This Day @ Law
District of Columbia named seat of US government

On July 16, 1790, the District of Columbia was established as the permanent seat of the United States government by the Residence Act. Originally the district contained land on both sides of the Potomac, grants from Maryland and Virginia, but in the mid-19th century, when it was obvious that the major government buildings were being built on the Maryland side, Virginia asked for its land back and received it. Learn more about the history of the District of Columbia.

Saddam Hussein becomes President of Iraq

On July 16, 1979, Hasan al-Bakr resigned as President of Iraq. He was replaced by Saddam Hussein, who held power until he was deposed by American forces in 2003. In 2006, Hussein was tried and convicted of crimes against humanity. He was executed by hanging later that year. Learn more about relations between the United States and Saddam Hussein from the George Washington University.