Working Behind the Scenes

Scores of people have worked behind the scenes since Congress’s earliest days. Find out about the history of stenographers, police officers, and even pie-makers on the Hill.

Press and Broadcasting Galleries

Press and Broadcasting Galleries

The press reported on the House from its first meeting in 1789. As newspapers proliferated across the expanding country and technology sped up the transmission of information—first through the telegraph, and later, through radio and television broadcasting—the House created infrastructure to help reporters inform the public.

Capitol Police

Capitol Police

Established in 1828, the Capitol Police have worked to make the institution both secure and open to the public, and to preserve the public’s right to peacefully assemble and petition their elected Representatives.

Official Reporters

Official Reporters

The Congressional Record—a word-for-word transcription of proceedings on the House Floor, which made the work of Congress readily available for the public to peruse—is the work of official reporters. Learn more about the history and tools of this important task.

Vendors

Vendors

A veritable marketplace sprang up in the 19th-century Capitol. Whether selling tasty baked goods or maps and guidebooks, entrepreneurs met the needs of lawmakers and visitors alike.