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1. Luther, 500 Years Later: How the Reformation Changed the World This article from The Guardian looks at the legacy of Martin Luther 500 years after the Reformation. It covers Luther's impact on the Catholic Church and Christianity, as well as his influence on politics and society. It also examines how Luther's ideas and teachings have shaped the modern world. 2. 5 Things You Didn't Know About Martin Luther This article from National Geographic looks at five lesser-known facts about Martin Luther and the Reformation. It covers Luther's education, his views on predestination, his musical talents, and the impact of his 95 Theses. 3. Martin Luther: The Reformation This video from The History Channel looks at the life and legacy of Martin Luther. It examines how Luther sparked the Reformation and why his ideas were so revolutionary at the time. It also explains how Luther's teachings influenced the Catholic Church and Christianity as a whole. 4. Martin Luther: The Legacy of the Reformation This video from PBS looks at the legacy of the Reformation and how Luther's teachings shaped the modern world. It examines the impact of Luther's ideas on religion, politics, and society and how his reforms

Maps in the Archives: Dark Graphics | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives

Many of the maps and diagrams included in congressional records show how the United States expanded and changed physically. Others highlight historical advancements in technology or transportation. But not all the graphics preserved by Congress record stories of progress toward a more perfect Union. The following maps capture three of the nation’s darkest moments with striking and sometimes shocking images.“The Red Record of Lynching,” 1922During the 67th Congress, the Judiciary Committee considered anti-lynching legislation introduced by Missouri Representative Leonidas Dyer, a member of the committee. The committee’s records of its deliberations include a map of lynchings in each state from 1889 to 1921. The Colored Women’s Clubs of Michigan issued the map prepared by the Committee on Public Affairs and the Inter-Fraternal Council. The numbers are printed in bright red against the stark black outline of the United States. A thick red line separates northern states from the South. According to the map, southern states accounted for 88 percent of lynchings during this period, and 87 percent of southern Representatives voted against Dyer’s anti-lynching bill. Along the bottom of the page in capital letters the map proclaimed: “Mob violence and lynching - the only ‘industries’ the South votes solidly to protect.”On April 11, 1921, Dyer introduced H.R. 13, “to assure to persons within the jurisdiction of every State the equal protection of the laws, and to punish the crime of lynching,” in response to the burning alive of a Black man by a white terror mob near Athens, Georgia. The House passed Dyer’s bill, but a looming filibuster by southern Members in the Senate threatened to derail all legislative business. No further action was taken on the bill, and to date, anti-lynching legislation has never successfully passed both chambers to become law.“Single Bullet Theory” Trajectory Diagram, 1978On November 22, 1963, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy shocked and horrified the nation. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder in 1968 compounded the country’s grief and outrage. Even years later, doubts lingered about both killings, which prompted the House to form the Select Committee on Assassinations in 1976. The committee aimed to investigate the circumstances of their deaths, determine if the laws protecting Presidents were adequate, and examine whether information sharing between government agencies was transparent.This diagram appeared in a published appendix of evidence from the select committee’s investigation of Kennedy’s assassination. Among the many theories surrounding the President’s death was that there was another shooter present on the “grassy knoll” in Dallas in addition to Lee Harvey Oswald in the Texas School Book Depository. The “single bullet theory” posited that only one bullet caused the injuries to Kennedy’s neck and to Texas Governor John Connally, who was riding in the car in front of the President. The diagram showed an overhead view of the President’s limousine as it moved through Dealey Plaza, with a line from the book depository to the car. At the lower right, a second illustration depicted a closeup of the limousine, noting the position of Kennedy and Connally in the car with an arrow showing the bullet’s trajectory. Another arrow points to the direction of a photograph taken of the motorcade by Hugh Betzner that was used as a key piece of evidence. Based on the extensive review and analysis of the evidence by experts, the committee’s investigation supported the “single bullet theory” and that both the single shot that wounded the President and Connally and the fatal shot were fired from the Texas School Book Depository.9/11 Commission Map and Timeline, ca. 2004The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, widely known as the 9/11 Commission, used poster-sized versions of this map and timeline during its public hearings to investigate the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The events stunned the nation and the world. The scale and coordination of the attacks demanded an answer to the question of how they could have happened. In the wake of the tragedy, Congress authorized the creation of the 9/11 Commission. The independent and bipartisan