Openings and Dedications Items (15 total)

The first performance at the Sylvan Theatre on the Washington Monument grounds took place on the evening of June 2, 1917. Artist and philanthropist Alice Pike Barney Hemmick founded the theater, believing that Washington needed a nationally supported…

On May 24, 1844 after receiving $30,000 in appropriations from Congress, inventor Samuel Morse sent the first official telegraph message from Washington, DC to Baltimore, Maryland. In a series of dots and dashes, later known as Morse code, Morse…

In 1872, the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station opened near the Capitol, crossing the parks and lawns of the National Mall. The first train departed at 5 a.m. on July 2 with sixty passengers. The depot buildings were opened in 1874. The presence…

The Center Market, one of the first formal markets in Washington City, opened in mid-December 1801. The market's location was proposed in the early plans of the city and George Washington had set aside land for its establishment in March 1797. Laws…

James Smithson, an English scientist, specified in his will that if his nephew, Henry J. Hungerford, died without heirs, his estate should be given to the United States to found an institution "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." Smithson…
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