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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 445–456 of 459 results

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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Edition for Educators—National Poetry Month

This Edition for Educators celebrates the tradition of poetry in all its forms in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives.
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Categories: Edition for Educators

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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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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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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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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Edition for Educators—Watergate

Fifty years ago, on June 17, 1972, officers with the Metropolitan police department apprehended five men during a break-in at the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee located in the Watergate complex along the Potomac River in Washington, DC. The arrests set off a chain of events that ended with the resignation of Richard M. Nixon as President in August 1974. This Edition for Educators highlights the role of the House of Representatives during the Watergate scandal and its aftermath.
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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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Out with the Old

Detail of the Portable Typewriter
No matter how cutting edge they are when new, over time, even the shiniest gadgets become outmoded. In their quest to communicate with constituents, speed up work, and keep accurate records, House Members and staff have moved toward ever-newer tools of technology, leaving obsolete versions behind. Explore a selection of archaic office tools from around the House of Representatives, now preserved in the House Collection.
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Edition for Educators—Ways and Means

The Ways and Means Committee remains a vital element in most large-scale legislation—ranging from tax bills to health care due to its broad jurisdiction over revenue measures. This Edition for Educators focuses on the committee’s origins, some of its leading people, and House collection objects related to its history.
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Adele Fassett, Washington’s Trendsetting Woman Portraitist

Samuel Jackson Randall
The story of how the Appropriations Committee ended up two 19th-century portraits of chairs entwines itself with the career of the woman who created them, Adele Fassett.
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The Legacy of a Lie: Floor Fight and a Gunshot

On April 23, 1844, as the House sat in the Committee of the Whole to debate a tariff measure, the presiding officer recognized John White, a Whig from Kentucky, who had served as Speaker of the House in the prior Congress. White quickly veered off script, and the chamber quickly spun out of control. As chamber officials rushed to restore order, a gun shot rang out at the rear of the chamber and a Capitol Police officer was left gravely injured.
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