legislative commission made of Representatives and Senators investigated the attacks and provided its report and recommendations to Congress in 2004.The map shows the flight paths of the four planes used in the attacks. The maps include a timeline of each flight’s activity, and the reports received by and activity of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD)/Continental U.S. NORAD Region (CONR) in response to the events as they unfolded. When the 9/11 Commission closed, its records were transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration. Following a request by the commission to expedite the review and release of the records to the public, many of the unclassified records were opened for research in 2009.Commissions can be established by the President and executive branch agencies; however, legislative commissions, including the 9/11 Commission, are created by and report to Congress. They are typically established to independently study and make recommendations on an issue or incident. The records of legislative commissions are part of a separate group of records at the National Archives than the records created by the committees of the House of Representatives.After dark moments in national history, lawmakers and citizens used maps to record difficult events and try to make sense of tragedy.For more about maps in House records, read Maps in the Archives: A Pop of Color.Sources: RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, National Archives and Records Administration; RG 233, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, Select Committee on Assassinations, National Archives and Records Administration; RG 148, Records of Commissions of the Legislative Branch, 1928–2007; H.R. 13, 67th Cong. (1921); House Committee on the Judiciary, Antilynching Bill, 67th Cong., 1st sess., H. Rept. 452 (1921); Hearings before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, Investigation of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Appendix, Volume VI, Photographic Evidence, 95th Cong., 2nd sess. (1979); House Select Committee on Assassinations, Summary of Findings and Recommendations, 95th Cong., 2nd sess., H. Rept. 95-1828 (1979); Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs, To Establish the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, and for Other Purposes, 107th Cong., 2nd sess., S. Rept. 107-150 (2002); Jacob R. Straus, “Congressional Commissions: Overview and Considerations for Congress,” Congressional Research Service Report, 22 January 2021; History, Art & Archives, United States House of Representatives, Black Americans in Congress, 1870–2019; National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, 20 September 2004, https://www.9-11commission.gov/; “Records of the Legislative Commissions,” Center for Legislative Archives, 18 October 2017, https://www.archives.gov/legislative/research/browse/legislative-commissions.html.

The Fight for Fair Housing in the House: A “Long, Tortuous and Difficult Road” | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives

The 1960s was a remarkable decade for civil rights legislation on Capitol Hill. After nearly a century of inactivity on the issue, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlawed discrimination in public accommodations and employment, and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which opened access to the ballot to millions. To improve on these achievements, President Lyndon B. Johnson, in his 1966 State of the Union Address, called for additional legislation to extend protections for civil rights workers, end discrimination in jury selection, and “prohibit racial discrimination in the sale or rental of housing.”Civil rights legislation was a fundamental component of the ambitious social, economic, and political reforms at the heart of the Johnson administration’s Great Society agenda. Although policymakers had overlooked housing in the past, Johnson and his congressional allies began prioritizing it midway through his term. Following his landslide victory in 1964, Johnson’s efforts were bolstered by large Democratic majorities in the House and the Senate in the 89th Congress (1965–1967). By 1966, however, successive summers of civil unrest, violence, and property destruction had escalated tensions in American cities and starkly divided Congress on civil rights—especially on legislative efforts to make America’s housing policy fair and equitable.As lawmakers debated on Capitol Hill, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) launched a grassroots housing campaign to put pressure on Congress and desegregate northern cities. Starting in Chicago, Illinois, in 1966, King aimed to build a national movement for social and economic justice no longer confined to the Jim Crow South.Over the next two years, Johnson’s new housing measure—known as the Fair Housing Act—traveled what he called a “long, tortuous and difficult road,” exposing the limits of his Great Society agenda and forcing Congress to consider more expansive civil rights protections.Expanding the Liberty of AllIn a written message to Congress on April 28, 1966, President Johnson called for fair housing legislation to break down the “complicated chain of discrimination and lost opportunities” in American society and help his administration continue the War on Poverty. He stressed that revitalizing urban areas and ensuring equal access to housing would “expand the liberty of all.” Johnson dismissed critics who claimed that a fair housing initiative was beyond the constitutional powers of Congress, citing a century of historical precedents