Image courtesy of Library of Congress
Joseph Cannon of Illinois served nearly 50 years in the House of Representatives and chaired three standing committees: Expenditures in the Post Office Department, Appropriations, and Rules.
On this date, Congress held a Joint Meeting
to commemorate the centennial of Washington, DC, serving as the capital city. Preparation for the celebration began two years earlier when Congress approved resolutions to appoint 10 Representatives and six Senators to a Joint Committee on the Centennial of the Establishment of the Seat of Government in Washington. Representative Joseph Cannon
of Illinois chaired the committee. Capping a long day of festivities throughout the city, Members of Congress, Supreme Court Justices, governors, ambassadors, the Cabinet, and President William McKinley
met at 3:30 in the afternoon for the festive Joint Meeting. “The chamber had been decorated with a wealth and variety of bunting,” reported the Chicago Tribune
. For nearly three hours, Members took turns praising the capital city’s beauty and symbolism. “There are few places that can show for any one century more than three products of architecture that equal the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and the Congressional Library,” exclaimed former Representative, Senator George Hoar
of Massachusetts. “If we can add to the glories of Washington three such structures only for each coming century, we need not be ashamed of comparison with any foreign city.”