Fun Fact: This Day in History

On this day in 1800, President John Adams (1735-1826) ordered the federal government to pack up, leave Philadelphia, and set up shop in the nation’s new capital -- Washington, D.C.

After Congress adjourned its last meeting in Philadelphia on May 15, Adams told his cabinet to make sure Congress and all federal offices were up and running in their new headquarters by June 15, 1800. Philadelphia served as the nation’s capital from 1790 until June 10, 1800.

Official archives and documents were transferred from Philadelphia to the new capital via ship over inland waterways. President and Mrs. Adams did not move in to the president’s mansion, which sat unfinished, until November of that year. Settling in to the White House was no walk in the park for the new first lady. In December, Abigail Adams wrote to a friend that she had to line-dry their clothes in what eventually was dubbed the East Room.

John Adams was the first president to live in the White House. It was President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), the 26th President of the United States, who adopted the term "White House" in place of "Executive Mansion."

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