Whereas: Stories from the People’s House

We’ve Re-launched Our Blog

Congressional Intern at the Computer/tiles/non-collection/8/8-28-Relaunch-Image.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives A congressional intern works with cutting-edge technology in 1981.
“The House of Representatives, in some respects, I think, is the most peculiar assemblage in the world and only a man who has had long experience there can fully know its idiosyncrasies.”
―Speaker Joe Cannon of Illinois

When we launched our blog in late 2012, a new world of storytelling opened. In the intervening six years, the historians, curators, and archivists at the U.S. House of Representatives have presented an eclectic mix of people, events, records, and artifacts that have helped reveal how the House has evolved over the last 229 years.

This summer, after having published nearly 300 entries to our blog since 2012, we’ve given it an overhaul. Alongside the new look and new components, our blog, re-launched as Whereas: Stories from the People’s House, will continue to tell original and unique stories, highlighting the art and artifacts in the House Collection, reviewing the official committee records of the House, introducing the colorful people who have served as staff or Members of Congress, and interpreting pivotal moments in House history.

The re-launch includes several new features. Most notably, a blog search allows readers to search old posts by keywords and apply search filters by date and category.

Looking for a suggestion on where to where to start? Try one of these posts:

  • Wooden Sword, Spitting Lyon―For several weeks in early 1798, legislative business in the U.S. House of Representatives slowed to a crawl as the relatively young chamber grappled with a quandary both uncharted and unpleasant: whether and how to discipline its Members for unacceptable behavior.
  • Rolling Billboards―It started simply enough, a hundred years ago. Americans bought cars. Americans loved cars. And Americans loved politics. So, it seemed almost inevitable that automobiles became rolling billboards for their owners’ favorite candidates.
  • “Congress Took No Further Action”: Women and the Right to Petition―In 1838, women in Brookline, Massachusetts, reacted with “astonishment and alarm” at the recently adopted gag rule, which tabled all antislavery petitions. They signed their names to a brief but searing petition to the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • September 12, 2001: “We All Went Back to Work”―After the terrorist attacks against the United States on September 11, 2001, the country spent time mourning and reflecting on the tragedy. And while many people at the U.S. Capitol returned to work on September 12th, it was far from business as usual.
  • Old D.C. from Above―Taken from hot-air balloons, airplanes, kites, blimps, and tall buildings, early aerial views brought a futuristic new perspective of Washington, D.C., to the public. Now, these photographs, stereoviews, and engravings show us the changing history of the area around the Capitol.
  • Edition for Educators—In Pursuit of House Trivia―This Edition for Educators highlights trivia spanning the history of the House of Representatives, spotlighting a few unique firsts, records, and watershed moments. Who was the first known Representative to be elected by a write-in vote? What is on Charles Schulz’s Congressional Gold Medal? And how long would “Uncle Joe” cook a ham hock for his bean soup? This provides a sample of all the trivia that can be found across the History, Art & Archives website.

With the new format, you can also explore our content using themes:

Finally, each blog posting includes our suggestions for further reading among related posts. Happy browsing!

Categories: Announcements