On Jan. 8, 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 time in U.S. history when the country was debt free. It lasted exactly one year.
On today's Planet Money: The legend of the national debt. Where the debt came from, what happened the one time we paid it all off, and why Congress created the debt ceiling in the first place.
In 2008, Kimberly Fague was diagnosed with organ failure. Plagued by nausea, she lost a third of her body weight. She suffered from confusion and constant fatigue. Her liver and surrounding organs swelled to the point that she developed a hernia.