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When The U.S. Paid Off The Entire National Debt (And Why It Didn't Last)

On January 8th, 1835, all the big political names in Washington gathered to celebrate what President Andrew Jackson had just accomplished. A senator rose to make the big announcement: "Gentlemen....the national debt.... is PAID."

That was the one moment in U.S. history when the country was debt free. Here's the story of how it happened — and why it didn't last. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit

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