Has either house of the United States Congress ever met to do official business outdoors?

I tried searching for "Has Congress ever met outdoors?", "Has the House of Representatives ever met outdoors?", and "Was the Senate ever met outdoors?", and all these searches found was bills related to outdoor activities.

  • 5
    You should include in the question any research you've already done to prevent others duplicating your effort.
    – Steve Bird
    Commented Nov 6, 2023 at 23:51
  • 2
    Do you have a reason to suspect that they might have?
    – SPavel
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 3:48
  • 1
    Parliament has met in many places, including outside, so reasonable to ask if other legislatures have.
    – Ne Mo
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 9:19
  • 1
    Would the Continental Congress count? They were a bit more, well, peripatetic.
    – Spencer
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 15:02
  • 2
    You'd think the absolute best time for that would have been during the pandemic (since it would have been considerably safer), so if it wasn't done then...
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Nov 7, 2023 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


Q: Has the US Congress ever met outdoors?

Meeting Locations of Congress and Predecessor Legislatures has no mention of any meeting "outdoors" for either the US Congress or its predecessors.

Since 1774, Congress and its predecessor legislatures have met in nine different cities in four states. Since 1800, Congress has met almost exclusively in Washington, DC, at the U.S. Capitol.

And, different buildings within those cities.

Furthermore, after having moved permanently to the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the US Congress met in other locations which included its previous meeting locations at Federal Hall in New York City and Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

Following the War of 1812, while the Capitol was being repaired, Congress met at Blodget’s Hotel (1814) and at the Old Brick Capitol (1815-1819) in Washington, DC.

July 16, 1987 — Congress met at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, PA, to “honor the bicentennial of the Constitution” and commemorate “the 200th anniversary of the Great Compromise of the Constitutional Convention” (H.Con.Res. 131, 100th Congress);

September 6, 2022 — Congress met at Federal Hall in New York, NY, “in remembrance of the victims and heroes of September 11, 2001, and in recognition of the courage and spirit of the City of New York” (H.Con.Res. 448, 110th Congress; and H.Con.Res. 449, 110th Congress).

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