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Our Capital City

New York City was the first capital of the United States. George Washington took the oath of office from the balcony of New York City's old City Hall to become the first President of the United States.

The President had to help decide on a permanent location for the country’s seat of government. As part of a compromise, it was decided that the capital would move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1791 for ten years and then to a suitable permanent location on the Potomac River.

President Washington chose an area that included land from the states of Maryland and Virginia. At this time the area was primarily farm and marsh lands. Nevertheless, Congress was scheduled to meet in the new capital on the first Monday in December 1800.

Map of the United States and Washington, D.C.

The capital city is named Washington after George Washington, our first president. It is located in the District of Columbia, named after Christopher Columbus, a famous explorer.