Government Leaders

Newly elected Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, surrounded by children and grandchildren of members of Congress, holds up her gavel in the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 4, 2007.

This Historic Gavel Hammers Home the Achievements of Nancy Pelosi… and the United States

The congresswoman donates to the Smithsonian artifacts tied to her first day as Speaker of the House in 2007

Tickets to the Johnson impeachment trial were color-coded to indicate dates for the proceedings, which lasted more than two months.

The Fight Over Andrew Johnson's Impeachment Was a Fight for the Future of the United States

The biggest show in Washington 150 years ago was the trial against the President of the United States

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

The Old House Chamber has been used as National Statuary Hall since July 1864.

A Senator Speaks Out Against Confederate Monuments… in 1910

Alone in his stand, Weldon Heyburn despised that Robert E. Lee would be memorialized with a statue in the U.S. Capitol

Independence Day Celebration in Centre Square by John Lewis Krimmel (1787–1821)

The Brief Period, 200 Years Ago, When American Politics Was Full of “Good Feelings”

James Monroe’s 1817 goodwill tour kicked off a decade of party-less government – but he couldn’t stop the nation from dividing again

President Donald Trump, accompanied by Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, speaks on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

How White House Chiefs of Staff Help Govern

According to Chris Whipple’s new book, an empowered chief of staff can make a successful presidency

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

Romanians protest in Victoria Place in Bucharest on January 22.

Why Romanians Took to the Streets This Weekend

Up to half a million citizens protested a new decree that would have diminished anti-corruption penalties

The Experimental Lakes Area in Ontario is one of the world's leading long-term experiments tracking the effects of climate change, pollution and other factors on freshwater ecosystems.

Canadian Scientists Explain Exactly How Their Government Silenced Science

It wasn’t just climate research. Rock snot, sharks and polar bears: All were off-limits during the Harper administration

Screenshot of interactive

This Interactive Maps Out the Lives of Former Presidents

From Washington to Obama, how ex-commanders-in-chief bided their time after leaving office

The rainbow at the top right in the window of the Lansdowne Portrait of George Washington (detail) was an 18th century symbol of God's blessings.

Why America Has a “President” Instead of an “Exalted Highness”

The title just used to mean someone who presided over a meeting

Senators Kenneth Wherry (pictured at left) and J. Lister Hill conducted the first congressional investigation into homosexuality in the federal workforce.

State Department Apologizes for the 'Lavender Scare'

For decades, the agency purged gay and lesbian workers believing their sexual orientation made them security risks

President Boris Yeltsin hands over a copy of the Russian constitution to Vladimir Putin, December 21, 1999.

The Popularity of Putin and What It Means for America

In the 25 years since the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia has changed dramatically--and it’s more important than ever to understand those changes

Harold Israel, left, and Homer Cummings, right, were linked for life.

The Suspect, the Prosecutor, and the Unlikely Bond They Forged

New evidence shows that Homer Cummings, who would later be FDR's attorney general, rescued an innocent man accused of murder

There’s a Department of Government Ethics? What Does it Do?

What is the agency weighing in on the incoming administrations potential conflicts of interest?

Today We Honor the Only Woman Who Ever Voted to Give U.S. Women the Right to Vote

100 years ago, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman elected to Congress

Countries Agree to Cut Harmful Refrigerants: What You Need to Know

Over the weekend, nearly 200 nations agreed to phase out hydrofluorocarbons, a super greenhouse gas used in air conditioners and refrigerators

People sit on a roof waiting to be rescued after Hurricane Katrina

Eleven Years After Katrina, What Lessons Can We Learn Before the Next Disaster Strikes?

Author and playwright John Biguenet offers his thoughts on the narrative of destruction

President Ronald Reagan, just moments before he was shot by John Hinckley

The Media Learned Nothing After Misreporting the Reagan Assassination Attempt

As the shooter John Hinckley returns to life outside of imprisonment, it’s worth looking back at every thing the media got wrong that day

Theresa May, the U.K.'s newest Prime Minister.

Why Britain’s New Prime Minister Wasn’t Elected

Theresa May will become the U.K.’s newest Prime Minister tomorrow

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