Happy Birthday Dr. William Thornton!! The American architect, born in 1759, designed the US Capitol in Washington, DC. He was actually born in the West Indies, a Quaker, and brought up in England. He studied medicine, according to Quaker philosophy, to become a useful citizen, even though he wanted to pursue art at an early age. He enrolled in the Univerity of Edinburg as a medical student and was influenced by the great architecture there. He emigrated to America and became involved in various human rights issues. He continued to stay interested in the arts, submitting drawings for building endeavors, was rejected, but then submitted a design for the Capitol building that was accepted in 1793. He received $500 and a city lot for the winning design. Although changes were made, much of the design remained as he had envisioned, with the Congress first occupying in 1800. The original design is pictured below.