1789 Georgetown College, the first Roman Catholic college in the United States, is founded in Georgetown, Maryland (now a part of Washington, D.C.)
1790 The District of Columbia is established as the capital of the United States after signature of the Residence Act.
1791 Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is named after President George Washington.
1792 In Washington, D.C., the cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion (known as the White House since 1818) is laid.
1800 U.S. President John Adams takes up residence in Washington, D.C. (in a tavern because the White House was not yet completed).
1800 The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
1801 Pursuant to the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1801, Washington, D.C. is placed under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Congress.
1802 Washington, D.C. is incorporated as a city.
1814 British troops invade Washington, D.C. and burn down the White House and several other buildings.
1814 Washington, D.C. is burned and White House is destroyed by British forces during the War of 1812.
1846 The territory of the District of Columbia south of the Potomac River (39 mi² or about 100 km²) is returned to Virginia through an Act of Congress.
1861 President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland.
1861 American Civil War: The Union Army arrives in Washington, D.C.
1861 U.S. President Abraham Lincoln suspends the writ of ''habeas corpus'' in Washington, D.C., for all military-related cases.
1864 Knights of Pythias are founded in Washington, D.C. by Justus H. Rathbone.
1864 American Civil War: Battle of Fort Stevens; Confederate forces attempt to invade Washington, D.C..
1864 American Civil War: Confederate spy Belle Boyd is arrested by Union troops and detained at the Old Capitol Prison in Washington, D.C..
1867 African American men are granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.
1882 Charles J. Guiteau is hanged in Washington, D.C. for the assassination of U.S. President James Garfield.
1888 The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C..
1889 Columbia Phonograph is formed in Washington, D.C.
1890 The Pan-American Union is founded by the First International Conference of American States in Washington, D.C.
1894 Coxey's Army reaches Washington, D.C. to protest the unemployment caused by the Panic of 1893.
1894 Coxey's Army, the first significant American protest march, arrives in Washington, D.C.
1895 The inaugural run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's ''Royal Blue'' from Washington, D.C., to New York City, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives.
1902 The Carnegie Institution is founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie.
1909 Mayor of Tokyo Yukio Ozaki presents Washington, D.C. with 2,000 cherry trees, which President Taft decides to plant near the Potomac River.
1910 The English aviator Claude Grahame-White lands his Farman Aircraft biplane on Executive Avenue near the White House in Washington, D.C.
1911 The Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the first African-American fraternity at an historically black college or university, is founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
1914 In Washington, D.C., the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial is put into place.
1922 The Washington Naval Treaty is signed in Washington, D.C., limiting the naval armaments of United States, Britain, Japan, France, and Italy.
1922 In Washington, D.C. the Lincoln Memorial is dedicated.
1927 First distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C. to New York City, displaying the image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover).
1928 Charles Jenkins Laboratories of Washington, D.C. becomes the first holder of a television license from the Federal Radio Commission.
1932 In Washington, D.C., police fire tear gas on World War I veterans part of the Bonus Expeditionary Force who attempt to march to the White House.
1932 U.S. President Herbert Hoover orders the United States Army to forcibly evict the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans gathered in Washington, D.C.
1932 Great Depression: in Washington, D.C., troops disperse the last of the "Bonus Army" of World War I veterans.
1932 In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens.
1933 The Crescent Limited train derails in Washington, D.C., after the bridge it was crossing was washed out by the 1933 Chesapeake–Potomac hurricane.
1937 The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California, is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in Washington, D.C., who pushes a button signaling the start of vehicle traffic over the span.
1939 In Washington, D.C., US President Franklin D. Roosevelt lays the cornerstone of the Jefferson Memorial.
1941 In Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Art is officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
1943 The Jefferson Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's birth.
1953 The United States Supreme Court rules that Washington, D.C. restaurants could not refuse to serve black patrons.
1954 The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and the Republic of China, is signed in Washington, D.C..
1958 Final run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's ''Royal Blue'' from Washington, D.C., to New York City after 68 years, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives.
1960 Founding of the Orthodox Bahá'í Faith in Washington, D.C.
1961 In Washington, D.C. John F. Kennedy delivers the first live presidential television news conference.
1961 The Twenty-third Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, allowing residents of Washington, D.C., to vote in presidential elections.
