Library of Congress Opens to the Public
On November 1, 1897, America’s Library of Congress opened its doors.
James Madison was reportedly the first person to suggest the establishment of a congressional library in 1783. The library was officially created 17 years later by President John Adams. The legislation set aside $5,000 for the purchase of books that Congress would find useful. The first collection was housed in the U.S. Capitol Building and consisted of 740 books and three maps. Two years later, when Thomas Jefferson was President, he appointed the first overseer of the library as well as a committee to regulate it.