Will America Remain Virtuous Enough to Be Free?
John Adams, who would soon surrender the presidency to Thomas Jefferson, ventured up to Capitol Hill on Nov. 22, 1800, to deliver the first-ever in-person presidential address in the not-yet-finished home of the United States Congress.
It was noon on a Saturday. What message did he deliver?
First, Adams congratulated the American people for building the Capitol itself.
"I congratulate the people of the United States on the assembling of Congress at the permanent seat of their government, and I congratulate you, gentlemen, on the prospect of a residence not...