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.
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.
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. The narratives in this exhibit tell the stories of these important pieces of legislation.
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.
Ever since the capital had the Capitol, sight-seers have flocked to see it. See how objects preserved visitors’ memories of the building over the past two centuries.
Since 1917, when Representative Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman to serve in Congress, nearly 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.
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.
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 Capitol paintings
stretch from sea to shining sea? Find out more about the story behind Discovery of the Hudson and Entrance into Monterey, paintings that
show explorers on both coasts.
Since 1857, the Chamber of the House has been home to vital democratic processes and a rich heritage. Take a closer look at the scene of some of America’s most dramatic and important legislative events.