Tuesday, September 18, 2018

September 18th...This Day in History (Capitol cornerstone is laid + others)

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Capitol cornerstone is laid 1793
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On this day in 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone to the United States Capitol building, the home of the legislative branch of American government. The building would take nearly a century to complete, as architects came and went, the British set fire to it and it was called into use during the Civil War. Today, the Capitol building, with its famous cast-iron dome and important collection of American art, is part of the Capitol Complex, which includes six Congressional office buildings and three Library of Congressbuildings, all developed in the 19th and 20th centuries.

As a young nation, the United States had no permanent capital, and Congress met in eight different cities, including Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia, before 1791. In 1790, Congress passed the Residence Act, which gave President Washington the power to select a permanent home for the federal government. The following year, he chose what would become the District of Columbia from land provided by Maryland. Washington picked three commissioners to oversee the capital city’s development and they in turn chose French engineer Pierre Charles L’Enfant to come up with the design. However, L’Enfant clashed with the commissioners and was fired in 1792. A design competition was then held, with a Scotsman named William Thornton submitting the winning entry for the Capitol building. In September 1793, Washington laid the Capitol’s cornerstone and the lengthy construction process, which would involve a line of project managers and architects, got under way.

In 1800, Congress moved into the Capitol’s north wing. In 1807, the House of Representatives moved into the building’s south wing, which was finished in 1811. During the War of 1812, the British invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the Capitol on August 24, 1814. A rainstorm saved the building from total destruction. Congress met in nearby temporary quarters from 1815 to 1819. In the early 1850s, work began to expand the Capitol to accommodate the growing number of Congressmen. In 1861, construction was temporarily halted while the Capitol was used by Union troops as a hospital and barracks. Following the war, expansions and modern upgrades to the building continued into the next century.

Today, the Capitol, which is visited by 3 million to 5 million people each year, has 540 rooms and covers a ground area of about four acres.


(More Events on This Day in History)


MUSIC
1961
Bobby Vee earns a #1 hit with “Take Good Care Of My Baby”
In terms of his artistic significance, the early 1960s teen singer Bobby Vee may be a relatively slight and unimportant figure, but his place in music history is assured for reasons that have nothing to do with his modest chart accomplishments and charms as a performer. On this ...read more

GENERAL INTEREST
1975
Patty Hearst captured
Newspaper heiress and wanted fugitive Patty Hearst is captured in a San Francisco apartment and arrested for armed robbery.On February 4, 1974, Patricia Hearst, the 19-year-old daughter of newspaper publisher Randolph Hearst, was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, ...read more

GENERAL INTEREST
1961
Hammarskjold dies in plane crash
United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold dies when his plane crashes under mysterious circumstances near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Hammarskjold was on his way to meet with Moise Tshombe, leader of the breakaway Congolese province of Katanga, with the aim ...read more

GENERAL INTEREST
1634
Anne Hutchinson arrives in the New World
Anne Hutchinson, an Englishwoman who would become an outspoken religious thinker in the American colonies, arrives at the Massachusetts Bay Colony with her family.She settled in Cambridge and began organizing meetings of Boston women in her home, leading them in discussions of ...read more

WORLD WAR II
1945
MacArthur in Tokyo
On this day in 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur moves his command headquarters to Tokyo, as he prepares for his new role as architect of a democratic and capitalist postwar Japan.Japan had had a long history of its foreign policy being dominated by the military, as evidenced by Prime ...read more

VIETNAM WAR
1964
North Vietnamese Army begins infiltration
South Vietnamese officials claim that two companies from the North Vietnamese army have invaded South Vietnam. A battle resulted in Quang Tri Province, just south of the Demilitarized Zone, but the North Vietnamese forces were defeated with heavy casualties. Since North

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