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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 109 results

New House Portrait: Patsy Takemoto Mink

Portrait of Patsy Takemoto Mink
Today, the House of Representatives unveiled a new portrait of Representative Patsy Mink. The first woman of color and first Asian-American woman elected to Congress, in 1964, Mink’s work led to significant changes in education in the United States, including Title IX of the Education Act of 1972.
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Edition for Educators—Patsy Mink

Fifty years ago, the final version of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 passed the U.S. House of Representatives. One of the women at the center of this landmark legislative effort was Representative Patsy Takemoto Mink of Hawaii, who was first elected in 1964 becoming the first woman of color to serve in Congress. After its initial passage, Mink spent the balance of her political career defending Title IX. This month’s Edition for Educators highlights Representative Mink and the statute which eventually bore her name.
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Edition for Educators—Mothers in Congress

Striking a balance between work and family has long been a central part of the lives of working women—no less so for Members of Congress. This month’s Edition for Educators highlights stories of motherhood in Congress.
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Edition for Educators—Behind the Scenes: Pathbreaking Women Staff

This Edition for Educators explores the experiences of women who—through their challenges and triumphs—have transformed Congress and opened new opportunities for others to work in government.
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Edition for Educators—The Congressional Black Caucus

This Edition for Educators highlights material on the Congressional Black Caucus.
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“Somebody Was Going to Be the First”

During the 1970s, amid the women’s liberation movement, women across the country fought for equal rights and for a louder voice in the decision-making process on a wide range of domestic and international issues. Capitol Hill also became more diverse, as women of color—Members and staff alike—won election to and took jobs in the House, changing a powerful workplace which had been dominated by White men since its inception.
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Edition for Educators—Hispanic Leadership in the House

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, this Edition for Educators highlights Hispanic Representatives in leadership roles throughout the history of the House.
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Edition for Educators – Voting Rights and the House

Because the House has always been directly elected by the American people, its membership has often reflected changes to the country’s voting laws. And as more people won access to the ballot, the House grew increasingly diverse. This Edition for Educators features resources found on the History, Art & Archives website on the topic of voting rights.
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Edition for Educators—Resident Commissioners from the Philippine Islands

As the only American territory with representation in Congress to ever achieve its independence, the Philippines’ transition from colonial status to freedom is intertwined with the history of the archipelago’s Resident Commissioners to Congress. This Edition for Educators highlights Filipino Resident Commissioners, who represented the territory as Members of Congress during the first half of the twentieth century.
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The Fight for Fair Housing in the House:
A “Long, Tortuous and Difficult Road”

Following the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson, in his 1966 State of the Union Address, called for additional legislation to “prohibit racial discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.” Over the next two years, Johnson’s new housing measure—known as the Fair Housing Act—traveled what he called a “long, tortuous and difficult road,” exposing the limits of his Great Society agenda and forcing Congress to consider more expansive civil rights protections.
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The “Very Deserving Case” of Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman
A legendary figure in American history, Harriet Tubman’s story is well-known and widely celebrated. But her struggle, ultimately unsuccessful, to be compensated by the federal government for her service during the Civil War is less well-known. In 1865, after three years of dedicated service to the United States Army as a nurse, spy, and soldier, she started a long quest to secure the compensation she never received from the government.
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Edition for Educators—Through the Glass Ceiling

For Women’s History Month, this Edition for Educators highlights some of the women who have broken glass ceilings in the House of Representatives.
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