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

Ensuring Essential Freedoms

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George Washington’s notes on...
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George Washington’s notes on George Mason's Objections to the Constitution of Government formed by the Convention, October 7, 1787

Constitutional Convention delegate George Mason of Virginia, whose thoughts on liberty had strongly influenced Thomas Jefferson’s writing of the Declaration of Independence, objected to the lack of a “Declaration of Rights” in the U.S. Constitution. Fellow Virginian George Washington, who presided over the Constitutional Convention, made notes regarding the freedoms Mason considered essential.

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Liberty of the press––no declaration to secure it or the Tryal by Jury in civil causes—nor against the Danger of Standing Armies in times of Peace

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress