Discover the rich heritage of “the People’s House” and its central role in U.S. history since 1789. Explore its unique story and the men and women who have shaped it. Browse its collections. Access historical data and other research resources.

Whereas: Stories from the People’s House

November 23, 2021

“Somebody Was Going to Be the First”

During the 1970s, amid the women’s liberation movement, women across the country fought for equal rights and for a louder voice in the decision-making process on a wide range of domestic and international issues. Capitol Hill also became more diverse, as women of color—Members and staff alike—won election to and took jobs in the House, changing a powerful workplace which had been dominated by White men since its inception.
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House History

Florence Kahn: Congressional Widow to Trailblazing Lawmaker

In 1925, Florence Prag Kahn succeeded her late husband Julius in a San Francisco-based U.S. House seat. Most early congressional widows served as temporary placeholders until party leaders chose long-term, male successors. But Kahn was no ordinary political widow. With an insider’s knowledge of House operations and a gift for turning a phrase, she set herself to “attending to business”—expanding the Bay Area’s infrastructure and military installations during her 12-year career, while blazing a trail for women seeking political office.
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About The Offices

This site is a collaborative project between the Office of the Historian and the Clerk of the House's Office of Art and Archives. The offices preserve, collect, and interpret the heritage of the U.S. House, serving as the institution’s memory and a resource for Members, staff, and the general public.