Oral History of the House

Learn about the history of the U.S. House of Representatives through the perspectives of those who lived it. The oral history program provides a vivid picture of the inner workings of Congress during some of the most influential times in our country’s modern history. These interviews discuss the people, events, institutions, and objects of the ever-evolving House of Representatives.

Special Exhibit: September 11, 2001

Special Exhibit: September 11, 2001

Believing the U.S. Capitol to be a likely target for terrorists on 9/11, officials evacuated the building and, in a rare occurrence, the House suspended its activities for the day. Recollections ranging from Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert to House Pages, document how the chamber responded to the unprecedented crisis.

Special Exhibit: A Century of Women in Congress

Special Exhibit: A Century of Women in Congress

On November 7, 1916, Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to the United States Congress. To commemorate the centennial of her election and swearing-in, listen to interviews of former women Representatives, staff, and family members.

People

People

People are the core of the House of Representatives. Learn more about this large and complex institution through personal recollections and anecdotes by Members, Officers, and staff.

Events

Events

The U.S. House of Representatives has played a pivotal role in many historic events. Watch eyewitness accounts of the shooting in the House Chamber in 1954, the U.S. Capitol on September 11, 2001, and other turning points which changed the institution.

 

Institution

Institution

Traditions, customs, and precedents shape the rhythms and contours of an institution. First-person narratives of everything from committee hearings to the Congressional Baseball Game provide a behind-the-scenes look at the dynamic House of Representatives.

Objects

Objects

Artifacts and stories go hand in hand. Watch eyewitnesses to House history talk about memorable objects—from portraits to baseball trophies—that are now in the House Collection.

Documentaries

Documentaries

Individual oral histories have enriched the record of the U.S. House of Representatives. When combined, however, they create new perspectives and form new narratives about this unique institution.

About the Program

Learn more about the oral history program, editing practices, and rights and reproductions.

List of Interviewees

Search a list of individual interviews, and access audio and video clips, transcripts, interview abstracts, and related images and artifacts.

Oral History Transcripts

View a list of the available interview transcripts for the Office of the Historian's oral history program. New transcripts will be added periodically as additional interviews are completed and processed.

Educational Resources

Utilize lesson plans and teaching tips to incorporate information from oral history interviews in the classroom.