Congress

House Chamber of the Capitol circa 1908, with a quorum of ghosts in this time exposure.

Photo of U.S. House of Representatives When Laws Were Once Passed

This photo shows the old United States House of Representatives in a time when laws were passed, senators would verbally spar on the floor, and spend the evening socializing over whiskey and cigars. The good old days.

1848 Plan of the Senate Chamber

This drawing is a plan of the U.S. Senate chamber for the Thirtieth Congress. Source: Duke University
Congressional pages have snowball fight in 1923

Republicans vs. Democrats Congressional Snowball Fight

How fun is this old photo taken on December 14th, 1923? It shows a large group of boys who were Congressional pages on both sides of the aisle, battling it out with snowballs. I’d love to...
proposed underground streetcar system - 1912

Original Subway Planned for Downtown D.C. in 1912

Washington DC almost has a subway started in 1912, well before WMATA and Metro opened in 1976. Learn about what almost was built in the District.
freshman members of Congress 1947

Photo of Boyish Kennedy and Nixon

Whoa, this is cool. If you haven’t seen this before, it’s a photo from 1947 when both Kennedy and Nixon were member of the House of Representatives. Kennedy looks like he’s 18 and Nixon about 23.
the Capitol Building

Stop Blaming Washington

Don’t blame Washington for the failures of a dysfunctional Congress. We don’t blame the city of New York for the financial implosion of 2008. We don’t blame St. Louis, Milwaukee, or Lynchburg, Tennessee for our college...
a proposed map of the federal district in Washington (1970)

1970 Plan to Cede D.C. Land to Maryland

Now this is interesting. It’s part of the ongoing debate about home rule here, as well as D.C. statehood. How can we really be autonomous if Congress controls our budget and we aren’t even represented in...
Members of the Republican baseball team of the House of Representatives parading around the field at American League Park

Republican Congressional Baseball Team Riding an Elephant … Seriously

This is a rather strange photo. It’s of the Republican Congressional baseball team parading around the field at American League Park. The photo was taken on May 3rd, 1926. Don’t forget to watch Ron Paul crank...
Providence Hospital in the early 1900s (Library of Congress)

Lost History: Providence Hospital and the Story Behind Providence Park

The hospital still exists, but it’s no longer in the original location. Providence Hospital once stood between 2nd and 3rd St. and D and E St. Southeast. The block is now Providence Park, which is an...

Counting Electoral College Votes in 1917

This is another great photo, again from the Library of Congress. The caption states that it is the counting of electoral votes for the 1916 Presidential Election, in which Woodrow Wilson beat Charles Hughes. I’m unclear...

The Changing Fortunes of Pork in the District

This is a guest post by Rick. He also wrote a good one on the alley dwellings in Foggy Bottom. In recent years here in Washington pork has gotten a bad rap. Not the meat; the money. For much...
U.S. Senate subway circa 1915 (Shorpy)

The Senate Subway in 1915

If you work on Capitol Hill, you’re going to find this one fascinating. This is the underground subway that many of you take between buildings. Okay, it’s changed a little bit since then, but check it...
Ebbitt House in 1865 as photographed by Matthew Brady (Wikipedia)

Old Ebbitt Grill History

GoDCer and long-distance reader Ben sent in a request to do a little digging on local favorite Old Ebbitt Grill. The restaurant has a great story, deeply tied to the history of our city, having been...
1914 Raush & Lang electric vehicle (Smithsonian)

U.S. House Bans Joy Rides in Government Automobiles

Amid the implosion of yet another DC council member this week (what part of public trust don’t you guys understand?), it’s only apropos to post a story like this. Sadly, our outrage is not something unique, as...
Blanche Kelso Bruce, Frederick Douglass, Hiram Rhodes Revels

Charles Douglass Calls Swearing-In of Senator Hiram Revels “One of the Greatest Days in the History of This Country.”

This is a guest post by John (from The Lion of Anacostia), cross-posted here. The first black American seated as a member of the United States Senate was Hiram Rhodes Revels representing Mississippi. Revels filled the seat vacated by Jefferson Davis, who...
D.C. Commissioner, Melvin Hazen, who chose the design, is pictured with the new flag October 17th, 1938 (Library of Congress)

What Is The Flag of Washington, D.C.?

You probably didn’t know this, but Washington did not have an official flag until the middle of the 20th century. Many locals really wanted the flag in addition to self-government and a vote (no taxation without...
Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan Had a Great Sense of Humor

This is pretty amusing and a nice short video to share on a Sunday. This is the opening of Ronald Reagan’s first State of the Union address to Congress, given on January 26th, 1982. The best...

Winston Churchill Addresses Congress: “The Masters of Our Fate”

Continuing the Anglo-American theme of today, here is a second video of a British Prime Minister in Washington. Winston Churchill took a steamship through German submarine-infested waters around Christmas in 1941, just after the Empire of...
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