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The site at Federal Hall National Memorial began in 1703 as New York’s first City Hall. The Stamp Act Congress met here in colonial times to protest taxation without representation. It was renamed Federal Hall when it became the first capital of the United States in 1789 and George Washington was inaugurated on its front steps.
The capital and Congress moved to Philadelphia a year later and the original Federal Hall was demolished in 1812. The current building has been there since 1842. It was the Customs House and then the Treasury building. In 1939 it became a National Memorial and now contains some relics dating back to Washington’s inauguration.
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