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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 87 results

Recent Artifacts Online, Spring 2022

Detail of the Page Call System Card
Collections Search is blooming with springtime additions! They join the thousands of paintings, photos, and artifacts that are already available online.
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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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Classroom Ready: A New Prohibition Primary Source Set

Composite image of a Prohibition-related letter and photo
Dive into America’s infamous dry period with our new primary source set on Prohibition, geared to teachers and students.
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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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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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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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Bathing the Capitol

Firefighters Hose Down the Capitol in 1910
In November 1899, Washington, DC, loaned the Architect of the Capitol a fire engine, along with its firemen, for a special task: to give the Capitol a bath. As House Collection photographs show, the custom continued for more than 60 years.
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Starring Hazel Scott as Herself

Hazel Scott and Adam Clayton Powell Jr. on the Cover of Jet
Civil rights, Congress, and the performances of jazz pianist Hazel Scott coincided in the late 1940s and early 1950s. “I’ve been brash all my life, and it’s gotten me into a lot of trouble,” Scott said. “But at the same time, speaking out has sustained me and given meaning to my life.”
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The Parliamentarian’s Scrapbook

Detail View of the Parliamentarian's Scrapbook
The Parliamentarian's index finger rests on one precise spot in his scrapbook of precedents—the important reference file of a man known for his influence.
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Where the Seats Have No Name

New Seats in 1913
The year 1913 dawned with a conundrum. There were 401 desks and chairs in the crowded House Chamber and 440 people who needed a seat when Congress convened in the spring. How could each Member of Congress claim a chair?
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Notes from Underground, Part II: The Rayburn Subway

Bud Shuster and Jack Schenendorf Riding the Rayburn Subway
When the dust settled after construction of the first House and Senate Office Buildings, only the Senate had a subway line. Representatives had to wait—and walk—until the Rayburn House Office Building opened in 1965.
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