Tuesday Open Line

The United States Congress met for the first time in the District of Columbia on this date in 1800. Up until then, it did its squabbling, vituperating and, most importantly, legislating in Philadelphia. Ever since President George Washington laid the cornerstone for the Capitol in 1793, the District had been planned as the permanent home for the U.S. government. By 1800, enough of the Capitol had been completed for the members of the Sixth Congress to move in. One senator found D.C. to be “lacking in houses, cellars, kitchens, well-informed men [and] amiable women.” Only the villages of Georgetown and Alexandria offered any amenities. In 1800, the population of the District was 8,000. The current population of the nation’s capital is just under 660,000. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.