Cabinet of the United States
The Cabinet of the United States is part of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States. The Cabinet's role, inferred from the language of the Opinion Clause of the Constitution, is to serve as an advisory body to the President of the United States. Additionally, the Twenty-fifth Amendment authorizes the Vice President, together with a majority of certain members of the Cabinet, to declare the president "unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office". Among the senior officers of the Cabinet are the Vice President and the heads of the federal executive departments, all of whom—if eligible—are in the line of succession. Members of the Cabinet serve at the pleasure of the President, who can dismiss them at will for no cause. All federal public officials, including Cabinet members, are subject to impeachment by the House of Representatives and trial in the Senate for "treason and other high crimes and misdemeanors"; the President can unilaterally designate senior White House staffers, heads of other federal agencies as members of the Cabinet, although this is a symbolic status marker and does not, apart from attending Cabinet meetings, confer any additional powers.
The tradition of the Cabinet arose out of the debates at the 1787 Constitutional Convention regarding whether the president would exercise executive authority singly or collaboratively with a cabinet of ministers or a privy council. As a result of the debates, the Constitution vests "all executive power" in the president singly, authorizes—but does not compel—the president to "require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices"; the Constitution does not specify what the executive departments will be, how many there will be, or what their duties should be. George Washington, the first U. S. President, organized his principal officers into a Cabinet, it has been part of the executive branch structure since. Washington's Cabinet consisted of five members: himself, Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, Secretary of War Henry Knox and Attorney General Edmund Randolph.
Vice President John Adams was not included in Washington's Cabinet because the position was regarded as a legislative officer. It was not until the 20th century that Vice Presidents were included as members of the Cabinet and came to be regarded as a member of the executive branch. Presidents have used Cabinet meetings of selected principal officers but to differing extents and for different purposes. Secretary of State William H. Seward and Professor Woodrow Wilson advocated the use of a parliamentary-style Cabinet government, but President Abraham Lincoln rebuffed Seward, Woodrow Wilson would have none of it in his administration. In recent administrations, Cabinets have grown to include key White House staff in addition to department and various agency heads. President Ronald Reagan formed seven subcabinet councils to review many policy issues, subsequent Presidents have followed that practice. In 3 U. S. C. § 302 with regard to delegation of authority by the President, it is provided that "nothing herein shall be deemed to require express authorization in any case in which such an official would be presumed in law to have acted by authority or direction of the President."
This pertains directly to the heads of the executive departments as each of their offices is created and specified by statutory law and thus gives them the authority to act for the President within their areas of responsibility without any specific delegation. Under the 1967 Federal Anti-Nepotism statute, federal officials are prohibited from appointing their immediate family members to certain governmental positions, including those in the Cabinet. Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998, an administration may appoint acting heads of department from employees of the relevant department; these may be existing high-level career employees, from political appointees of the outgoing administration, or sometimes lower-level appointees of the administration. The heads of the executive departments and all other federal agency heads are nominated by the President and presented to the Senate for confirmation or rejection by a simple majority. If approved, they receive their commission scroll, are sworn in and begin their duties.
An elected Vice President does not require Senate confirmation, nor does the White House Chief of Staff, an appointed staff position of the Executive Office of the President. The heads of the executive departments and most other senior federal officers at cabinet or sub-cabinet level receive their salary under a fixed five-level pay plan known as the Executive Schedule, codified in Title 5 of the United States Code. Twenty-one positions, including the heads of the executive departments and others, receiving Level I pay are listed in 5 U. S. C. § 5312, those forty-six positions on Level II pay are listed in 5 U. S. C. § 5313. As of January 2016, the Level I annual pay was set at $205,700; the annual salary of the Vice President is $235,300. The salary level was set by the Government Salary Reform Act of 1989, which provides an automatic cost of living adjustment for federal employees; the Vice President receives th
Washington City Canal
The Washington City Canal operated from 1815 until the mid-1850s in Washington, D. C; the canal connected the Anacostia River, called the "Eastern Branch" at that time, to Tiber Creek, the Potomac River, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The canal fell into disuse in the late 19th century and the city government covered over or filled in various sections in 1871. Built in 1837, the canal's Lockkeeper's House remains today — at what is now the southwest corner of 17th Street, Constitution Avenue, Washington, D. C. near Constitution Gardens — as the oldest building on the National Mall. In the early years of the United States there was great interest among political leaders in building canals to support and stimulate economic development. Construction of a canal to run across the city of Washington was supported by local leaders, both in business and government; the plan was to connect the Eastern Branch, navigable into Maryland, with the Potomac, seen as a gateway to the West. President George Washington had founded the Potowmack Company in 1785 to improve navigation on the Potomac.