beginning with the Civil Rights Act of 1866, which declared that all U.S. citizens had the right “to inherit, purchase, lease, sell, hold and convey real and personal property.”The next week, on May 2, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Emanuel Celler of New York introduced a civil rights bill that included Johnson’s proposals, and would have made it illegal for certain homeowners to refuse to sell to prospective buyers because of their race. Members from both parties immediately identified the open housing provision as a major impediment to the bill’s passage. Many House Democrats—even those from beyond the South who had dutifully supported recent civil rights legislation—were wary of the bill after constituents complained that the federal government was infringing on their property rights.To broaden its appeal on the House Floor, Representative Charles McCurdy Mathias, Jr. of Maryland successfully amended the bill to effectively allow private home sellers to continue to discriminate, significantly weakening the open housing provision. Celler opposed Mathias’s amendment, arguing it would close off huge segments of America’s housing stock. Without the open housing provision, he said, the bill “would have been like a wine cellar without a corkscrew.”“Chicago is a Symbol”In Chicago, King and the SCLC concurred with Celler’s assessment. In residential neighborhoods throughout the city, the SCLC planned nonviolent marches to mobilize support for open housing policies as a fundamental part of the civil rights struggle. “Just as Selma became a symbol for all of the South,” King said, referencing the campaign in Selma, Alabama, that prodded Congress to pass the Voting Rights Act in 1965, “so Chicago is a symbol for all of the North.” The SCLC planned marches through white neighborhoods and engaged in demonstrations outside real estate firms, the Chicago Housing Authority, and city hall. It also sent Black and white homebuyers to visit real estate agents and tracked whether they received equal treatment.Back in Washington, Celler introduced a resolution on July 25 to force his civil rights bill into debate in the Committee of the Whole. The Judiciary Committee had approved the measure on June 30 but the Rules Committee, which set the terms for debate for every piece of legislation sent to the floor, had not considered the housing measure within the required 21-day window set by a new rule established in the 89th Congress. For decades, the Rules Committee and its series of southern chairmen had blocked most civil rights initiatives from reaching the floor. The House narrowly approved Celler’s resolution after a contentious debate in which Rules Chairman Howard Worth Smith of Virginia complained that Celler was trying to bypass his committee to appease the “so-called revolution of the Negro race.” With Celler’s success, the Baltimore Sun noted that the battle over the civil rights bill, waged throughout the summer in the “committee rooms and corridors” of Capitol Hill and “the streets of Northern cities,” had shifted to a new front: the floor of the House of Representatives.During the ensuing 12-day debate, many in the House voiced their opposition to the fair housing policy. Illinois Congressman Daniel David Rostenkowski thought the bill would fail unless the housing provision was removed or weakened. Southern Democrats relished the opportunity to accuse their northern colleagues of hypocrisy for their opposition to civil rights legislation that this time might affect their districts.As the debate intensified on Capitol Hill, King led several demonstrations in Chicago that were increasingly met with violence. On August 6, a Confederate-flag-waving crowd pelted King and several demonstrators trying to protect him in the head with rocks. King was surprised by the vitriol directed at his campaign, telling a reporter, “I think the people from Mississippi ought to come to Chicago to learn how to hate.”Three days later on August 9, following an unsuccessful last-minute effort to strip the fair housing provision, the House finally passed Celler’s civil rights bill after an extended debate in which the bill’s opponents accused King of fomenting the violence in Chicago and criticized the legislation as federal overreach.Following a month of Senate inactivity on the legislation, King denounced Congress for failing to address “the dramatic urgency of the housing problem.” He promised to extend his fair housing campaign to 20 or more cities prior to the November midterm elections so that the next Congress “will not be able to avoid it, so that the very crisis will cause the nation to act.” Senate Republicans soon joined with southern Democrats to kill the bill.The fair housing legislation played a prominent role in the 1966 elections. Roman Conrad Pucinski of Illinois, for instance, was one of many northern Democrats that questioned the framework of the housing measure. He had voted for the bill but also supported a failed amendment that would have exempted most individual homeowners from the law. After three comfortable victories in his northwest Chicago district, Pucinski faced a close race that November. “Go into Chicago today in any home, any bar, any barbershop and you will find people are not talking about Viet Nam,” Pucinski said in September. His constituents were more concerned with King’s demonstrations and “what’s going to happen to our neighborhoods.”In November, Republicans gained 47 seats in the House, and many pointed to the housing legislation to explain Democratic defeats. Pucinski kept his seat by a margin of about 3,700 votes—the closest re-election victory of his career. Although Democrats kept the House majority, the prospects for a new civil rights bill in the upcoming Congress appeared small, with the New York Times noting that “the election seems to have erased the House margin in its favor.”Where Does the House Go From Here?Early in the 90th Congress (1967–1969), Celler introduced another civil rights bill, H.R. 2516, that prohibited racial violence and intimidation directed against anyone engaging in constitutionally protected actions such as voting, jury service, employment, and accessing public accommodations and education. The bill, however, omitted any reference to equal housing. While Democrats mobilized behind the streamlined civil rights bill, tensions over jobs, housing, policing, and schools set the stage for a summer of discontent in America’s cities, culminating in the violent conflagrations in Newark, New Jersey, and Detroit, Michigan, during several weeks in July. In both cases, officials called out the National Guard to quell the violence. Ultimately, 69 people died, hundreds were injured, and millions of dollars of property was destroyed.On August 16, 1967, in Atlanta, Georgia, King delivered a searing indictment of violence, racism, and economic inequality in a speech before the SCLC’s annual convention. King described the Chicago open housing campaign as a key component of the freedom struggle. “Nowhere have the riots won any concrete improvements,” King declared, adding that only nonviolent protests could force the nation to address the social and economic problems of its citizens.That same day, the House debated Celler’s H.R. 2516. While southern Democrats led the opposition to the bill, Members from both northern and southern districts blamed King for the violence across America; several Members referenced his speech in Atlanta. Alton Asa Lennon of North Carolina accused King of more or less threatening Congress. “Is he saying to the men and women of the House of Representatives that they must respond to what he wants with respect to this legislation?” John Bayard Anderson of Illinois asked if the anti-intimidation provisions in the bill would apply to King if his stated aim of “mass civil disobedience” blocked children from attending school. Anderson wanted a guarantee that King could be prosecuted for attempting to “shamelessly exploit the schoolchildren of America” by calling for school boycotts.After his narrow victory in 1966, Pucinski of Illinois was adamant that the bill’s provisions should apply to King as well. He denounced King’s commitment to civil disobedience as a “gimmick,” adding that there was no doubt King “is determined to destroy America from within and he will stop at no measure to achieve his goal.” Pucinski declared, “I want the record to show that when we speak of civil rights we speak of them not only for the minority, but civil rights also for the majority.” Despite the venom against King on the House Floor, the House ultimately passed the civil rights bill on August 16, 1967.The Senate Changes CourseAfter nearly six months, the Senate finally took up H.R. 2516 in February 1968. The House had omitted any reference to fair housing in the bill, but Senator Edward William Brooke III of Massachusetts—the first African-American Senator directly elected by constituents and only the third Black Senator in U.S. history—joined his Democratic colleague, Walter Frederick Mondale of Minnesota, to draft an amendment prohibiting discrimination in the sale or rental of 91 percent of the nation’s housing. On the Senate Floor, Brooke outlined how segregated neighborhoods, typically far from employment opportunities, did extensive damage to African-American communities. Black families, he noted, often paid similar prices for homes in segregated neighborhoods as those in white neighborhoods but lacked the same level of public investments in the quality of housing, social services, and schools. Brooke added that he had experienced these inequalities firsthand and that they had a significant “psychological impact” on African Americans searching for homes. “In the hierarchy of American values there can be no higher standard than equal justice for each individual,” Brooke declared. “By that standard, who could question the right of every American to compete on equal terms for adequate housing for his family?”As had happened in the House, opposition to the amendment was vocal in its tortured logic. Democrat Samuel James Ervin, Jr. of North Carolina, for instance, warned that the bill was designed to “bring about equality by robbing all Americans of their basic rights of private property.” Republican Leader Everett McKinley Dirksen of Illinois had been steadfastly opposed to the bill since 1966, when he called the housing provision “absolutely unconstitutional.” But after lengthy debate, Dirksen unexpectedly declared that he was open to supporting the fair housing amendment with certain revisions. The final Senate bill included several concessions to Dirksen. It reduced the housing stock covered by the fair housing provision from 91 to 80 percent; it made it a federal crime to cross state lines to participate in a riot—a remnant of the 1966 bill; and prohibited Native American tribal governments from restricting the exercise of specific constitutional rights on their lands. The compromise bill passed the Senate on March 11, 1968.Referral to the Rules CommitteeWith the Senate bill in hand, Celler asked for unanimous consent to concur with the Senate’s amendments and send the bill to the President’s desk on March 14. The House rejected his request, and