Prior to 1800, when Washington, District of Columbia (D.C.) was designated as America's capital, the Congress met at a variety of sites, including Baltimore, Trenton, and New York City.
After years of debate among the new nation's leaders over the permanent location of the capital, Congress passed the Residence Act in July 1790, establishing that the capital would be located somewhere along the Potomac River and granting President George Washington the authority to choose the final location. Additionally, the president was empowered to select three commissioners to oversee the creation of the federal city, and a deadline of December 1800 was established for the completion of a legislative hall for Congress and the chief executive's house.
George Washington revealed his decision for the federal district in January 1791: a 100-square-mile parcel of land ceded by Maryland and Virginia (in 1846, the Virginia land was returned to the state, shrinking the district by a third). The commissioners named the federal city after George Washington in September 1791 and renamed the territory in which it was located the Territory of Columbia. The name Columbia, an homage to the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, was utilized as a patriotic reference for the United States during the American Revolution. In 1871, the Territory of Columbia officially was renamed District of Columbia.
Congress convened for the first time in November 1800 in Washington (the man for whom the city was named died in December the previous year), and in February 1801 Congress took authority of the District of Columbia, which comprised the cities of Alexandria and Georgetown at the time.
Today, America's capital city is home to more than 650,000 citizens, who are represented in the United States House of Representatives by a non-voting delegate. Beginning in 1964, the 23rd Amendment granted people of Washington, D.C. the right to vote for president, and since 1974, Washingtonians have been able to elect their own mayor and city council.
To commemorate America's capital city, order a bag of Mount Rushmore Coffee Company's "District of Columbia" Colombian single-origin coffee today!