Statue of Freedom Completed
On December 2, 1863, the Statue of Freedom was placed atop the US Capitol to a 35-gun salute.
Construction on the US Capitol Building began in 1793 when George Washington laid the cornerstone. The most famous part of the Capitol is the dome. The first one, erected in 1824, was made of wood covered with copper. Within 30 years, the building had expanded so much the dome was small in proportion. When congressmen saw sketches of a proposed cast-iron dome, they immediately appropriated the money for its construction.