instead sent H.R. 2516 to the Rules Committee to set the terms for additional consideration. Because the House’s 21-day rule had been eliminated by the 90th Congress, the new Rules Committee chairman, William Myers Colmer of Mississippi, was no longer required to take quick action on the bill. Colmer was an ardent segregationist, and he aimed to stop the bill’s progress on procedural grounds, arguing that the Senate had “completely rewritten everything that was in the bill as it passed the House.” He proposed sending the bill to a conference committee, where Members from both chambers could revise and, in theory, forge an agreement on the final version of the bill—but where he was confident that it would be delayed indefinitely.On March 19, Colmer ignored pleas from the Johnson administration to take swift action on the bill and scheduled the committee vote for April 9. He then convened several Rules Committee hearings on the bill at the end of March and beginning of April. Colmer believed he had support in his committee to send the bill to its demise in conference, and strategically planned the vote with King in mind. King and the SCLC were set to begin what they called the Poor People’s March on Washington on April 22. The bill’s opponents hoped that public disapproval of the protest in the capital would allow Congress to slowly suffocate the measure by avoiding decisive action before the end of the session.But on the evening of April 4, King’s assassination radically altered the fate of the civil rights bill and brought his grassroots campaign for housing justice directly into the halls of Congress.Sources: Congressional Record, House, 89th Cong., 2nd sess. (25 July 1966): 16382, 16384, 16389; Congressional Record, House, 89th Cong., 2nd sess. (8 August 1966): 18479; Congressional Record, House, 89th Cong., 2nd sess. (9 August 1966): 18740; Congressional Record, House, 90th Cong., 1st sess. (16 August 1967): 22751–22752, 22767–22768, 22775, 22777–22778; Congressional Record, Senate, 90th Cong., 2nd sess. (6 February 1968): 2279, 2281, 2282; Congressional Record, Senate, 90th Cong., 2nd sess. (20 February 1968): 3423; Congressional Record, House, 90th Cong., 2nd sess. (14 March 1968): 6481, 6489, 6496; Message from the President of the United States, 89th Cong., 2nd. Sess., H. Doc. 321 (1966); Message from the President of the United States Proposing Enactment of Legislation to Make Authority Against Civil Rights Violence Clear and Sure, 89th Cong., 2nd sess., H. Doc. 432 (1966); Raymond J. Celada, “Analysis of H. R. 2516,” 2 November 1967, Legislative Reference Service; Civil Rights Act, 14 Stat. 27 (1866); H.R. 14765, 89th Cong. (1966); H.R. 2516, 90th Cong. (1967); Atlanta Constitution, 1 August 1966, 4 August 1966, 17 August 1967; Baltimore Sun, 25 July 1966, 11 January 1967, 20 March 1968; Boston Globe, 1 May 1966, 31 July 1966; Chicago Tribune, 30 Jun 1966, 20 September 1966, 21 September 1966; Christian Science Monitor, 2 August 1966; Los Angeles Times, 28 July 1966, 10 August 1966, 17 August 1966; New York Times, 13 January 1966, 8 May 1966, 6 August 1966, 8 August 1966, 10 August 1966, 13 November 1966, 11 January 1967, 12 March 1968, 20 March 1968, 6 April 1968, 11 April 1968; Washington Post, 3 May 1966, 11 July 1966; Kevin Mumford, Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America (New York: New York University Press, 2007); Thomas J. Sugrue, The Origins of the Urban Crisis: Race and Inequality in Postwar Detroit (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1996); Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Where Do We Go From Here?,” 16 August 1967, The Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute, Stanford University, accessed 20 April 2021, https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/where-do-we-go-here.

Thanking the Troops | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives

When the first cannon shots of the Civil War landed on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor on April 12, 1861, the Abraham Lincoln administration confronted a rebellion against the United States and an urgent security problem in the nation’s capital. Nestled between Virginia, a slave state south of the Potomac River, and Maryland, a slaveholding border state to the north with strong southern sympathies, Washington, DC, was only sparsely defended and remarkably vulnerable. When Virginia seceded from the Union on April 17, only the Potomac River separated Washington from the hostile ambitions of the Confederacy. In those anxious April days the city was—in President Lincoln’s own words—“put into a condition of siege.” The situation was so dire that Lincoln issued an emergency proclamation on April 15 that called Congress back into session on July 4. He also urged northern states to quickly send 75,000 volunteer troops to put down the rebellion and to defend the federal city. The governors of Massachusetts, New York, and Pennsylvania immediately began mobilizing their citizens. Early on the morning of April 18, the First Pennsylvania Volunteers, a regiment of roughly 500 men, departed Harrisburg, the state capital, for the 120-mile trek to the nation’s capital. They left so hastily and provisions were so scant, that many of the volunteers still wore civilian clothes. The Harrisburg armory had no firearms to distribute; only a handful of men carried 1820s-vintage flintlock muskets. Joining them was a 40-man company—armed with rifles—from the Fourth U.S. Artillery stationed in the nearby town of Carlisle, which had been ordered to reinforce Fort McHenry in Baltimore. Regulars and volunteers filed