Today in History: Capitol cornerstone is laid

Time-Lapse Video Shows Restoration on the US Capitol Dome
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.

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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.

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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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