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

Creating a Department of War

Next Image Next Image Previous Image Previous Image
An Act to establish the Executive...
Image Caption

An Act to establish the Executive Department to be denominated the Department of War, June 27, 1789, with Senate annotations

The Department of War, established in 1789, oversaw all military affairs until Congress created a separate Navy Department in 1798. The National Security Act, passed by Congress in 1947, designated departments for the Army, Navy, and the Air Force. A National Military Establishment, renamed the Department of Defense in 1949, administered these departments.

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