Due to a special Joint Meeting of Congress taking place in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 3, the U.S. Capitol will be closed to tours until approximately 12:30 p.m. on that day. The Capitol Visitor Center will remain open throughout the day, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and guided tours of the Capitol Visitor Center will be available while the Capitol is closed.
For much of the first half of the 19th century, there was a balance in Congress between Northern free states and Southern slave states. In 1836 Texas, which permitted slaveholding, declared independence from Mexico and sought annexation to the United States. Mexico threatened war over U.S. annexation of Texas, and in Congress the issue of annexation inflamed debate regarding slavery’s expansion. After the Senate rejected an annexation treaty, Congress annexed Texas in 1845 by a joint resolution and declared war with Mexico the following year.