Related Resources

Explore blog posts and oral histories related to How the House Works.

Arva Marie Johnson's Oral History

Arva Marie Johnson's Oral History

With her historic appointment as the first African-American woman officer on the Capitol Police Force, Arva Marie Johnson observed many changes in the institution’s security during her 32-year career, and was an officer during the 1998 shooting at the Capitol and on September 11, 2001.

“Congress Took No Further Action”: Women and the Right to Petition

“Congress Took No Further Action”: Women and the Right to Petition

In 1838, women in Brookline, Massachusetts, reacted with “astonishment and alarm” at the recently adopted gag rule, which tabled all antislavery petitions. They signed their names to a brief but searing petition to the U.S. House of Representatives. Read about this and other petitions sent by women to Congress requesting assistance with issues of both national and personal importance.

Front and Center

Front and Center

The Speaker’s rostrum announces its importance visually. Framed by walls of multicolored marble, columns, symbolic relief sculptures, and a large American flag, it is located front-and-center in the House Chamber.

Hanging on Every Word

Hanging on Every Word

When the House is in session, official reporters record every word.

Linda Steele's Oral History

Linda Steele's Oral History

Linda Steele came to Washington, D.C., in January 1961 as a secretary for Representative Stanley Tupper of Maine. In 1970, she began more than two decades of service in the office of Representative (and future Republican Leader) Robert Michel of Illinois, rising to the position of deputy chief of staff in Michel’s leadership office.

Michael R. Lemov's Oral History

Michael R. Lemov's Oral History

Committee counsel Michael R. Lemov began his seven-year career in the House in the early 1970s. As the consumer movement began to take shape, Lemov drafted consumer protection legislation, conducted investigations, led markups, and worked closely with members of the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee.

Patricia (Tish) Speed Schwartz's Oral History

Patricia (Tish) Speed Schwartz's Oral History

Initially hired as a secretary for the House of Representatives, Patricia (Tish) Speed Schwartz worked her way through the administrative ranks to serve as chief clerk of the Science Committee, and later the Judiciary Committee, during her nearly four decades on Capitol Hill.

Reporting Live from the House Chamber

Reporting Live from the House Chamber

Reporters have covered the House from its earliest days, providing a vital link between the people and their Representatives.

The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums' Oral History

The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums' Oral History

Ronald V. Dellums came to Congress as an outspoken Vietnam War critic and civil rights activist. He made history as the first African-American Member to serve on and chair the Armed Services Committee and built a legacy as a tireless leader in the movement to end apartheid in South Africa.

Tina Tate's Oral History

Tina Tate's Oral History

The first woman director of the House Radio-TV Gallery, Tina Tate oversaw press coverage for major media events in Congress such as presidential impeachment hearings, Joint Sessions, and State of the Union addresses.




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