Pierre Charles L'Enfant, in designing a master plan for the development of the capital city, supported construction of a canal between the Eastern Branch and Tiber Creek. To raise funds for canal construction, lotteries were conducted in 1796, but these efforts were unsuccessful. There was little additional work done until 1802, when Congress granted a charter for the Washington Canal Company. A small amount of construction was started, but obtaining major financing for the canal continued to be difficult. Congress created a new canal company in 1809 and authorized capitalization of $100,000. A groundbreaking ceremony in southeast Washington, attended by President James Madison and other officials, took place on May 2, 1810. Construction was delayed by the War of 1812 and resumed in 1815; the canal formally opened in late 1815. The canal route began at the Eastern Branch, near the Washington Navy Yard and proceeded north and northwest. Another planned branch proceeded north and northeast from the estuary of James Creek, which divided Greenleaf Point from Buzzard Point but was only constructed in 1866 and never connected with the existing canal.
Past the point at which these two branches were planned to converge, a single canal channel travelled north towards the Capitol, veered northwestward at the base of Jenkins Hill, turned again to the north to cross the area in which the National Mall is now located. The canal turned to the west, joining a straightened and channelized Tiber Creek, which had earlier flowed westward. After traveling westward along the route of Tiber Creek, the canal entered the Potomac River at the mouth of the creek, south of the White House; as built, the Washington City Canal was shallow and only accommodated boats drawing 3 feet of water or less. The canal's design did not adequately handle tidal variations on the Eastern Branch; as a result, the canal sometimes overran its banks at high tide, and/or experienced insufficient water levels at low tide. Traffic through the canal continued but financial problems persisted, in 1831 the city purchased the canal corporation; the city effected some repairs during the 1830s and Congress appropriated some additional funds in 1833.
In 1833, an extension of the C&O Canal was completed. That extension, designated as the Washington Branch of the C&O Canal, enabled the C&O Canal to connect at a new eastern terminus with the western terminus of the Washington City canal at the mouth of Tiber Creek. A lock was built to connect the two canals, around 1835, a lock keeper's house was built; the lock keeper's house now stands at the southwest corner of Constitution Avenue NW and 17th Street NW, near the National Mall. In 1849, Congress appropriated some additional funds to clean out and deepen portions of the canal, on the condition that the city provide matching funds; the city made some improvements to the canal, but it experienced problems with contractors and staff, the planned work was not completed in the 1850s. During this period, with the increasing development of railroads, interest in canals waned among both business and government leaders. By the late 1850s, the Washington City Canal had fallen into disuse, as had the Washington branch of the C&O Canal.
During the Civil War years the canal deteriorated further and was serving as both a sewer and storm drain system for the central part of the city. Various proposals were circulated to either fill it in. Congress appropriated some funds in 1866. In 1871, Alexander "Boss" Shepherd, the city's head of Public Works, directed that the Tiber Creek portion of the canal be covered over; this work was accomplished over many years, along with other drainage alterations in the central city. A new street, constructed over this portion of the canal was designated as B Street NW; the street was renamed to Constitution Avenue NW. The southern portion of the Washington City Canal remained open for years afterwards, but was paved over. A street constructed south of the Capitol over that section of the canal now connects Independence Avenue, E Street, Southeast. Designated as Canal Street, the northernmost section of the street was renamed to Washington Avenue in commemoration of the state of Washington. Today, the streams flowing under the city in the sewers is referred to as Tiber Creek though its common past with the Canal is acknowledged.
