• Before answering the question it is important to say that the city name is "Washington" and it belongs to the "District of Columbia", creating the short version "Washington DC". Now to answer the question, the city was named after President George Washington and the district was named after Christopher Columbus, who discovered America. For the ones who like to read history, here you have a summary of the foundation and history of the City of Washington in the District of Columbia: The Federal Government established the District in 1790 on land ceded by Maryland and Virginia. About 3,000 citizens lived in the area--far less than the 50,000 required to be a state. The people living in the federal district continued to vote in Maryland and Virginia respectively. President George Washington took a personal interest in developing the new capital. The Commissioners called the new city "The City of Washington". During the next ten years, the city of Washington was developed, and, in 1800, though the Capitol was not completed, the federal government moved from Philadelphia to Washington. The federal district consisted of five separate units--Washington City, Georgetown, Washington County in Maryland, and Alexandria and the County of Alexandria in Virginia. In 1801, Congress passed emergency legislation dividing the District into two counties, Washington County where Maryland laws would apply, and Alexandria County where Virginia laws would apply (The Virginia part of the District was returned to Virginia in 1846). Nearly seventy years later, Georgetown, Washington City, and Washington County were absorbed into a new territory governed by a governor and a council appointed by the President. During this period, District residents and Congressional supporters continued to press for self-government and representation in Congress. The Senate passed bills providing some form of home rule six times between 1948 and 1966, but, each time a similar bill died in the House District of Columbia Committee. In 1963, District residents won the right to vote for President and Vice-President of the United States with the ratification of the 23rd Amendment to the Constitution. Four years later, citizens were won the authority to elect a School Board. In 1970, the District gained a nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives. Finally, in 1973, the Home Rule Act passed in Congress, and District residents approved it in a special referendum the next year. In a historic leap for greater self-determination, District citizens elected a Mayor and Council in the fall of 1974. Voters also approved the election of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners who represent every 2,000 residents to advise the Council on neighborhood concerns.

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