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(Webinar) Innocent Until Proven Guilty: The History of the 4th & 5th Amendments

Much of what separates the United States from other nations are laws meant to protect the rights of the innocent above all else. To safeguard this principle, the First Congress passed the Constitution’s 4th and 5th Amendments that protect Americans from unreasonable searches and seizures and ensures them due process of law, among other vital liberties. On Thursday, September 1, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society continues our series on the Constitution by discussing the history and societal impact of the…

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Three Branches Institute (Virtual)

Are you an educator of U.S. history or civics and government in need of Professional Development hours? In collaboration with the White House Historical Association, the Supreme Court Historical Society, and the National Archives and Records Administration, the United States Capitol Historical Society is pleased to invite you to participate in the Three Branches Institute. At the Institute, you’ll learn from each organization above about their respective branch of government. Discover new ideas for teaching about the three branches in…

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(Webinar) Our Right to Bear Arms: A History of America’s Most Debated Amendment

Few deny the importance of the 2nd Amendment, either as a right or its impact on American society. But in the wake of two of the deadliest mass shootings in our nation’s history–and another tragedy on July 4th–Americans have been forced to ask themselves: Is the 2nd Amendment absolute? And did the Founding Founders intend it to be? On July 21, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society continues our series on the U.S. Constitution by analyzing the history, politics, and laws…

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(In-Person & Streamed) Mary McLeod Bethune Symposium with Reps. Jim Clyburn & Kathy Castor

On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, the United States Congress will accept and dedicate Florida’s new statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol Building. With the statue’s placement, Dr. Bethune will become the first African American and tenth woman to be so honored. That afternoon, join the U.S. Capitol Historical Society and its partners – Bethune-Cookman University, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library, and the National Council of Negro Women…

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(Webinar) Our Voice as Americans: Freedom of Speech, Petition, and Assembly

On June 23, we continue our series on the U.S. Constitution with the history of freedom of speech, petition, and assembly. During our final event about the First Amendment, we will examine how the Founders’ vision for our most important liberties translates to the present day. What does free speech mean in a world of social media and political partisanship? What makes America unique in our right to petition the government against grievances and abuse of power? What historical role…

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(In-Person) Party in the Park! Mary McLeod Bethune Scholar and Reenactor

On June 16 from 6:30-7:30 pm ET, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society continues our series on the life and legacy of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune. Our in-person event at Washington, D.C.’s Lincoln Park will feature Dr. Ashley Preston of Howard University, who is the author of “Mary McLeod Bethune in Florida: Bringing Social Justice to the Sunshine State” and previously served as Director of the Mary McLeod Bethune Foundation-National Historic Landmark at Bethune-Cookman University. Joining her will be Mary McLeod…

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Honoring the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial

This month marks the 100th Anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial. To honor this momentous occasion, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society will host an in-person and live-streamed event to explore the legacy of, arguably, our nation’s greatest president. On May 24, our panel of experts will discuss the surprisingly hostile Congressional debate over the construction of the Lincoln Memorial. They will answer: Why was America’s most visited monument almost never built? Why did the Speaker of the House once proclaim, “So…

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American Freedom and the Press

On May 12, 2022, we continue our series on the U.S. Constitution by examining the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of the press. Our featured speaker, Floyd Abrams, has been described as “the most significant 1st Amendment lawyer of our age,” after representing the New York Times in the Pentagon Papers case, Judith Miller in the investigation into the CIA leak, and Citizens United in one of the most impactful campaign finance cases ever heard before the Supreme Court. During our event, we will discuss…

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Rebuilding the Legacy of Ulysses S. Grant

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Ulysses S. Grant, President of the United States and Commander of the U.S. Army during the Civil War. 2022 also marks 100 years since the dedication of the Grant Memorial, located outside of the U.S. Capitol. During this event hosted by U.S. Senator Roy Blunt, in collaboration with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society, we will celebrate Grant’s contributions that saved the Republic; and we will discuss modern historians’ reexamination of…

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The Environmental Decade: Congress, Nixon, & the Birth of the EPA

Friday, April 22, is the 52nd Anniversary of Earth Day. To celebrate this occasion, we will host a webinar to discuss the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency and the work of Congress and the Nixon Administration to pass our nation’s first major environmental laws: the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Air Act of 1970. Our featured speaker will be Bob Bostock, a curator for the Nixon Foundation and former head speechwriter for the…