List of canals in the United States
Abraham Lincoln was an American statesman and lawyer who served as the 16th president of the United States from 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. Lincoln led the nation through the American Civil War, its bloodiest war and its greatest moral and political crisis, he preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, modernized the U. S. economy. Born in Kentucky, Lincoln grew up on the frontier in a poor family. Self-educated, he became Whig Party leader, state legislator and Congressman, he left government to resume his law practice, but angered by the success of Democrats in opening the prairie lands to slavery, reentered politics in 1854. He became a leader in the new Republican Party and gained national attention in 1858 for debating and losing to national Democratic leader Stephen A. Douglas in a Senate campaign, he ran for President in 1860, sweeping the North and winning. Southern pro-slavery elements took his win as proof that the North was rejecting the Constitutional rights of Southern states to practice slavery.
They began the process of seceding from the union. To secure its independence, the new Confederate States of America fired on Fort Sumter, one of the few U. S. forts in the South. Lincoln called up volunteers and militia to restore the Union; as the leader of the moderate faction of the Republican Party, Lincoln confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South. Lincoln fought the factions by pitting them against each other, by distributing political patronage, by appealing to the American people, his Gettysburg Address became an iconic call for nationalism, equal rights and democracy. He suspended habeas corpus, he averted British intervention by defusing the Trent Affair. Lincoln supervised the war effort, including the selection of generals and the naval blockade that shut down the South's trade; as the war progressed, he maneuvered to end slavery, issuing the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863. Lincoln managed his own re-election campaign, he sought to reconcile his damaged nation by avoiding retribution against the secessionists.
A few days after the Battle of Appomattox Court House, he was shot by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, on April 14, 1865, died the following day. Abraham Lincoln is remembered as the United States' martyr hero, he is ranked both by scholars and the public as among the greatest U. S. presidents. Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, as the second child of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, in a one-room log cabin on Sinking Spring Farm near Hodgenville, Kentucky, he was a descendant of Samuel Lincoln, an Englishman who migrated from Hingham, Norfolk, to its namesake Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1638. Samuel's grandson and great-grandson began the family's westward migration, passing through New Jersey and Virginia. Lincoln's paternal grandfather and namesake, Captain Abraham Lincoln, moved the family from Virginia to Jefferson County, Kentucky, in the 1780s. Captain Lincoln was killed in an Indian raid in 1786, his children, including eight-year-old Thomas, Abraham's father, witnessed the attack.
Thomas worked at odd jobs in Kentucky and in Tennessee, before settling with members of his family in Hardin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s. Lincoln's mother, Nancy, is assumed to have been the daughter of Lucy Hanks, although no record documents this. Thomas and Nancy married on June 12, 1806, in Washington County, moved to Elizabethtown, Kentucky, they produced three children: Sarah, born on February 10, 1807. Thomas Lincoln leased farms in Kentucky. Thomas became embroiled in legal disputes, lost all but 200 acres of his land in court disputes over property titles. In 1816, the family moved to Indiana, where the survey process was more reliable and land titles were more secure. Indiana was a "free" territory, they settled in an "unbroken forest" in Hurricane Township, Perry County. In 1860, Lincoln noted that the family's move to Indiana was "partly on account of slavery", but due to land title difficulties. In Kentucky and Indiana, Thomas worked as a farmer and carpenter, he owned farms, town lots and livestock, paid taxes, sat on juries, appraised estates, served on country slave patrols, guarded prisoners.
Thomas and Nancy were members of a Separate Baptists church, which forbade alcohol and slavery. Overcoming financial challenges, Thomas obtained clear title to 80 acres of land in what became known as the Little Pigeon Creek Community. On October 5, 1818, Nancy Lincoln died of milk sickness, leaving 11-year-old Sarah in charge of a household that included her father, 9-year-old Abraham, Dennis Hanks, Nancy's 19-year-old orphaned cousin; those who knew Lincoln recalled that he was distraught over his sister's death on January 20, 1828, while giving birth to a stillborn son. On December 2, 1819, Thomas married Sarah "Sally" Bush Johnston, a widow from Elizabethtown, with three children of her own. Abraham became close to his stepmother, whom he referred t
Geographic coordinate system
A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position. A common choice of coordinates is latitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection; the invention of a geographic coordinate system is credited to Eratosthenes of Cyrene, who composed his now-lost Geography at the Library of Alexandria in the 3rd century BC. A century Hipparchus of Nicaea improved on this system by determining latitude from stellar measurements rather than solar altitude and determining longitude by timings of lunar eclipses, rather than dead reckoning. In the 1st or 2nd century, Marinus of Tyre compiled an extensive gazetteer and mathematically-plotted world map using coordinates measured east from a prime meridian at the westernmost known land, designated the Fortunate Isles, off the coast of western Africa around the Canary or Cape Verde Islands, measured north or south of the island of Rhodes off Asia Minor.
Ptolemy credited him with the full adoption of longitude and latitude, rather than measuring latitude in terms of the length of the midsummer day. Ptolemy's 2nd-century Geography used the same prime meridian but measured latitude from the Equator instead. After their work was translated into Arabic in the 9th century, Al-Khwārizmī's Book of the Description of the Earth corrected Marinus' and Ptolemy's errors regarding the length of the Mediterranean Sea, causing medieval Arabic cartography to use a prime meridian around 10° east of Ptolemy's line. Mathematical cartography resumed in Europe following Maximus Planudes' recovery of Ptolemy's text a little before 1300. In 1884, the United States hosted the International Meridian Conference, attended by representatives from twenty-five nations. Twenty-two of them agreed to adopt the longitude of the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, England as the zero-reference line; the Dominican Republic voted against the motion, while Brazil abstained. France adopted Greenwich Mean Time in place of local determinations by the Paris Observatory in 1911.
In order to be unambiguous about the direction of "vertical" and the "horizontal" surface above which they are measuring, map-makers choose a reference ellipsoid with a given origin and orientation that best fits their need for the area they are mapping. They choose the most appropriate mapping of the spherical coordinate system onto that ellipsoid, called a terrestrial reference system or geodetic datum. Datums may be global, meaning that they represent the whole Earth, or they may be local, meaning that they represent an ellipsoid best-fit to only a portion of the Earth. Points on the Earth's surface move relative to each other due to continental plate motion and diurnal Earth tidal movement caused by the Moon and the Sun; this daily movement can be as much as a metre. Continental movement can be up to 10 m in a century. A weather system high-pressure area can cause a sinking of 5 mm. Scandinavia is rising by 1 cm a year as a result of the melting of the ice sheets of the last ice age, but neighbouring Scotland is rising by only 0.2 cm.
These changes are insignificant if a local datum is used, but are statistically significant if a global datum is used. Examples of global datums include World Geodetic System, the default datum used for the Global Positioning System, the International Terrestrial Reference Frame, used for estimating continental drift and crustal deformation; the distance to Earth's center can be used both for deep positions and for positions in space. Local datums chosen by a national cartographical organisation include the North American Datum, the European ED50, the British OSGB36. Given a location, the datum provides the latitude ϕ and longitude λ. In the United Kingdom there are three common latitude and height systems in use. WGS 84 differs at Greenwich from the one used on published maps OSGB36 by 112 m; the military system ED50, used by NATO, differs from about 120 m to 180 m. The latitude and longitude on a map made against a local datum may not be the same as one obtained from a GPS receiver. Coordinates from the mapping system can sometimes be changed into another datum using a simple translation.
