People, stories, objects, and documents bring to life the history of the U.S. House of Representatives. Exhibitions and publications provide insight into the evolution and culture of “the People’s House” as well as place the information in historical context. Learn more about minority representation in the House, the Congressional Baseball Game, and the famous paintings of Albert Bierstadt, as well as many other interesting stories of the House of Representatives.
When Jeannette Rankin took the oath as a U.S. Representative on April 2, 1917, she became the first woman in Congress. To celebrate this milestone, this page provides ready access to materials that tell the 100-year history of women in Congress.
Through art, historic artifacts, and archival documents, learn more about the early generation of women Representatives’ impact on the significant legislative issues of the period—women’s suffrage, veterans and the military, and the government’s response to the needs of citizens.
The Capitol is a symbol of democracy, the meeting place of Congress, and a historic building more than two hundred years old. Here, learn more about how the House of Representative’s most significant spaces, art and historic artifacts have grown, moved and evolved with the Congress’ many changes.
Since 1870, when Senator Hiram Revels of Mississippi and Joseph Rainey of South Carolina became the first African Americans to serve in Congress, more than 130 African Americans have served as U.S. Representatives, Senators, or Delegates. This web publication is based on the book, Black Americans in Congress, 1871–2007.
Since 1822, when Delegate Joseph Marion Hernández of Florida became the first Hispanic American to serve in Congress, more than 100 Hispanic Americans have served as U.S. Representatives, Delegates, Resident Commissioners, or Senators. This Web site is based on the book Hispanic Americans in Congress, 1822–2012.
Since 1917, when Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman to serve in Congress, more than 300 women have served as U.S. Representatives, Senators, or Delegates. This up-to-date web publication is based on the book, Women in Congress, 1917–2006.
As the role of the House of Representatives grew over time, the Capitol campus expanded along with it. The three House Office Buildings constructed over the course of the 20th century each uniquely reflect the challenges and changes faced in their eras.
Spurred by a grassroots movement during the mid-20th century, Congress passed landmark legislation to protect Americans’ civil rights. The 1964 Civil Rights Act focused on access to public accommodations and equal employment. Despite its far-reaching provisions, the bill did not fully address barriers to voting, leading to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.
From the earliest Congresses, Pages were employed by the House of Representatives to assist Members in their duties. Over time, their principal tasks—carrying documents, messages, and letters between various congressional offices—passed from older messengers to teenage boys and (much later) girls. Learn more about these House messengers.
What began as a casual game among colleagues in 1909 has evolved into one of Congress’s most anticipated annual pastimes. Each summer, Representatives and Senators don baseball uniforms, organize teams along party lines, and play ball for charity.