Conversational topic: Washington

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Washington is the capital of the United States of America. It is situated on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia. The city was founded in 1791 and named after the first US president, George Washington. Since 1800 it has been the federal capital.

The city industry is not well developed, "the main output of Washington being laws and government decisions". Washington is the residence of the President and the Congress of the United States; all government departments and numerous federal institutions are also located in the capital. The White House, where the US President lives and works, the Capitol, the home of the US Congress, and the Supreme Court, are all in New York.

Washington is one of the most beautiful and unusual cities in the United States. In the very centre of it rises the huge dome of the Capitol- a big white dome standing on a circle of pillars. The 535 members of the Congress meet here to discuss the nation's affairs. It's easy to get lost in this huge building, full of painting and statues.

The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the President of the United States. It was designed by James Hoban on a site chosen by George Washington. It is the oldest public building in Washington, its cornerstone having been laid in 1792. John Adams was the first President to live there (1800). The building was restored after being burned (1814) by British troops, and the smoke-stained gray stone walls were painted white. The elliptical Blue Room is the scene of many social, diplomatic, and official receptions. The Red Room and the Green Room are used for private and quasi-official gatherings. The White House became the official name when President Theodore Roosevelt had it engraved upon his stationery.

Washington is a large scientific and cultural centre where many research institutes are concentrated. There are five universities in the city. The Smithsonian Institution, the National Academy of Science and the Congressional Library are among them. The National Museum, the Old and new National Galleries of art, the City Museum of Washington, National Museum of American Historyare well known.

One can hardly find a park and a square in Washington without a monument or a memorial. The most impressive and the best-known ones are the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.

There are no skyscrapers in Washington, because they would hide the city's sights from view. No building in the city may be more than 40 metres tall.

People from all parts of the world come to see US capital. Every year more than 1, 5 million tourists visit Washington and its most popular attractions.

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