District of Columbia's 223rd anniversary of organization is July 16

The District of Columbia will need a fairly large cake to fit all 223 candles on Tuesday.

July 16 marks 223 years since the District was formally approved. On that day in 1790, President George Washington signed the Permanent Seat of Government Act, which established a location for a federal capital on the Potomac River.

By a 32-29 vote, the House of Representatives approved the territory, which at the time was not to exceed "ten miles square."

Washington's act eventually ended years of bickering over where the capital of the United States should be located. Between the revolutionary war and 1800, when D.C. officially became our nation's capital, the seat of America's government was located at various times in:

  • Philadelphia
  • Baltimore
  • Lancaster, Pa.
  • York, Pa.
  • Princeton, N.J.
  • Annapolis
  • Trenton, N.J.
  • New York City

Congress held its first session at the newly-completed United States Capitol in November of 1800.