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5 Fun Facts About February 17 In District Of Columbia History

---Learn Every Day: DC Today In History Facts Texted Each Day - Text: history dc To: 618-270-4005---

1. On February 17, 1865, the Freedmen's Bureau was established by Congress to help newly freed slaves in the District of Columbia and throughout the country.

2. In 1905, philanthropist Andrew Carnegie donated $1.5 million to create the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. The institution's research has led to groundbreaking discoveries in fields such as genetics, astronomy, and climate science.

3. On February 17, 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded in New York City. Many of the organization's early leaders and members were from the District of Columbia, and the NAACP's D.C. branch played a key role in the fight for civil rights in the city.

4. The first Washington, D.C. Cherry Blossom Festival was held on February 17, 1935. The festival was organized by the city's first superintendent of parks and co-sponsored by the Japanese embassy. Today, the festival draws millions of visitors to the city each spring to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom.

5. On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided $787 billion in economic stimulus funding to help the country recover from the Great Recession. The bill had a significant impact on the District of Columbia, funding infrastructure projects and other initiatives that created jobs and improved the city's economy.
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