On December 1, 1800, Washington DC was officially named the seat of the U.S. government and is the nation’s capital. It’s located on the Potomac River between Virginia and Maryland. The French engineer, Major Pierre Charles L’Enfant, initially partially planned the city. Later, Major Andrew Ellicott and Benjamin Banneker finished the job. Many of the nation’s most famous and identifiable buildings and monuments are located here—the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the Smithsonian Institutions, to name a few. 25% of the federal government’s jobs are held in the state, meaning it’s somewhat buffered from economic fluctuations.
Over 20 million people a year come to visit Washington DC, significantly contributing to the state’s economy. (Tourism is Washington DC’s second-largest industry.) The state is a hub for diplomacy, with over 200 international organizations and foreign embassies based there. It also plays a significant role in media (national and international). The Washington Post, the local daily newspaper, has the sixth-highest readership in the U.S.