From Burning by British to Pro-Trump Riots: Key Moments When US Capitol Building Was in Peril

Law enforcement agencies in Washington DC are conducting a post mortem into what went wrong on Wednesday, 6 January, and why supporters of US President Donald Trump were allowed to gain access to the Capitol building.

Joe Biden was finally confirmed by Congress as the 46th President of the United States in the early hours of Thursday after a Senate session which was delayed for more than five hours by the protests.

​So what is the Capitol and what other dramatic incidents have there been there?

1814: Burnt down By The British

In 1776 the United States of America became independent of Britain and the first President, George Washington, carved the District of Columbia out of Maryland and hired French architect Pierre Charles L’Enfant to plan a new city which was named after the president.

​L’Enfant identified Jenkins Hill as the ideal location for the Capitol building and described it as “a pedestal waiting for a monument.”

The building was completed in 1800 and became the home of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

But in 1812 war broke out with Britain, which still controlled Canada, and King George III’s troops marched south.

In August 1814 British troops reached Washington and burned down both the Capitol and the White House, before withdrawing.

​US Civil War

Architect Benjamin Latrobe supervised the rebuilding of the Capitol but between 1815 and 1819 Congress met first at Blodget’s Hotel and then on the site of what would later become the US…

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