Monday, September 15, 2014

Opening paragraphs............................

     The Senate wing of the U. S. Capitol was completed in 1800, renovated in 1811, burned by British troops during their rampage of Washington in 1814, and reconstructed for the first time in 1826.  In 1850 Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi introduced legislation to significantly enlarge the Capitol.  This enlargement was finally finished in 1868, following the Civil War, during which then former senator Jefferson Davis rather ironically had become president of the Confederacy.  As the country has grown and evolved from that time, so has the Capitol, as well as the sprawling grounds that surround it.  A series of modernizations moved the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court out of the Capitol building into their own mammoth neoclassical structures.  These modernizations also brought about a vast complex of six separate office buildings where the members of the House and Senate and their ever-growing staffs now carry out their obligations, and where, every now and then, one of them becomes forever remembered for some embarrassing personal escapade or political scheme.
-James Webb,  I Heard My Country Calling:  A Memoir

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