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“The House of Representatives, in some respects, I think, is the most peculiar assemblage in the world,” Speaker Joe Cannon of Illinois once observed. Behind the legislation and procedure, House Members and staff have produced their own institutional history and heritage. Our blog, Whereas: Stories from the People’s House, tells their stories.

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Displaying 1–12 of 106 results

The Commencement Stand-In

Page School Graduation Ceremony Record (Parts 1 and 2)
The Capitol Page School’s 1954 commencement ceremonies included an unexpected speaker. Listen to newly digitized audio recordings of this unusual graduation.
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Signed and Sealed

Seal Detail of A Celebration of the Life of The Honorable Robert T. Matsui Program
In 1794, the House amended its rules to include the stipulation that an official seal be used for “all writs, warrants, or subpoenas, issued by the order of House.” More than two centuries later, the Clerk of the House continues to impress the House Seal, whose use is protected by law, on the House’s official documents.
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Recent Artifacts Online, Winter 2022

Detail of William Levi Dawson, Jet Magazine Cover
Take a look at newly digitized artifacts in Collections Search. They join the thousands already available online, from portraits to ribbons.
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Five Best Capitol Snow Scenes

Detail of Postcard Showing a Reflection of the Capitol at Night
When the capital gets a snowstorm, Washingtonians famously lose their cool: runs on milk and bread, kids eager for school closures, and drivers sliding and slipping on icy streets. The House Collection contains more than 150 years’ worth of images of Capitol Hill covered in snow.
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Recent Artifacts Online, Fall 2021

House Restaurant Teacup
All year, newly digitized artifacts join the thousands already available online. Take a look at a few added this autumn, and browse more of the House’s most eye-catching and recognizable objects at Collections Search.
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Kitchen Table Campaigning

John Bonifas Bennett Sewing Kit detail
About 30 years after the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, political campaigns increasingly targeted women for votes. Political appeals to women were by no means a new idea. However, women’s relatively recent victory in winning the right to vote, coupled with postwar sexism, added modern twists to old traditions of looking for women’s political support.
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License to Legislate

Detail of a 1972 Congressional License Plate
Congressional license plates may have been just thin strips of metal affixed to the top of a regular license plate, but the plates ended up giving Members of Congress motoring superpowers.
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Pictures of an Impeachment

Thaddeus Stevens Reading the Newspaper
On February 24, 1868, the House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson. This first-ever presidential impeachment captured the public’s attention, and mass-produced images—the up-and-coming visual media—fed the hunger for details.
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Northwest from the Capitol

Looking Northwest from the Capitol Stereoview
Take a close look at this “Bird’s-eye View” stereoview. The photographer pointed his camera northwest from the Capitol dome toward Indiana Avenue and clicked. The result shows a city exploding into being in the 1870s and 1880s.
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Categories: Capitol Campus, Artifacts

Edition for Educators—The House Collection

Anthony John (Toby) Moffett Jr. Poster
Home to more than 13,000 artifacts and works of art, the House Collection encompasses the institution’s history. This Edition for Educators highlights pieces that reflect the relationship between material culture and the history of the nation’s legislature.
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Space Oddity

Don Fuqua
Five paintings in the House Collection show how Science Committee chairs shared national enthusiasm for extraterrestrial exploration and embedded allusions to America’s space program in their portraits.
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Learn Something New Every Day

Budget Bank
A tin bank, model voting machine, coloring book, and board game are included in the House Collection. While some are toys meant for children and others are aids for lifelong learners, all have congressional themes. In addition to their primary use, they also communicate the importance of civic engagement and the functions of Congress.
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Categories: Elections, Artifacts