ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
November 17, 1800
The U.S. Congress Holds its First
Session in Washington, D.C.
On this day in 1800, the U.S. Congress held its first session in Washington, D.C. at the partially completed
Capitol building. Up until this time, Congress had met either at Federal Hall in New York City or Congress Hall in
The original design of the building was submitted in October, 1792 by William Thornton, a Scottish-trained
physician after a contest in which 17 previous plans were rejected. Thornton's design was quickly accepted and
construction began in 1793.