In order to allow for the installation of scaffolding and floor, statuary, and artwork protection in conjunction with the Dome Restoration Project, the Rotunda of the Capitol will be closed from Monday, July 27 through Monday, September 7. While the Rotunda is unavailable for tours, an alternate tour route will be provided. The Capitol Visitor Center is open during the closure of the Rotunda and will offer special activities which do not require advance reservations. You can also download our new U.S. Capitol Rotunda app.

Exhibit Theme

Debating the Rail Route

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Pamphlet, Highway to the Pacific…...
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Pamphlet, Highway to the Pacific…Speech of Mr. [Thomas Hart] Benton…Delivered in the Senate of the United States, Dec. 16, 1850

In this speech of December 1850, Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri argued for a central route with its eastern terminus in his home city of St. Louis. Though Congress ultimately chose a central route, its eastern point was not in St. Louis, but in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress