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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 49–60 of 192 results

Edition for Educators—Continental and Confederation Congresses

Fifteen years before the First Federal Congress met, Great Britain’s American colonies convened a Continental Congress in response to the Intolerable Acts, a series of taxes imposed in the wake of the Boston Tea Party incident of December 1773. The Confederation Congress was dissolved after ratification of the Constitution, and prior to the convening of the First Federal Congress in the spring of 1789.
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Edition for Educators—Districts

Massachusetts Speaker Tip O’Neill once said, “All politics is local.” With elections held every two years, the House of Representatives is designed to be immediately answerable to its constituents. Members typically seek to gain committee assignments that align with their districts’ interests and frequently return home to connect with voters. This Edition for Educators focuses on congressional districts and how their unique needs influence the Members who represent them.
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Edition for Educators—Elections

Nathaniel Banks
Constitutionally mandated to be the “People’s House,” the House of Representatives has always been elected directly by the voters bienially.
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Edition for Educators—Firsts for Women in Congress

Patsy Mink
In 1965, Patsy Mink became the first woman of color elected to Congress. An advocate for equal rights as well as many other women’s issues, one of her greatest accomplishments was the passage of the Women’s Education Equality Act, as part of a comprehensive education bill, in 1974. Learn more about Mink and other firsts for women in Congress.
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Edition for Educators—Following the Rules

The U.S. House of Representatives is governed by an ever-expanding matrix of rules and precedents, procedural compass points that have been accumulating every year since the very first Congress in 1789. The Constitution says little about the internal governing structure of the House other than that it “may determine the Rules of its Proceedings.” That vague allowance enables the House to create and maintain both its legislative processes and rules guiding the personal behavior of its Members.
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Edition for Educators—Football

It’s September, and football is back. On Capitol Hill that means Representatives make friendly wagers over big games, and recognizable all-stars occasionally find their way into campaign ads. This month’s Edition for Educators features football and the House.
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Categories: Edition for Educators

Edition for Educators—Fun and Games

Nicholas Longworth
This month's Edition for Educators highlights pastimes in the House of Representatives, from baseball to horseshoes.
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Categories: Edition for Educators

Edition for Educators—Gaveling In

Declaration of War Gavel
This month’s Edition for Educators focuses on an everyday tool with a rich tradition in the history of the House of Representatives: the gavel. Gavels have special significance in the House, where they have many purposes: as instruments of order and decorum, as symbols of power, and sometimes as souvenirs. Each, in its own right, could tell a unique tale. Following are a few examples.
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Edition for Educators—Halloween

In the mood for some spooky Halloween yarns? The House has its own share of tricks and treats.
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Edition for Educators—Hamilton and the House

In honor of the television debut of one of history’s favorite Broadway stars, this Edition for Educators explores how the life of Alexander Hamilton, a Member of the Continental Congress, intersected with the early history of the House of Representatives.
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Edition for Educators – Happy Holidays!

The Holidays are a time for family and traditions. In the House of Representatives, Decembers have included celebrations surrounding the Capitol Christmas Tree mixed with hectic legislative sessions to conclude business so Members could return to their families.
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Edition for Educators—Hispanic Americans in Congress in their Own Words

The history of Hispanic Members who served in Congress is one shaped by changes in American society and in the House. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, we invite you to learn more about these Members in their own words.
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