Library of Congress
Major Historical Dates from the First Congress
March 4, 1789. – The first day the United Sates Constitution began operation. It was the first convening of the First Federal Congress in New York City.
April 1, 1789. – The first quorum was achieved in the United States House of Representatives.
April 6, 1789. – the first quorum was achieved in the United States Senate. The House and Senate met jointly in the Senate chamber to count the ballots of the presidential electors. George Washington received 60 votes, John Adam 34, and 35 votes were scattered among 10 other candidates.
April 30, 1789. – George Washington was inaugurated in New York City as the first President of the United States under the constitution. Robert R. Livingston, Chancellor of the State of New York, on the balcony of Federal Hall, at the corner of Broad and Wall Street administered the oath.
June 1, 1789. – Congress passed its first law, “An act to regulate the time and manor of administering certain oaths.”
July 27, 1789. – Congress established the Department of Foreign Affairs (later changed to the Department of State).
August 7, 1789. – Congress established the War Department (later changed to Department of Defense).
September 2, 1789. – Congress established the Treasury Department.
September 22, 1789. – Congress created the Office of the Postmaster General.
September 24, 1789. – Congress passed the Federal Judiciary Act, which established the Supreme Court, 13 District Courts, and three Circuit Courts. Congress created the Office of the Attorney General.