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

Declaring Independence

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Thomas Jefferson’s notes on...
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Thomas Jefferson’s notes on drafting the Declaration of Independence. June 1776

Jefferson labored more than two weeks drafting the Declaration of Independence to justify and explain to the world America’s reasons for renouncing British rule. In these notes sent to James Madison, Jefferson uses language that appeared in the final version of the Declaration, enumerating the abuses of liberty by King George III that provoked the separation.

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress