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

Yosemite National Park

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S. 203, A Bill authorizing a Grant...
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S. 203, A Bill authorizing a Grant to…California of the “Yosemite Valley,” and…the “Mariposa Big Tree Grove,” June 30, 1864

This bill, signed into law by President Lincoln on June 30, 1864, represents the first time the federal government acted to protect and preserve scenic lands.  Conservationists persuaded Senator John Conness of California to introduce a bill to keep Yosemite Valley from being ruined by increasing commerce and tourism. The bill granted Yosemite to California.


Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration