People

People are the core of the House of Representatives. Learn more about this large and complex institution through personal recollections and anecdotes by Members, Officers, and staff.

Donnald K. Anderson

Donnald K. Anderson

From House Page to Clerk of the House, Donn Anderson’s 35-year career included a series of administrative and managerial positions which brought him in close contact with Members of Congress, momentous debates, and important changes to the daily customs of the House.

George W. Andrews III

George W. Andrews III

House Page and the son of former Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama, George W. Andrews III had a unique perspective of the historic events that took place at the Capitol and the institutional changes which occurred in Congress during the 1950s and 1960s.

Albert R. Anness

Albert R. Anness

Between Capitol Page School, assignments in the House Document Room, and operating the sound system for committee hearings, Albert Anness stayed busy as a House Page in the 81st Congress (1949-1951).

Joe Bartlett

Joe Bartlett

House Page, reading clerk, and Clerk to the Minority, Joe Bartlett participated in many significant events during his 30-plus years on the Hill, including graduating from the Capitol Page School and working in the House Ways and Means Committee Room during the House Chamber renovation. 

The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums

The Honorable Ronald V. Dellums

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.

The Honorable John Dingell, Jr.

The Honorable John Dingell, Jr.

From Page to Dean of the House, John Dingell, Jr.’s congressional service spanned from World War II into the 21st century. The son of Michigan Representative John Dingell, Sr., Dingell, Jr.’s long history in the House began as a Page where he learned the institutional ropes by observing his father, and House leaders like Sam Rayburn and John McCormack.

Myles Garrigan

Myles Garrigan

As a House Page, and Page overseer, Myles Garrigan roamed the halls of Congress running errands for Members, while also witnessing historic speeches and dramatic votes during the World War II era.

Bill Goodwin

Bill Goodwin

An eyewitness to the shooting in the House Chamber in 1954, Bill Goodwin and his fellow House Pages carried wounded Representatives on stretchers to waiting ambulances.

Arva Marie Johnson

Arva Marie Johnson

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.

Pat Kelly

Pat Kelly

Throughout her 54-year career in the House, Pat Kelly, daughter of former Representative Edna Kelly, assisted Members of Congress with their daily activities as a researcher, a legislative assistant, and eventually, the editor of the House Daily Digest.

Michael R. Lemov

Michael R. Lemov

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.

Felda Looper

Felda Looper

After a successful letter-writing campaign to Speaker Carl Albert, Felda Looper’s appointment as a Page in the summer of 1973, in the midst of the Equal Rights Amendment debate and the Watergate investigation, made history when she became the first woman to join the House Page ranks.

Frank Mitchell

Frank Mitchell

As the first African-American House Page of the 20th century, Frank Mitchell made history by breaking racial barriers while also witnessing significant moments in the civil rights movement, including the floor debates for the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

Cokie Roberts

Cokie Roberts

The daughter of former Representatives Hale and Lindy Boggs, Cokie Roberts had the unique experience of growing up at the Capitol on her way to becoming a nationally recognized congressional correspondent.

Glenn Rupp

Glenn Rupp

An eyewitness to the World War I Veterans’ Bonus March, Glenn Rupp’s House Page service included training future President Lyndon B. Johnson as a doorkeeper, as well as attending President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first inauguration and State of the Union Address.

Patricia (Tish) Speed Schwartz

Patricia (Tish) Speed Schwartz

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.

Irving Swanson

Irving Swanson

On the rostrum during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Day of Infamy” speech on December 8, 1941, Irving Swanson, a House reading clerk, read the historic roll calls when the House approved war declarations against Japan, and, several days later, against Germany and Italy.

Tina Tate

Tina Tate

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.

Benjamin C. West

Benjamin C. West

Working his way up the ranks from messenger to superintendent of the House Press Gallery, Benjamin C. West’s 35-year career spanned World War II, the civil rights movement, and Watergate, all the while modernizing the gallery and navigating the tumultuous relationship between print and electronic media.

About the Program

Learn more about the oral history program, editing practices, and rights and reproductions.

List of Interviewees

Search a list of individual interviews, and access audio and video clips, transcripts, interview abstracts, and related images and artifacts.

Educational Resources

Utilize lesson plans and teaching tips to incorporate information from oral history interviews in the classroom.