For example, to convert from ETRF89 to the Irish Grid add 49 metres to the east, subtract 23.4 metres from the north. More one datum is changed into any other datum using a process called Helmert transformations; this involves converting the spherical coordinates into Cartesian coordinates and applying a seven parameter transformation, converting back. In popular GIS software, data projected in latitude/longitude is represented as a Geographic Coordinate System. For example, data in latitude/longitude if the datum is the North American Datum of 1983 is denoted by'GCS North American 1983'; the "latitude" of a point on Earth's surface is the angle between the equatorial plane and the straight line that passes through that point and through the center of the Earth. Lines joining points of the same latitude trace circles on the surface of Earth called parallels, as they are parallel to the Equator and to each other; the North Pole is 90° N. The 0° parallel of latitude is designated the Equator, the fun
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture known as the Agriculture Department, is the U. S. federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming and food. It aims to meet the needs of farmers and ranchers, promote agricultural trade and production, work to assure food safety, protect natural resources, foster rural communities and end hunger in the United States and internationally. 80% of the USDA's $141 billion budget goes to the Food and Nutrition Service program. The largest component of the FNS budget is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the cornerstone of USDA's nutrition assistance; the current Secretary of Agriculture is Sonny Perdue. Many of the programs concerned with the distribution of food and nutrition to people of America and providing nourishment as well as nutrition education to those in need are run and operated under the USDA Food and Nutrition Service. Activities in this program include the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which provides healthy food to over 40 million low-income and homeless people each month.
USDA is a member of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness, where it is committed to working with other agencies to ensure these mainstream benefits are accessed by those experiencing homelessness. The USDA is concerned with assisting farmers and food producers with the sale of crops and food on both the domestic and world markets, it plays a role in overseas aid programs by providing surplus foods to developing countries. This aid can go through USAID, foreign governments, international bodies such as World Food Program, or approved nonprofits; the Agricultural Act of 1949, section 416 and Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 known as Food for Peace, provides the legal basis of such actions. The USDA is a partner of the World Cocoa Foundation. Early in its history, the economy of the United States was agrarian. Officials in the federal government had long sought new and improved varieties of seeds and animals for import into the United States. In 1837 Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a Yale-educated attorney interested in improving agriculture, became Commissioner of Patents, a position within the Department of State.
He began collecting and distributing new varieties of seeds and plants through members of the Congress and agricultural societies. In 1839, Congress established the Agricultural Division within the Patent Office and allotted $1,000 for "the collection of agricultural statistics and other agricultural purposes." Ellsworth's interest in aiding agriculture was evident in his annual reports that called for a public depository to preserve and distribute the new seeds and plants, a clerk to collect agricultural statistics, statewide reports about crops in different regions, the application of chemistry to agriculture. Ellsworth was called the "Father of the Department of Agriculture."In 1849, the Patent Office was transferred to the newly created Department of the Interior. In the ensuing years, agitation for a separate bureau of agriculture within the department or a separate department devoted to agriculture kept recurring. On May 15, 1862, Abraham Lincoln established the independent Department of Agriculture to be headed by a commissioner without Cabinet status, the agriculturalist Isaac Newton was appointed to be the first such commissioner.
Lincoln called it the "people's department." In 1868, the Department moved into the new Department of Agriculture Building in Washington, D. C. designed by famed DC architect Adolf Cluss. Located on Reservation No.2 on the National Mall between 12th Street and 14th SW, the Department had offices for its staff and the entire width of the Mall up to B Street NW to plant and experiment with plants. In the 1880s, varied advocacy groups were lobbying for Cabinet representation. Business interests sought a Department of Commerce and Industry, farmers tried to raise the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet rank. In 1887, the House of Representatives and Senate passed bills giving Cabinet status to the Department of Agriculture and Labor, but the bill was defeated in conference committee after farm interests objected to the addition of labor. On February 9, 1889, President Grover Cleveland signed a bill into law elevating the Department of Agriculture to Cabinet level. In 1887, the Hatch Act provided for the federal funding of agricultural experiment stations in each state.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 funded cooperative extension services in each state to teach agriculture, home economics, other subjects to the public. With these and similar provisions, the USDA reached out to every county of every state. During the Great Depression, farming remained a common way of life for millions of Americans; the Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Home Economics, established in 1923, published shopping advice and recipes to stretch family budgets and make food go farther. USDA helped ensure that food continued to be produced and distributed to those who needed it, assisted with loans for small landowners, contributed to the education of the rural youth, it was revealed on August 27th, 2018 that the U. S. Department of Agriculture would be providing U. S. farmers with a farm aid package, which will total $4.7 billion in direct payments to American farmers. This package is meant to offset the losses farmers are expected to incur from retaliatory tariffs placed on American exports during the Trump tariffs.
