Congress Goes Home Again

In Philadelphia, the legislature celebrates its conception

If the U.S. Congress can be said to have a birthday, it must be July 16, 1787, when a Great Compromise brought the bicameral legislature into being. Two hundred years later, 25 Senators and 181 Representatives rolled north from Washington on a special 14-car train to a red-white-and-blue- buntinged Philadelphia in honor of the occasion. The original event at the Constitutional Convention was the resolution of a big state-little state fight that, presto, gave states equal standing in the Senate and strength reflecting population in the House. The anniversary proved a high point of Philadelphia's occasionally turbulent Bicentennial festivities.

Although the...

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