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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 37–48 of 65 results

Edition for Educators—Bon Appétit

This month’s Edition for Educators features epicurean culture in the House of Representatives, both the mouth-watering and the gut-wrenching.
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Edition for Educators – Thanksgiving Holiday

Ready for some turkey and taters? Thanksgiving Day has officially been around as long as the House of Representatives, and it’s seen some congressional attention since it was first declared more than 200 years ago.
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Edition for Educators—Speakers of the House

This Edition for Educators highlights the Speaker of the House. Article I, Section 2 of the Constitution states: “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers.” The Speaker acts as leader of the House and combines several roles, including the institutional role of the presiding officer of the House, the partisan leader of the majority party, and the representative role of an elected Member of Congress.
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Edition for Educators—Statutory Representatives

This month’s Edition for Educators highlights statutory representatives in the House. Since its inception, Congress has contended with the Constitution’s silence on the issue of representation for U.S. territories. Over decades of improvisation, a system of “statutory representation” emerged that consisting of laws crafted by Congress and evolving procedural rules in the House to give territories a limited voice in the national legislature through the offices of the Territorial Delegate and the Resident Commissioner.
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Edition for Educators—Joint Meetings and Joint Sessions

This month's Edition for Educators highlights Joint Meetings and Joint Sessions. The two houses of Congress generally work separately, but on occasion the House of Representatives and the Senate gather together in Joint Meetings and Joint Sessions for moments of historic significance.
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Edition for Educators—In Pursuit of House Trivia

This month’s Edition for Educators highlights trivia spanning the history of the House of Representatives, spotlighting a few unique firsts, records, and watershed moments. Who was the first known Representative to be elected by a write-in vote? What is on Charles Schulz’s Congressional Gold Medal? And how long would “Uncle Joe” cook a ham hock for his bean soup? All of this trivia and more can be found on the History, Art & Archives website.
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Categories: Edition for Educators

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—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—The Old House and the Sea

Peace (The White Squadron in Boston Harbor)
On January 20, 1794, Members in the House of Representatives introduced a bill providing for a standing U.S. Navy. Though the bill faced heavy opposition from Members wary of a standing military force, the bill passed the House on March 10, as the threat of piracy loomed in the Mediterranean Sea. This Edition for Educators celebrates the House of Representatives’ maritime connections.
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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—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—African-American Congressmen in the 19th Century

Robert Smalls of South Carolina
Robert Smalls fought for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives despite violence from the opposition, and focused his congressional career on promoting African-American civil rights. Twenty-two African-Americans served in Congress from 1870 to 1901. Learn more about the life and accomplishments of Robert Smalls and other 19th-century African-American Members of Congress for Black History Month.
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