Felton advocated lynching Black men accused of raping white women—“a thousand times a week if necessary,” as she said in an infamous 1897 speech.

The Nation's First Woman Senator Was a Virulent White Supremacist

In 1922, Rebecca Latimer Felton, a Georgia women's rights activist and lynching proponent, temporarily filled a dead man's Senate seat

Since the 1920s, this unique piece of history has only been displayed publicly three times.

This Civil War–Era Eagle Sculpture Was Made Out of Abraham Lincoln's Hair

The unusual artifact also contains tresses from First Lady Mary Lincoln, members of the president's cabinet and senators

In 1946, Lynwood Shull, police chief of Batesburg, South Carolina, brutally blinded U.S. Army veteran Isaac Woodard (pictured here with his mother). An all-white jury acquitted Shull of the attack in just 28 minutes.

After Victory in World War II, Black Veterans Continued the Fight for Freedom at Home

These men, who had sacrificed so much for the country, faced racist attacks in 1946 as they laid the groundwork for the civil rights movement to come

An illustration of the British burning Washington in 1814

The History of Violent Attacks on the U.S. Capitol

While the building has seen politically motivated mayhem in the past, never before has a mob of insurrectionists tried to overturn a presidential election

“When you’re up in space looking down at the round blue ball we call Earth, it becomes pretty clear that we’re all in this together," said Mark Kelly on Twitter.

A Brief History of Astronauts in Congress

This year, Arizona elected Mark Kelly to the Senate, making him the fourth astronaut elected to Congress

Old Supreme Court Chamber in the U.S. Capitol

The History of 'Stolen' Supreme Court Seats

As the Trump administration seeks to fill a vacancy on the Court, a look back at the forgotten mid-19th century battles over the judiciary

Read excerpts from women senators' testimonials below.

Women Senators Reflect on the 100th Anniversary of Suffrage

Twenty-four lawmakers shared testimonials with the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Before Senator Joe McCarthy became infamous for his grandstanding against alleged Communists, he came to the defense of former German soldiers convicted during the Malmedy war crimes trial.

When Senator Joe McCarthy Defended Nazis

In a nearly forgotten episode, the Wisconsin firebrand sided with the Germany military in a war crimes trial, raising questions about his anti-Semitism

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

Hattie Caraway succeeded her husband as an Arkansas senator and then won re-election with more votes than her six male opponents combined. She's pictured at her desk in 1943.

Hattie Caraway, the First Woman Elected to the U.S. Senate, Faced a Familiar Struggle With Gender Politics

After Arkansas elected her in 1931, Caraway was ignored by her peers but hounded by the press

Grand Canyon National Park

The Decades-Long Political Fight to Save the Grand Canyon

Americans had long known about the wonders of the southwestern landmark, but it wouldn't be until 1919 that it would gain full federal protection

Margaret Chase Smith became the first woman ever to serve in both the House of Representatives and the Senate—and the first senator to stand up against Joseph McCarthy's Red Scare.

The Senator Who Stood Up to Joseph McCarthy When No One Else Would

Margaret Chase Smith was the first woman to serve both the House and the Senate and always defended her values, even when it meant opposing her party

The portrait John S. McCain III by Steve Pyke, 2005, went of view today at the National Portrait Gallery in memory of the U.S. Senator who died August 25.

The Portrait That Captures the Defining Features of John McCain’s Life and Career

A photograph of the straight-talking Arizona senator goes on view In Memoriam at the Portrait Gallery

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

Senator Edward Kennedy, pictured here on July 22, 1969 after the Chappaquiddick accident that resulted in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne. The new film "Chappaquiddick" recounts the events of that week.

Why the True Story of 'Chappaquiddick' Is Impossible to Tell

In 1969, Senator Ted Kennedy careened a car off a bridge, killing passenger Mary Jo Kopechne, but the story of the night’s events remain muddled today

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

While tame by today's standards, the graphic violence in Mortal Kombat shocked parents in the 1990s.

How 'Mortal Kombat' Changed Video Games

According to one of its creators, the infamously gory game got caught up in a transitional moment in video gaming

Senator William Blount was impeached on this day in 1797.

This 1797 Impeachment Has Never Been Fully Resolved

Can an impeached senator be tried? Who knows! Let’s unpack this constitutional question

One concern about wind turbines is that they are noisy, but the Department of Energy notes that at a distance of 750 feet, they make about as much noise as a household fridge.

Two Myths and One Truth About Wind Turbines

From the cost of turbines to one U.S. senator's suggestion that "wind is a finite resource"

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

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