1962 President John F. Kennedy dedicates Dulles International Airport, serving the Washington, D.C. region.
1967 Vietnam War: More than 100,000 war protesters gather in Washington, D.C.. A peaceful rally at the Lincoln Memorial is followed by a march to The Pentagon and clashes with soldiers and United States Marshals protecting the facility. Similar demonstrations occurred simultaneously in Japan and Western Europe.
1968 The Nuclear non-proliferation treaty is signed in Washington, D.C., London and Moscow by sixty-two countries.
1969 Vietnam War: Anti-war protesters in Washington, D.C. stage a symbolic ''March Against Death''.
1969 Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 250,000-500,000 protesters staged a peaceful demonstration against the war, including a symbolic "March Against Death".
1969 U.S. President Richard Nixon and Japanese Premier Eisaku Sato agree in Washington, D.C. on the return of Okinawa to Japanese control in 1972. Under the terms of the agreement, the U.S. is to retain its rights to bases on the island, but these are to be nuclear-free.
1970 Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 75,000 to 100,000 war protesters demonstrate in front of the White House.
1971 The Harrisburg Seven: The Reverend Philip Berrigan and five others are indicted on charges of conspiring to kidnap Henry Kissinger and of plotting to blow up the heating tunnels of federal buildings in Washington, D.C.
1971 Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans Against the War begin a five-day demonstration in Washington, D.C..
1971 In Washington, D.C., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is inaugurated, with the opening feature being the premiere of Leonard Bernstein's ''Mass''.
1973 District of Columbia Home Rule Act is passed, allowing residents of Washington, D.C. to elect their own local government.
1974 10,000 march in Washington, D.C., calling for the impeachment of US President Richard Nixon
1976 The London to Washington, D.C. Concorde service begins.
1977 The Hanafi Muslim Siege: In a thirty-nine hour standoff, armed Hanafi Muslims seize three Washington, D.C., buildings, killing two and taking 149 hostage.
1977 The 1977 Hanafi Muslim Siege: more than 130 hostages held in Washington, D.C., by Hanafi Muslims are set free after ambassadors from three Islamic nations join negotiations.
1979 Anwar al-Sadat, Menachem Begin and Jimmy Carter sign the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty in Washington, D.C..
1979 The first Gay Rights March on Washington, D.C., the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights, demands "an end to all social, economic, judicial, and legal oppression of lesbian and gay people", and draws 200,000 people.
1979 A package from the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski begins smoking in the cargo hold of a flight from Chicago to Washington, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing.
1981 President Ronald Reagan is shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley, Jr.
1981 The John Bull becomes the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world when the Smithsonian Institution operates it under its own power outside Washington, D.C.
1987 The Chase, Maryland rail wreck: An Amtrak train en route to Boston, Massachusetts from Washington, D.C., collides with Conrail engines in Chase, Maryland, killing 16 people.
1989 Photographer Robert Mapplethorpe's show opens at Washington, D.C.'s Project for the Arts after the Smithsonian Institution's Corcoran Gallery cancels it.
1990 Washington, D.C. Mayor Marion Barry is arrested for drug possession in an FBI sting.
1990 Jim Gary's "Twentieth Century Dinosaurs" exhibition opens at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.
1991 A riot breaks out in the Mt. Pleasant section of Washington, D.C. after police shoot a Salvadoran man.
1993 The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. is dedicated.
1993 After rounds of secret negotiations in Norway, the Oslo Peace Accords are signed, followed by a public ceremony in Washington, D.C. the following month.
1995 The Korean War Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C..
1995 The Million Man March occurs in Washington, D.C.
2001 In Washington, D.C., U.S. President George W. Bush dedicates the United States Department of Justice headquarters building as the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building, honoring the late Robert F. Kennedy on what would have been his 76th birthday.
2002 In Washington, D.C., the remains of the missing Chandra Levy are found in Rock Creek Park.
2004 The World War II Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C.
2009 Washington Metro train collision: Two Metro trains collide in Washington, D.C., USA, killing 9 and injuring over 80.