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5 Fun Facts About July 16 In Washington History

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

1. In 1790, the District of Columbia was established on July 16 through the passage of the Residence Act. This act authorized the creation of a new capital for the United States, which would be located along the Potomac River.

2. On July 16, 1795, the first bridge to cross the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. was completed. The bridge, known as the "Chain Bridge," was constructed of iron chains and allowed pedestrian and horse traffic to pass between Virginia and the District of Columbia.

3. In 1864, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act on July 16. This act freed all slaves in the district, more than eight months before the Emancipation Proclamation was issued.

4. On July 16, 1916, the U.S. Army established the first military installation in Washington state. Known as Camp Lewis, the facility was built to support the American military during World War I and was named in honor of Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

5. In 1969, on July 16, the Apollo 11 spacecraft launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It carried the first humans to land on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin. The mission was a pivotal moment in American history and marked a major achievement in space exploration.
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