Whereas: Stories from the People’s House

Edition for Educators — New Year, New Material

Republican Cloakroom Journal/tiles/non-collection/1/1-14-Journal-2016_190_003_8.xml Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Found during renovation of the Republican Cloakroom, this ledger from the 96th Congress (1979–1981) contains day-to-day notes on the issues before the chamber. This is just one example of many artifacts newly available online.
With the second session of the 116th Congress (2019–2021) now underway, we thought it might be a good time to highlight the considerable new content the offices of History, Art and Archives have put online in the past year. This Edition for Educators focuses on the wealth of new material made available in 2019.

The 116th Congress began on January 3, 2019, and brought with it all sorts of updates that closed out the previous 115th Congress (2017–2019), including a new chart under our Women in Congress exhibit on Women with Military Service. Alongside these changes, the office published new pages on Majority Changes in the House of Representatives, Calendars of the House of Representatives, and Résumés of Congressional Activity in our Institution section, in addition to 11 new historical highlights. The Institution section itself, home to a wealth of information on the origins and statistics of the House of Representatives, was reshuffled to better organize all these new pages. Later in the year, we added a new explainer on Funding Gaps and Shutdowns in the Federal Government to the Origins and Development portion of the site. We also expanded the People section with features on the McCormack Employee Award, Appointed Officials, and deeper explorations of the Continental and Confederation Congresses.

H.J. Res. 1/tiles/non-collection/5/5-21-HJRes1_NARA.xml Image courtesy of the National Archives and Record Administration
About this record
The House passed H.J. Res. 1, also known as the Susan B. Anthony amendment, on May 21, 1919. Anthony, a prominent suffrage leader, petitioned Congress for women’s voting rights as early as 1866.
The office also launched several new online exhibitions and publications this year, starting with The People’s House, a digital version of a booklet broadly covering House History for new Representatives and their staff. In February during Black History Month, the office updated the essays for our Black Americans in Congress exhibit, bringing them forward to 2019. The office then posted a new exhibit on the 1954 Shooting in the House Chamber in time for the 65th anniversary, featuring newsreel footage from the shooting and a timeline of events alongside previously recorded oral histories. To commemorate the 100th anniversary of House passage of the Nineteenth Amendment, the office produced a booklet on the activism that brought women's suffrage before Congress and the story of how the House debated and passed the amendment. We published a new exhibit on How the House Works with an app that can be used alongside a tour of the physical exhibit in the Cannon House Office Building. In 2019, the office also posted a new essay on the impeachment of Andrew Johnson.

Keeping up our education outreach efforts, we uploaded a new National History Day page to help students preparing for next year’s event. We also added 194 new objects to our Collection Search and 21 new documents to Records Search during 2019. In addition to the previously mentioned 1954 oral history exhibit, we uploaded seven new Member pages, three new staff pages, a new theme on “Women in Leadership” for the A Century of Women in Congress exhibit, and a new People page for recently deceased Representative Ron Dellums of California. Altogether, this meant 124 new clips and 13 full transcripts were added to the History, Art and Archives website in the past year.

After the first session of the 116th Congress adjourned sine die on January 3, 2020, the final session dates, updated Saturday and Sunday sessions, and presidential vetoes for the session were all updated accordingly.

The office is already working to provide plenty of new content to the website in 2020, and we encourage everyone to keep the homepage bookmarked throughout the year.

This is part of a series of blog posts for educators highlighting the resources available on History, Art & Archives of the U.S. House of Representatives. For lesson plans, fact sheets, glossaries, and other materials for the classroom, see the website's Education section.