Due to a special event, on Wednesday, July 8, there will be no tours of the U.S. Capitol after 11 a.m. Emancipation Hall and Exhibition Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center will be unavailable all day. While reservations prior to 11 a.m. will be honored, same-day passes will not be available. The Capitol Visitor Center will close at noon except for individuals on official business and those going to the House and Senate Galleries.

Exhibit Theme

Supporting Public Education

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Northwest Ordinance, 1787
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Northwest Ordinance, 1787

The authors of the Northwest Ordinance believed educated citizens were critical to the success of self-government. Article 3 declared, “...education shall forever be encouraged.” The Northwest Ordinance, together with the earlier Land Ordinance of 1785, set aside a section of each new township’s land for the support of public schools.

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Religion, morality and knowledge, being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Library of Congress