The congressman, pictured here in 2009, was instrumental in the creation of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Smithsonian Leaders Reflect on the Legacy of Civil Rights Icon John Lewis

The congressman and civil rights activist died on Friday at age 80

Margaret Chase Smith sworn in on June 10, 1940 to fill the vacancy left by her husband, Rep. Clyde Smith. Left to right in the picture: Margaret Chase Smith, Speaker William Bankhead and Rep. James C. Oliver, Republican of Maine, who sponsored Mrs. Smith

The History of Wives Replacing Their Dead Husbands in Congress

This tradition was one of the main ways American women gained access to political power in the 20th century

Kimberly Teehee photographed in 2010.

Kimberly Teehee Will Be the Cherokee Nation's First Delegate to Congress

The nomination, promised in an 1835 treaty, is still pending as of July 2020

Operation Ranch Hand has led to a multi-generational health crisis and an environmental catastrophe.

Court Rules 'Blue Water' Vietnam Veterans Are Eligible for Agent Orange Benefits

Sailors had long been excluded from health benefits related to the dioxin-tainted herbicide the military spread during the war

Hemp harvest at Mount Vernon

Hemp Makes a Return to George Washington's Farm

The first crop of industrial hemp grown in centuries was recently harvested at Mount Vernon

Southern Chivalry – Argument versus Club's, John L. Magee

Before the Civil War, Congress Was a Hotbed of Violence

A new book from historian Joanne Freeman chronicles the viciousness with which elected officials treated each other

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will testify Tuesday before a joint hearing of the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committees about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election.

Before Zuckerberg, These Six Corporate Titans Testified Before Congress

The CEO of Facebook has some ignominious company from J.P. Morgan to Kenneth Lay

The Library of Congress recently digitized this portrait of John Willis Menard, the only known photograph of the African-American trailblazer.

The International Vision of John Willis Menard, First African-American Elected to Congress

Although he was denied his seat in the House, Menard continued his political activism with the goal of uniting people across the Western Hemisphere

The Senate as a Court of Impeachment for the Trial of Andrew Johnson

The Political Circus and Constitutional Crisis of Andrew Johnson’s Impeachment

When the 17th president was accused of high crimes and misdemeanors in 1868, the wild trial nearly reignited the Civil War

All Smithsonian tourist sites in Washington, D.C. and New York are guaranteed to stay open through Monday, January 22, regardless of the government shutdown.

Smithsonian Museums Will Remain Open this Weekend and Monday

The days ahead may be uncertain, but for the time being, the show goes on

A vintage Thanksgiving postcard featuring pardoned turkeys.

Presidents From Lincoln to FDR Kept the Thanksgiving Tradition Going

Lincoln started the process of making it a federal holiday in 1863, crystallizing something that had been around since the days of the Pilgrims

Anne Royall's headstone at Washington D.C.'s Congressional Cemetery.

The 19th-Century Woman Journalist Who Made Congress Bow Down in Fear

A new book examines the life and legacy of Anne Royall, whose literal witch trial made headlines across the country

Jimmie Rodgers and the Carter Family, the first two commercially popular country music acts, got their national start at the Bristol Sessions.

How the Bristol Sessions Created Country Music

Ninety years ago, a yodeller named Jimmie Rodgers laid down two of the tracks he would be remembered for

The dead letter office circa 1922. The contents of unresolvable dead letters and packages are periodically sold off by the USPS.

A Brief History of American Dead Letter Offices

The United States postal system was established on this day in 1775, and mail started going "dead" very soon after

This 1861 cartoon of the Bull Run battlefield includes a portrayal of watching House members and "ladies as spectators."

Was the First Battle of Bull Run Really ‘The Picnic Battle’?

Yep. But it was anything but frivolous

Mobster Frank Costello testifying before the Kefauver Committee.

How Watching Congressional Hearings Became an American Pastime

Decades before Watergate, mobsters helped turn hearings into must-see television

Ex-president Theodore Roosevelt speaks to crowds in Mineola, New York, in support of US entry into the First World War, 1917

Why Teddy Roosevelt Tried to Bully His Way Onto the WWI Battlefield

Tensions ran high when President Wilson quashed the return of the former president’s Rough Riders

An unemployed painter named Richard Lawrence attempted to assassinate President Andrew Jackson in January 1835.

The Attempted Assassination of Andrew Jackson

A madman, a conspiracy and a lot of angry politicians

What Is the Congressional Review Act?

The U.S. Congress is wiping away rules and regulations finalized in the last months of the Obama administration through a little-used 1996 law

When Charles Sumner spoke out against slavery in 1856, he incurred the violent wrath of congressman Preston Brooks.

In the Congressional Fight Over Slavery, Decorum Went Out the Door

Amid today's dissent over proper Senate behavior, take a look back at when an assault in the Senate divided the nation

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