York, and Princeton, Congress chose the Potomac River as a natural midpoint that would satisfy both our southern and northern states. The fact that George Washington’s home was across the river in Mount Vernon was a definite plus.

     People began referring to our new capital as ‘the city of Washington’ around 1791, and the name stuck. Plans were soon underway to design what was envisioned to be a world-class city in the same league as London and Paris.

     After the British torched the just-completed Capitol building during the War of 1812, the city went into a slump for decades. A Congressional vote to abandon the capital narrowly lost by nine votes.

The Union Shall Go On…

     Fifty years later, during the Civil War, many Washingtonians wanted to stop the construction of the new U.S. Capitol building. President Lincoln responded, “If people see the Capitol going on, it is a sign we intend the Union shall go on.”

     The wise visionaries who protected the struggling city would be proud and astounded today. The broad avenues and streets on the original blueprints that writer Charles Dickens once dismissed as “a city in need of citizens,” now have an international cultural and racial flavor. The government buildings where Americans work and the monuments where Americans remember have created a dazzling array of architecture at its finest moments.

     Come now and visit Washington, D.C., at the beginning of a new century, through these vivid and beautiful photographs. Tour the 16 galleries and museums of the Smithsonian Institution. Visit the White House, our elegant monuments and memorials, our parks and playgrounds, our government buildings, our universities and cathedrals.

     Come in the Spring when the city is in full blossom for the famous Cherry Blossom Festival. Take a walking tour of historic neighborhoods like Dupont Circle and Georgetown.

     Enjoy our nation’s capital, a city with no equal in the world.




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