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On This Day: March 4, 1789

On This Day: March 4, 1789
Image of Federal Hall

Following ratification of the United States Constitution in 1788, the new federal government began operating on March 4, 1789. The Senate convened for the first time on that date, but only 8 of the 12 members necessary to form a quorum appeared in the new chamber at New York City's Federal Hall. Consequently, the Senate reconvened periodically until April 6, when the 12th member presented his credentials. With a quorum established, the Senate turned to its first order of business—certifying the election of President George Washington and preparing for the nation's first presidential inauguration.

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