The Department of Agriculture was authorized a budget for Fiscal Year 2015 of $139.7 billion. The budget authorization is broken down as follows: Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service Animal Damage Control (
Washington, D. C. formally the District of Columbia and referred to as Washington or D. C. is the capital of the United States. Founded after the American Revolution as the seat of government of the newly independent country, Washington was named after George Washington, first President of the United States and Founding Father; as the seat of the United States federal government and several international organizations, Washington is an important world political capital. The city is one of the most visited cities in the world, with more than 20 million tourists annually; the signing of the Residence Act on July 16, 1790, approved the creation of a capital district located along the Potomac River on the country's East Coast. The U. S. Constitution provided for a federal district under the exclusive jurisdiction of the U. S. Congress, the District is therefore not a part of any state; the states of Maryland and Virginia each donated land to form the federal district, which included the pre-existing settlements of Georgetown and Alexandria.
The City of Washington was founded in 1791 to serve as the new national capital. In 1846, Congress returned the land ceded by Virginia. Washington had an estimated population of 702,455 as of July 2018, making it the 20th most populous city in the United States. Commuters from the surrounding Maryland and Virginia suburbs raise the city's daytime population to more than one million during the workweek. Washington's metropolitan area, the country's sixth largest, had a 2017 estimated population of 6.2 million residents. All three branches of the U. S. federal government are centered in the District: Congress and the U. S. Supreme Court. Washington is home to many national monuments, museums situated on or around the National Mall; the city hosts 177 foreign embassies as well as the headquarters of many international organizations, trade unions, non-profit, lobbying groups, professional associations, including the World Bank Group, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization of American States, AARP, the National Geographic Society, the Human Rights Campaign, the International Finance Corporation, the American Red Cross.
A locally elected mayor and a 13‑member council have governed the District since 1973. However, Congress may overturn local laws. D. C. residents elect a non-voting, at-large congressional delegate to the House of Representatives, but the District has no representation in the Senate. The District receives three electoral votes in presidential elections as permitted by the Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified in 1961. Various tribes of the Algonquian-speaking Piscataway people inhabited the lands around the Potomac River when Europeans first visited the area in the early 17th century. One group known as the Nacotchtank maintained settlements around the Anacostia River within the present-day District of Columbia. Conflicts with European colonists and neighboring tribes forced the relocation of the Piscataway people, some of whom established a new settlement in 1699 near Point of Rocks, Maryland. In his Federalist No. 43, published January 23, 1788, James Madison argued that the new federal government would need authority over a national capital to provide for its own maintenance and safety.
Five years earlier, a band of unpaid soldiers besieged Congress while its members were meeting in Philadelphia. Known as the Pennsylvania Mutiny of 1783, the event emphasized the need for the national government not to rely on any state for its own security. Article One, Section Eight, of the Constitution permits the establishment of a "District as may, by cession of particular states, the acceptance of Congress, become the seat of the government of the United States". However, the Constitution does not specify a location for the capital. In what is now known as the Compromise of 1790, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson came to an agreement that the federal government would pay each state's remaining Revolutionary War debts in exchange for establishing the new national capital in the southern United States. On July 9, 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which approved the creation of a national capital on the Potomac River; the exact location was to be selected by President George Washington, who signed the bill into law on July 16.