onto two trains at 8:10 a.m., some riding in passenger coaches, others in improvised cattle cars. No train ran direct from Harrisburg to DC, so the regiment transferred in Baltimore, then known as “Mob City” for its history of bloody riots. One of the volunteers, John W. Forney, later the Clerk of the House and the Secretary of the Senate, recalled that as the train rolled southward across the Mason–Dixon Line, few among his contingent “were willing to admit that the pro-slavery mob of the city would dare attack the soldiers on their way to the immediate scene of peril” in Washington. But secessionist agitators had whipped many Baltimore residents into a frenzy. The city was on edge as the Pennsylvania troops disembarked. As the soldiers began their long trudge through downtown toward their connection at Camden Station, a crowd of several thousand pro-secessionists greeted them. “Rough and toughs, longshoremen, gamblers, floaters, idlers, red-hot secessionists, as well as men ordinarily sober and steady, crowded upon, pushed, and hustled the little band [of men],” recorded the regiment’s historian, “and made every effort to break the thin line.” Unarmed and under strict orders to avoid using force, the volunteers endured numerous assaults along their path, particularly after the armed regulars peeled off toward Fort McHenry. As the volunteers neared Camden Station the mob closed in, hurling bricks, rocks, and pavers, as well as dead animals, spoiled food, rotten eggs, and bottles. They shouted vile taunts and singled out 65-year-old Nicholas Biddle, a free Black man and artillery orderly, pelting him in the face with stones. Bloodied and bedraggled but intact, the First Pennsylvania Regiment clambered onto their train. After an exhausting 11-hour journey, the regiment arrived in the District of Columbia at 7 p.m., buoyed by the sense that they’d made history as the first group of volunteers to answer Lincoln’s call to serve. They marched several blocks from the train station, up to the East Front steps of the U.S. Capitol, then in the midst of an ambitious expansion project. The Dome was only partially completed, and a massive crane—used to lift its heavy cast-iron sections into place—rose high from the stone floor of the unfinished Rotunda. Moving through the Rotunda, the regiment turned left, walked through the marbled Old Hall of the House (now National Statuary Hall), and entered the magnificent new House Chamber, then a little more than three years old. It was otherworldly for the men, most of whom had never seen anything bigger than a county courthouse. A correspondent reported the arrival of the Pennsylvanians the next morning on the front page of the New York Times, describing the scene in the Capitol as “animated and picturesque.”Newspapers were silent on a quieter, far more momentous encounter. After a guard was set and volunteers had spread their bedrolls to rest for the night on the floor of the House Chamber, a door opened and three unexpected visitors entered. The first was the Secretary of War, Simon Cameron, a former Pennsylvania Senator from Maytown, just a few miles south of Harrisburg, and a familiar figure to many of the men. Flanking Cameron was William Seward, the Secretary of State. The third figure, one soldier later recounted, “towering over all in the room was the great central figure of the war,” President Abraham Lincoln. As word spread around the dimly-lit chamber and soldiers roused from their sleep, they gathered around Lincoln. The president seemed kindly but almost “bashful,” and he gave heartfelt thanks to the men who risked their lives to protect the seat of government. “I did not come here to make a speech,” Lincoln told them. “The time for speech-making has gone by, and the time for action is at hand. I have come here to . . . shake every officer and soldier by the hand, providing you will give me the privilege.” The president of the United States, moving slowly and with purpose, clasped hands with each of the men. He gave particular attention to the injured including Nicholas Biddle. In the coming days and weeks, many other northern troops arrived to stand guard over the Capitol. And, ultimately, the Union Army stationed troops there for the duration of the four-year Civil War. Long after that conflict passed, in other times of great national crisis, soldiers returned to protect the Capitol. They secured the building amid World War I, and during World War II, the military quartered personnel in the building and on the grounds. In April 1968, during violent civil unrest after the assassination of the civil rights leader, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the National Guard stood watch over the Capitol—sleeping on its floors and in its hallways like the First Pennsylvania Volunteers a century earlier. The National Guard also provided security on the Capitol campus following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and subsequent anthrax attacks on Capitol Hill. In the aftermath of the violent insurrection of January 6, 2021, federal troops are once again stationed in and around the Capitol.Sources: John Lockwood and Charles Lockwood, The Siege of Washington: The Untold Story of the Twelve Days that Shook the Union (New York: Oxford, 2011); John W. Forney, Anecdotes of Famous Men, Vol 1. (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1873); Abraham Lincoln: The Observations of John G. Nicolay and John Hay, ed. Michael Burlingame (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2007); Chicago Tribune, 19 April 1861; New York Times, 19 April 1861; New York Times, 7 April 1968.

