In an unprecedented assault on democracy in America, thousands of supporters of President Donald Trump stormed the US Capitol and clashed with police, resulting in at least four deaths.
The extraordinary scene unfolded as police, outnumbered by the maskless protesters, as protesters breached security and entered the Capitol building, where members of the Congress were going through the process of counting and certifying the Electoral College votes.
It was one of many shocking moments that played out on television screens across the world as the seat of the world’s greatest democracy came under assault from hundreds of protesters angered by Trump’s loss to his Democratic opponent Joe Biden in the November presidential election.
While one woman was shot dead, police said three other people died after suffering “separate medical emergencies” near the Capitol grounds. The protesters dispersed following the enforcement of curfew in the national capital.
Trump, who had earlier encouraged his supporters to head to the Capitol, urged them to abide by the law and go back home after the violent clash.
What is US Capitol Hill?
Capitol Hill, the seat of the United States Congress, is home to the legislative branch of the US federal government. It is located in Washington DC.
Commonly referred to as Capitol Hill, the white-domed building has the US House of Representatives and US Senate office building, the Library of Congress, and the US Capitol building. The building also houses meeting chambers of the Senate as well as the House of Representatives.
The building is used for presidential inaugurations, among other important events.
Capitol Hill is located to the east of the White House, the Washington monument and the Smithsonian museum.
Why is it called Capitol Hill?
As per NPS, the Capitol Hill historic district takes its name from the hill, which rises in the centre of the federal city and extends eastward.
Earlier called Jenkins Hill or Jenkins Heights, it was the site chosen by French engineer Pierre L’Enfant for the placement of the “Congress House.” And so as per this plan, the US Capitol building was situated upon the crest of the hill facing the city.
After the US Capitol was built atop Jenkins Hill in 1793, additional buildings were constructed around this site to serve Congress and the Supreme Court. As per the US Capitol Visitor Centre, the Congress met for the first time in the completed portion in 1800.
The Capitol has more than 540 rooms.
Near the Capitol, also lies the residential area is known as Capitol Hill. Capitol Hill is one of the oldest residential communities in Washington.
The importance of US Capitol
Capitol Hill is of vast importance to American democracy as it is the home of the United States Capitol building and the location of Congress.
For Americans, it stands as a symbol of their government.
Also in the complex is the Rotunda, is the heart of the US Capitol. It is a ceremonial centre where state funerals have been held.
How is Capitol Hill different from the White House?
Capitol Hill is where the legislative branch of the US government is based and also the Supreme Court. Members of Congress work at Capitol Hill with the Chambers of the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The White House, meanwhile, is where the US President works and resides.