Today in History: Capitol cornerstone is laid

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Time-Lapse Video Shows Restoration on the US Capitol Dome
222 years ago today, the Capitol cornerstone was laid by President George Washington. And, forgive the pun, but it was a Capitol moment in our nation's history. By laying the cornerstone to the Capitol building in 1793, Washington laid the first piece to the foundation of the American government's legislative branch.


Today, the Capitol building is part of the Capitol Complex in Washington D.C., which includes three Library of Congress and six other Congressional buildings.

Before the Capitol was built, Congress had no home. Instead, they all met in eight cities that included New York City, Philadelphia, Annapolis, and Princeton. When Congress passed the Residence Act in 1790, Washington chose Washington D.C. to become the future home of the Capitol.


Although the Capitol building is an important part of the United States' history, it was actually designed by an Irishman. William Thornton was selected to design the building after sending in the winning entry to a design competition. Washington laid the first cornerstone in the building in September 1793 and the rest is history, literally.

Sure, the building has come across some obstacles during its long and illustrious career, but it's still a thing of beauty and today, we celebrate the fact it was created.

The Capitol welcomes more than three million visitors a year. Feel free to admire the beauty of the Capitol by scrolling through the slideshow below:
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Today in History: Capitol cornerstone is laid
The east front of the Capitol building stands in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Monday, Oct. 20, 2009. Washington, founded in 1791, is the capital of the United States. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
View of US Capitol Building (from the east) during the construction of its dome, Washington DC, December 31, 1857. (Photo by PhotoQuest/Getty Images)
View of the inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln under the unfinished dome of the Capitol, Washington, DC, March 4, 1861. (Photo by Matthew Brady/Buyenlarge/Getty Images)
This is an illustration of the view looking West up Pennsylvania Ave from Capitol Hill, 1810, Washington, D.C. (AP Photo)
This aerial view shows the nation's Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on June 8, 1939. (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force)
For the first time in history, a reigning monarch and his consort have paid an official visit to the United States, when Britain's King George VI and Queen Elizabeth crossed the border from Canada. The King with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in the first car, followed by the Queen with Eleanor Roosevelt, drove through deliriously cheering crowds from the cityâs Union Station to the White House, where their majesties will be the guests of the President and his wife. American Marines lined the route. A general view of the procession with the Capitol in the background, traveling from the Union Station in Washington to the White House on June 8, 1939. (AP Photo)
A Marine stands guard outside the Capitol in Washington, following the Japanese declaration of war on the United States, Dec. 7, 1941. Aiding the Marines were Capitol police. (AP Photo)
The Capitol serves as a picturesque backdrop in this general view of Presidential inauguration ceremonies for Dwight D. Eisenhower, Jan. 20, 1953, Washington, D.C. The inauguration stand is set up in front of the building. This view was made from roof of the Library of Congress. (AP Photo)
This is a view of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C. taken Feb. 24, 1961. (AP Photo)
This is a front view of the U.S. Capitol Building and steps taken Jan. 19, 1969. (AP Photo)
This is a general view of the Inaugural Parade proceeding down Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue with the Capitol building visible in the background, Jan. 20, 1977. Jimmy Carter was sworn in as the 39th president of the United States during the inauguration ceremonies earlier. (AP Photo)
A crowd estimated at over 250,000 people mass on the mall in front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Sept. 19, 1981 to attend the Solidarity Day demonstration. This view is from the top of the Washington monument. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)
The Capitol in Washington, D.C. is shown in an aerial view Wednesday afternoon, Oct. 24, 2001. The view shows the west side of the Capitol, with the Senate to the left of the dome and the House of Representatives at the right. The three Senate office buildings, Russell, Dirksen, and Hart, left to right, are seen in a cluster beyond the top of the dome. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Cranes, cables and other construction hardware obstruct the usual picture-postcard view of the U.S. Capitol dome, as work continues on an elaborate new Congressional visitor's center, in Washington, Thursday, March 11, 2004. Visits to the Capitol building have been made more restrictive in recent years in the wake of the terror attacks, anthrax, and a deadly shooting incident. The new facility is intended improve security screenings. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
A view of RFK Stadium, background, and the Capitol building, foreground, from the Washington Monument on Wednesday, May 27, 2004 in Washington. RFK stadium is a proposed site for the Montreal Expos to play if Washington is awarded the baseball team. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 03: A view of the U.S. Capitol Building at A Capitol Fourth 2012 Independence Day Concert Rehearsals at National Mall on July 3, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/WireImage)
A general view shows the East Front of the US Capitol as the sun rises hours before the 57th Presidential Inauguration on January 21, 2013. US President Barack Obama will be sworn in for a second term. AFP PHOTO/MANDEL NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
A view of the U.S Capitol building after a winter snow storm in the nation's capital, Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Washington. After a storm blew through the Washington region overnight, roads are being cleared and many schools systems are closed. The federal government and the District of Columbia government will be open Friday, but workers have the option to take leave or telework. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
A few of the first daffodils of the season begin to bloom in view of the Capitol building Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Olympia, Wash. Mild temperatures climbing into the mid- to high-50's with rain and clouds are expected to continue in western Washington though the weekend. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A view of the US Capitol building before the State of the Union January 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE- In this Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013, file photo, view of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington. The Treasury reports how much of a budget deficit the U.S. government ran in January 2014, on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)
Scaffolding surrounds the U.S. Capitol Building Dome during a U.S. Capitol Dome restoration project update news conference in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014. The restoration project includes removal of old paint, repairs to the cast iron and stone, and repainting. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Workers construct scaffolding around the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Democrats in Congress are trying again to prevent the federal government from awarding contracts to companies that save taxes by moving their legal addresses outside the U.S. So-called inversions are transactions in which a U.S. company shifts its legal address to a country such as Ireland or the U.K. with a lower corporate tax rate, often through the acquisition of a smaller company abroad. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 4: Evening arrives at the Capitol building, covered in scaffolding for major repairs, on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Today's elections will decide which party will lead the Senate. (Photo by Allison Shelley/Getty Images)
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