A Year In History: 1790

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This Year in History:


Discover what happened in this year with HISTORY’s summaries of major events, anniversaries, famous births and notable deaths.

January 8

President George Washington delivers first State of the Union

On January 8, 1790, President George Washington delivers the first State of the Union address to the assembled Congress in New York City. Washington began by congratulating North Carolina’s recent decision to join the federal republic. North Carolina had rejected the Constitution in July 1788 because it lacked a bill of rights. Under the terms […]

July 16

Congress declares new nation’s capital shall rise along the Potomac River 

On July 16, 1790, in signing the Residence Act, the young American Congress declares that a swampy, humid, muddy and mosquito-infested site on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia will be the nation’s permanent capital. “Washington,” in the newly designated federal “District of Columbia,” was named after the leader of the American Revolution and […]