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.
Appropriations from Congress funded the exploration of the West. In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson ordered Captain Meriwether Lewis to organize a Corps of Discovery and persuaded Congress to fund this expedition charged with finding a water route to the Pacific Ocean and developing trade with the native tribes. After the purchase of the Louisiana Territory from France later in 1803, the Corp’s mission was also to chart and report on this newly acquired land that doubled the size of our young nation.