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According to the Constitution, Congress is the first branch of government, in which “all legislative power” is vested within its two houses. The Office of the Historian of the House of Representatives seeks to improve public knowledge and understanding of the “People’s House.”

The Office of the Historian provides information and interpretation on important precedents and events for the use of Members of Congress and their staffs, the media, students, educators, scholars, and the general public. The Office conducts oral history interviews of current and former members of Congress and selected staff, as well as advises members on the disposition of their archives and papers. It also works with the Office of Photography to archive the hundreds of thousands of photographs taken in the House.

The Office of the Historian was established in Rule II of the House Rules, and reports to the Speaker of the House. