US Capitol Cornerstone Ceremony 1793

On this day in 1793, George Washington lays the cornerstone of the Capitol building. An engraved silver plate commemorates the occasion with this inscription:

“This South East corner Stone, of the Capitol of the United States of America in the City of Washington, was laid on the 18th day of September 1793, in the thirteenth year of American Independence, in the first year of the second term of the Presidency of George Washington, whose virtues in the civil administration of his country have been as conspicuous and beneficial, as his Military valor and prudence have been useful in establishing her liberties, and in the year of Masonry 5793, by the Grand Lodge of Maryland, several Lodges under its jurisdiction, and Lodge No. 22, from Alexandria, Virginia.”

Foundational

First, “the year of Masonry 5793” is equivalent to the Gregorian year plus 4,000. The ceremonial Masonic dating system of A.L., Anno Lucis, Latin for ‘year of light,’ like Anno Mundi, coincides with the estimated year of Creation (around 4,000 B.C). Here’s the biblical account in Genesis 1:3: “And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”

Taking much longer than ‘seven days,’ the 540-room, domed Capitol building took nearly a century to complete.

Also, a small stone from a field next to the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, which is believed to mark the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth, set into a slab of American granite comprise the ceremonial foundation stone of the National Cathedral.

Capitol Cornerstone Ceremony 1793, Washington

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