Edition for Educators—Remembrance in the Capitol | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives

Though typically bustling with the business of legislation, there are times when Congress pauses to reflect, grieve, and memorialize the passing of national figures. Conscious of its place on the national stage, Congress occasionally offers the Capitol Rotunda or House Chamber as a place for the public to mourn and celebrate the lives of dedicated and notable citizens. This Edition for Educators sheds light on the ways the U.S. House of Representatives mourns and remembers. Featured Institutional Information Individuals Who Have Lain in State or in HonorSince Henry Clay in 1852, the U.S. Capitol Rotunda has been used as a place to pay tribute to the Nation’s most distinguished citizens. Made available for public viewing in the Capitol, people who have “lain in state” traditionally have been American statesmen and military leaders, including 12 U.S. Presidents. Funerals in the House Chamber Under the current House Rule IV, the House Chamber may only be used for legislative functions, conference meetings, and caucus meetings unless the House agrees to take part in a ceremony. Earlier in House history, however, the Chamber also served as a place to memorialize Representatives who died in office. Featured HighlightsThe First House Chamber Funeral On December 18, 1820, the first known funeral in the House Chamber occurred. Representative Nathaniel Hazard of Rhode Island died the day before in Washington, DC. On the morning of the 18th, Representative Samuel Eddy of Rhode Island announced the death to the full House. The House approved several resolutions relating to funeral attendance by Members and appointed a committee of seven to tend to the funeral arrangements. The Honoring of Representative Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania When Pennsylvania Representative Thaddeus Stevens died on August 11, 1868, crowds of mourners, including colleagues such as Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts, came to his Washington, DC, home to pay their respects. A regiment of soldiers escorted Stevens’s body to the Capitol Rotunda to lay in state. Visitors filed past throughout the day on August 13 and into the next morning. After the viewing, a short funeral took place in the Rotunda and Stevens’s body was transported to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, for burial. The Memorial of the Challenger On January 28, 1986, the House of Representatives memorialized the seven astronauts aboard the space shuttle Challenger who perished when the craft exploded shortly after launch that morning. Out of respect to the Challenger crew and their families, the House adjourned for two hours before promptly passing a resolution expressing sorrow for the tragedy and remembering the astronauts onboard the shuttle. President Ronald Reagan also postponed the State of the Union Address, which he had been scheduled to deliver that evening. The Honoring of Civil Rights Icon Rosa Parks On October 30 and 31, 2005, civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks was honored in the U.S. Capitol. In 1955, Parks, an African-American seamstress, galvanized the U.S. civil rights movement by performing an act of civil disobedience in refusing to yield her seat to a white man and move to the back of a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Shortly after her death, she became the first woman and the second Black American to lie in honor in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol. With bipartisan support, the resolution to honor the civil rights icon passed easily. A statue of Rose Parks was placed in Statuary Hall in 2013.Featured Oral Histories Lying-in-State Ceremony for President John F. Kennedy George Andrews, a former House Page and the son of former Representatives George and Elizabeth Andrews of Alabama, recalled in his oral history interview the 1963 state funeral of President John F. Kennedy. Remembering Speaker Tip O’Neill of Massachusetts Dolly Seelmeyer, the first woman photographer for the U.S. House of Representatives, discussed taking a photo of the flag at half-staff for the family of Speaker Thomas “Tip” O’Neill of Massachusetts as rain poured upon a Capitol in mourning. 1998 Shooting of Two Capitol Police Officers Arva Marie Johnson joined the Capitol Police force as the first African-American female officer in 1974 and went on to serve 32 years on Capitol Hill. In her oral history, she remembers the tragic shooting deaths of two of her fellow officers. Within a few days of the tragedy, the House and Senate authorized a concurrent resolution for a memorial service for the officers to “lie in honor” in the Capitol Rotunda. Officer Jacob Chestnut Jr. and Detective John Gibson were buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full honors.Featured Objects from the House Collection A Celebration of the Life of The Honorable Robert T. Matsui ProgramAs a child, Representative Robert Matsui of California was placed in an internment camp by the United States government. He later served in the House for more than two decades. In what has become common practice for departed colleagues, Matsui was eulogized in a ceremony that followed his death in office in 2005. The memorial service’s program listed colleagues from both sides of the aisle who admired his career. Often, these eulogies are collected and published alongside articles and obituaries inserted into the Congressional Record. John Quincy Adams Memorial Ribbon John Quincy Adams, the House’s “Old Man Eloquent,” died in the Speaker’s office, just steps from the House Chamber, in 1848. The former President had become an ardent abolitionist during his 16 years in the House, and Americans throughout the northern states mourned him widely. This memorial ribbon was sold in New York, far from Adams’ funeral in the U.S. Capitol. Funeral Services for the Late Champ ClarkChamp Clark, a Missouri Congressman and former Speaker of the House, died on March 2, 1921, two days before the close of the 66th Congress (1919–1921). Members honored Clark with a funeral in the House Chamber, held on March 5. With his coffin present in the well of the House Floor, flowers spilled over the Speaker’s rostrum, and Clark’s friends and colleagues gathered to pay their respects. Featured RecordMartin Luther King, Jr., National Holiday After the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., Rosemary Ryan of Kansas City, Kansas, wrote this letter to the Reverend Ralph Abernathy of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) expressing her desire for King’s January 15 birthday to be made a national holiday.Abernathy led a march on Washington to deliver the signature petitions, including Rosemary Ryan's, to Congress, where they became part of the records of the House Judiciary Committee. Featured Blog Mourning in the ChamberThe House Chamber is known as a space for discourse and debate, but it also has a more somber history. From 1820 to 1940, the chamber served as the setting for the funerals of some sitting Members. Learn more about this tradition through four photographs from the House Collection.This is part of a series of blog posts for educators highlighting the resources available on History, Art & Archives of the U.S. House of Representatives. For lesson plans, fact sheets, glossaries, and other materials for the classroom, see the website's Education section.

