(Received in June, 2012)
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a capital district as permitted by the U.S. Constitution. The District is therefore not a part of any U.S. state.
The states of Maryland and Virginia donated land along the Potomac River to form the federal district; however, Congress returned the Virginia portion in 1846. The City of Washington, located east of the preexisting port of Georgetown, was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. Congress consolidated the whole District under a single municipal government in 1871. The city and the U.S. state of Washington, which is located on the country's Pacific coast, were both named in honor of George Washington.