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John Adams' Whisper Spot

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Uploaded on Aug 7, 2011

John Adams' Whisper Spot in the Capitol building...
It has been said that John Quincy Adams took advantage of the Hall's acoustics to eavesdrop on other members conversing on the opposite side of the room. To test the acoustics today, one party should stand near the floor plaque marking Adams' desk on the West side of the Hall while the other party stands at the corresponding spot on the East side. However, this is only a myth, as the current half dome, which creates the effect, was not installed until 1902. The Adams story began long after Adams' death as a tourist gimmick, according to Capitol historian William C. Allen. Though echoes were a significant problem, there is no documentation of a "whisper spot" prior to the early twentieth century.

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