Before Bloody Sunday | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives

A month before Selma became synonymous with the struggle for voting rights, a group of Congressmen traveled to the city and returned to Washington to sound the alarm. “We—as Members of Congress—must face the fact that existing legislation just is not working,” Joseph Resnick of New York said upon his return. “The situation in Selma must jar us from our complacency concerning voting rights.”In January 1965, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., launched a voter registration campaign in Selma. By the end of the month, nearly 4,000 African-American citizens were jailed, including King, arrested on charges of parading without a permit. In one instance, authorities arrested 300 school children, using cattle prods to force the children to run several miles to the jail.As incarceration and instances of violence continued, King and the SCLC invited Members of Congress to Selma as “events of the past month have raised serious questions as to the adequacy of present voting rights legislation.” Twelve Democrats and three Republicans answered, representing districts in the West, Midwest, and Northeast. As it was not an official congressional delegation, each Member paid his own way to Selma.On February 5, the Members flew from Washington to Montgomery, then traveled on by car to Selma. Four Alabama Representatives, not happy with the prospect of their colleagues' visit, arranged to meet the delegation in Selma to keep a close eye on them. Representative William Dickinson of Alabama told reporters he was not in favor of a “self-appointed, self-anointed group coming down here until they get their own backyard cleaned up.”The delegation first went to the city jail, where they were confronted by Selma Mayor Joe Smitherman, who labeled them as outside agitators. The Alabama Representatives, wanting to shape the delegation’s trip, organized a sit-down with city and county officials. The two-and-a-half-hour summit did not lead to any concessions. Local officials maintained that “if outsiders would leave town things would return to normal.”Finally, the delegation met with Dr. King, who secured bail earlier in the day, and local black citizens, who provided testimony of failed registration attempts, physical violence, and brutal prison conditions. Representative Charles Diggs of Michigan reported that Selma’s black residents “were greatly lifted by the fact a delegation would come from Washington to try to help them. They were inspired by the racial complexion of our delegation. It encouraged them to keep fighting to attain their objective of being first-class citizens with the right to vote.”The delegation returned to D.C. that night, with many of the Members immediately calling for congressional action and new voting legislation. Representative Ogden Reid of New York said, “We were interested in seeing the facts at firsthand. . . . It was clear in Selma, Ala., and in Dallas County, and I am sure is clear in some other areas, that there are patterns and practices of voter discrimination.”On February 9th, Representatives Diggs and John Conyers of Michigan organized two back-to-back special order speeches to allow Members to detail to the House what they saw in Selma. Inserted into the Congressional Record were a copy of a voter registration application and questionnaire, the testimony from black residents, and calls for congressional investigation and legislation. “If each of us confines his activities strictly to his own local interests,” Gus Hawkins of California said, explaining his participation in the Selma delegation, “who in Congress is going to be looking after the national interests?”But a group of Congressmen on a fact-finding mission held little sway on public opinion. Like so much of the story of the civil rights movement, what jarred Americans and Congress from complacency were the iconic images of peaceful protestors who met with violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge less than a month later.Sources: Congressional Record, House, 89th Cong., 1st sess. (8–9 February 1965); Montgomery Advertiser, 4 February 1965; Baltimore Sun, 6 February 1965.Follow @USHouseHistory

Afro-American Research in The Family History Guide – The Family History Guide Blog

On this holiday in the United States, we pay tribute to a great leader for human rights: Dr. Martin Luther King. His legacy is still being felt in the lives of countless people around the world. On a separate note, many Black people in the United States and abroad have discovered the power of family history to connect generations and discover the often untold stories of their past. While genealogy research for Black families can still prove to be challenging, advances in DNA research and diligent efforts of genealogists have opened many doors that were previously closed, or even unknown. Projects in The Family History Guide The Family History Guide features a wide assortment of resources for African American research, as well as QUIKLinks to record collections. Here is a brief summary of what you'll find, Goal by Goal, in Project 9: African American ... Goal 1: Get Started—Research basics, tips and techniques to use, and additional resources. Links to nine articles, 10 videos, and two websites. Goal 2: Record Sources—How to find record sources, exploring vital and census records, exploring newspapers for research clues, and learning about other record types. Links to 18 articles, five videos, and four websites. Goal 3: Library and Other Resources—Finding resources in libraries and archives, and tips for additional resources to use. Links to seven articles, four videos, and three websites. Goal 4: Slavery Resources—Learning about records and databases that document slaves, learning about the Freedmen's Bank and Bureau, and learning about the National Underground Railroad. Links to 21 articles, 12 videos, and nine websites. Goal 5: Break through Barriers—Learning about challenges and methods for breakthroughs, and tracing slave ancestors before the Civil War. Links to  seven articles, six videos, and one website. The Vault There are links to many additional helpful articles and videos about African American research in the Vault section of The Family History Guide. Starting: Links to nine articles, 11 videos Resources: Links to nine articles, eight videos Slavery: Links to nine articles, seven videos