History, Art & Archives of the U.S. House of Representatives

Edition for Educators – Thanksgiving Holiday

Ready for some turkey and taters? Thanksgiving Day has officially been around as long as the House of Representatives, and it’s seen some congressional attention since it was first declared more than 200 years ago.

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Categories: Education, Holidays

Edition for Educators—Speakers of the House

This Edition for Educators highlights the Speaker of the House. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution states: “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers.” The Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles, including the institutional role of the presiding officer of the House, the partisan leader of the majority party, and the representative role of an elected Member of Congress.

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The Speaker Inquisition of 1856

Shortly before seven o’clock in the evening, on Saturday, February 2, 1856, Nathaniel P. Banks of Massachusetts, strode to the well of the House, climbed the rostrum’s few steps to the Speaker’s chair, and sat down. He paused for a moment. With his thick dark hair swept to one side and a prominent mustache obscuring his upper lip, Banks then stood to address his colleagues.

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Categories: Speakers of the House

Edition for Educators—Statutory Representatives

This month’s Edition for Educators highlights statutory representatives in the House. Since its inception, Congress has contended with the Constitution’s silence on the issue of representation for U.S. territories. Over decades of improvisation, a system of “statutory representation” emerged that consisting of laws crafted by Congress and evolving procedural rules in the House to give territories a limited voice in the national legislature through the offices of the Territorial Delegate and the Resident Commissioner.

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Edition for Educators—Joint Meetings and Joint Sessions

This month's Edition for Educators highlights Joint Meetings and Joint Sessions. The two houses of Congress generally work separately, but on occasion the House of Representatives and the Senate gather together in Joint Meetings and Joint Sessions for moments of historic significance.

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Categories: Education, Institution

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. For many people at the U.S. Capitol, September 12th meant a return to work, but it was far from business as usual.

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Categories: Oral History, Institution