* Why was the capital's grandest boulevard named for Pennsylvania? It was politics as usual, even back in the days when L'Enfant was planning the city. Pennsylvanians wanted the capital established in civilized Philadelphia rather than in the fetid swamp favored by Virginians. The southerners won, and Pennsylvania got the avenue as a consolation prize.
* Pennsylvania Avenue, between Seventh and 14th streets, was once the city's officially sanctioned red light district. During the Civil War, General Joe Hooker rounded up all the ladies of the evening and stationed them in that area so he could keep a better watch on them -- and on his troops. The ladies became known as hookers.
* There's supposed to be a ghost buried under the stage at the National Theater, andhe's occasionally seen backstage. In the early days of the theater, which opened in 1835, two actors were doing their wash in the basement and got into an argument over an ingenue. The loser of the argument, John McCollough, was killed and promptly buried under the stage.
* The first president to have an inaugural parade up Pennsylvania Avenue was Thomas Jefferson. The only presidents after Jefferson who didn't have inaugural parades were John Tyler, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Chester A. Arthur and Gerald Ford, vice presidents who succeeded to the office but were never elected in their own right.
* The theme song of Teddy Roosevelt's inaugural parade in 1905 was "There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight."
* To celebrate the end of the Civil War, the Union Army paraded up Pennsylvania Avenue in May 1865. One of the most memorable moments came when a young woman tossed a wreath of flowers toward General George Armstrong Custer. It struck his black charger, which reared and dumped him unceremoniously on the avenue.
* For the World War I Victory Parade, a replica of the Arc de Triomphe was placed at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.