Today in History, May 15: 1800 – President John Adams issues an order for the entire Federal government (125 people) to leave the capitol of Philadelphia and for the government to be up and running in the new capitol, Washington, D.C. by June 15. D. C. was primarily swampland, and it would be some time until there were enough structures to house the government employees, Congress and the courts. Abigail Adams dried their clothing on a line strung in the East Room.