Formed from land donated by the states of Maryland and Virginia, the initial shape of the federal district was a square measuring 10 miles on each side, totaling 100 square miles. Two pre-existing settlements were included in the territory: the port of Georgetown, founded in 1751, the city of Alexandria, founded in 1749. During 1791–92, Andrew Ellicott and several assistants, including a free African American astronomer named Benjamin Banneker, surveyed the borders of the federal district and placed boundary stones at every mile point. Many of the stones are still standing. A new federal city was constructed on the north bank of the Potomac, to the east of Georgetown. On September 9, 1791, the three commissioners overseeing the capital's construction named the city in honor of President Washington; the federal district was named Columbia, a poetic name for the United States in use at that time. Congress held its first session in Washington on November 17, 1800. Congress passed the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801 that organized the District and placed the entire territory under the exclusive control of the federal
The Smithsonian Institution, founded on August 10, 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. The institution is named after British scientist James Smithson. Organized as the "United States National Museum," that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967. Termed "the nation's attic" for its eclectic holdings of 154 million items, the Institution's nineteen museums, nine research centers, zoo include historical and architectural landmarks located in the District of Columbia. Additional facilities are located in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York City, Texas and Panama. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Panama are Smithsonian Affiliates; the Institution's thirty million annual visitors are admitted without charge. Its annual budget is around $1.2 billion with two-thirds coming from annual federal appropriations. Other funding comes from the Institution's endowment and corporate contributions, membership dues, earned retail and licensing revenue.
Institution publications include Air & Space magazines. The British scientist James Smithson left most of his wealth to his nephew Henry James Hungerford; when Hungerford died childless in 1835, the estate passed "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men", in accordance with Smithson's will. Congress accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation, pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836; the American diplomat Richard Rush was dispatched to England by President Andrew Jackson to collect the bequest. Rush returned in August 1838 with 105 sacks containing 104,960 gold sovereigns. Once the money was in hand, eight years of Congressional haggling ensued over how to interpret Smithson's rather vague mandate "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." The money was invested by the US Treasury in bonds issued by the state of Arkansas, which soon defaulted.
After heated debate, Massachusetts Representative John Quincy Adams persuaded Congress to restore the lost funds with interest and, despite designs on the money for other purposes, convinced his colleagues to preserve it for an institution of science and learning. On August 10, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the legislation that established the Smithsonian Institution as a trust instrumentality of the United States, to be administered by a Board of Regents and a Secretary of the Smithsonian. Though the Smithsonian's first Secretary, Joseph Henry, wanted the Institution to be a center for scientific research, it became the depository for various Washington and U. S. government collections. The United States Exploring Expedition by the U. S. Navy circumnavigated the globe between 1838 and 1842; the voyage amassed thousands of animal specimens, an herbarium of 50,000 plant specimens, diverse shells and minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater, ethnographic artifacts from the South Pacific Ocean.
These specimens and artifacts became part of the Smithsonian collections, as did those collected by several military and civilian surveys of the American West, including the Mexican Boundary Survey and Pacific Railroad Surveys, which assembled many Native American artifacts and natural history specimens. In 1846, the regents developed a plan for weather observation; the Institution became a magnet for young scientists from 1857 to 1866, who formed a group called the Megatherium Club. The Smithsonian played a critical role as the U. S. partner institution in early bilateral scientific exchanges with the Academy of Sciences of Cuba. Construction began on the Smithsonian Institution Building in 1849. Designed by architect James Renwick Jr. its interiors were completed by general contractor Gilbert Cameron. The building opened in 1855; the Smithsonian's first expansion came with construction of the Arts and Industries Building in 1881. Congress had promised to build a new structure for the museum if the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition generated enough income.
It did, the building was designed by architects Adolf Cluss and Paul Schulze, based on original plans developed by Major General Montgomery C. Meigs of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, it opened in 1881. The National Zoological Park opened in 1889 to accommodate the Smithsonian's Department of Living Animals; the park was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The National Museum of Natural History opened in June 1911 to accommodate the Smithsonian's United States National Museum, housed in the Castle and the Arts and Industries Building; this structure was designed by the D. C. architectural firm of Hornblower & Marshall. When Detroit philanthropist Charles Lang Freer donated his private collection to the Smithsonian and funds to build the museum to hold it, it was among the Smithsonian's first major donations from a private individual; the gallery opened in 1923. More than 40 years would pass before the next museum, the Museum of History and Technology, opened in 1964.
It was designed by the world-renowned firm of Mead & White. The Anacostia Community Museum, an "experimental store-front" museum created at the initiative of Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, opened in the Anacostia neighborhood of