Due to inclement weather conditions, the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center will open at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, January 27. The first tour of the U.S. Capitol will begin at 10:50 a.m.
Pirates from the Barbary States preyed on ships off Africa’s western and Mediterranean coasts for centuries. After gaining independence, the U.S. lost British protection on the seas. In the 1780s and 1790s, pirates captured and enslaved many American sailors and demanded exorbitant ransoms for their return. With diplomatic means failing, Congress authorized the creation of the U.S. Navy to defend against further attacks on American commerce.