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(Blog) Our President Shares Her Memories as a Pre-Title IX Athlete

On June 23, the United States celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Congressional legislation that guarantees women the right to equal educational opportunities in schools or programs that receive federal funding. To recognize this important occasion, we interviewed our President and CEO, Jane L. Campbell, who was a multisport athlete before Title IX in high school, and a multisport athlete at the University of Michigan shortly after Title IX’s passage. During this conversation, she reflected on the discrimination that…

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Webinar: Founding Faith: The 1st Amendment & Religious Liberty

During the week of Passover, Easter, and Ramadan, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society continued its series on the U.S. Constitution with a webinar about the history and significance of the First Amendment and religious freedom. Joining us for this important discussion was Steven Waldman, the author of the national bestseller, “Founding Faith: Providence, Politics, and the Birth of Religious Freedom in America.” During this event, we discussed religion (and persecution) in colonial America from the Pilgrims through the passage of…

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Watch Our Webinar: The History & Mythology of the “First Thanksgiving”

In advance of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, watch the U.S. Capitol Historical Society’s latest webinar with George Washington University Professor David J. Silverman, the author of one of the most highly cited books on U.S. history: “This Land Is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving” The mythology of the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving continues to be taught in schools and passed down from one generation to the next. But why do some Native…

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Remembering Bud Brown

It is with deep sadness that we learned that former U.S. Representative, veteran, and U.S. Capitol Historical Society President, Clarence “Bud” Brown, Jr., recently passed away at the age of 94. Our thoughts are with his widow, Joyce, who shared each chapter of his public service, and with their children Clancy, Cathy, and Roy. Representative Brown served honorably in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. He later succeeded his father, Congressman Clarence Brown, Sr., as representative of Ohio’s 7th…

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Removal of Statues at US Capitol Offensive to American Indians

The placement and eventual removal of two statues in front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. is an oft-forgotten piece of American history, pertinent to our observance of Native American Heritage Month. The Rescue and The Discovery of America both included harmful stereotypes of indigenous people next to white figures in positions of power. For nearly a century, members of Congress walked past these statues to enter the Capitol. But due to the criticism of advocacy organizations like…

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The Haunted History of the U.S. Capitol

The spirits of democracy might not be the only spirits that reside in the halls of the Capitol. Since the beginning of its construction in the late 18th century, Spooky stories remain central to the building’s history. In October 1898, the Philadelphia Press even referred to the Capitol as “the most thoroughly haunted building in the world.” With Halloween right around the corner, let’s explore the reasons this might be true and delve into the Capitol’s ghost stories, both of…

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Introducing the U.S. Capitol Historical Society’s “January 6 Oral History Project”

The events at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021 were among the most significant—and tragic—in American history. To ensure that their stories are never lost to time, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society is conducting an oral history project to preserve these memories, and their lessons, for future generations of American citizens, scholars, and patriots. To help preserve the history of that fateful day, please visit our new website at January6History.org and consider telling your story or contributing financial support…

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USCHS Newsletter: January 5, 2021 – Remembering January 6 and Announcing Our Freedom Award Recipients

USCHS Newsletter: January 5, 2021 – Remembering January 6 and Announcing Our Freedom Award Recipients USCHS Newsletter: November 22, 2021 – The USCHS is Thankful for All of Those who Support Us and Our Mission! USCHS Newsletter: November 15, 2021 – Don’t Miss This Week’s Webinars! (Tue) The History of the 1st Thanksgiving; (Thu) George Washington’s Creation of D.C. USCHS Newsletter: November 8, 2021 – Enjoy Our Webinar About the Art, Political Cartoons, & Architecture of the Gilded Age! USCHS Newsletter:…

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From Freedom’s Shadow

African Americans & the U.S. Capitol

Freedom for some meant slavery for others. The cruel irony of this nation’s founding and its “Temple of Liberty”—the U.S. Capitol—is that both were made possible by the enslavement of African Americans.

We the People Constitution Program

We the People Program

Enhancing Civics Teaching and Learning

The We the People Constitution Program engages thousands of students with an exploration of how the U.S. Constitution is alive in Washington, DC.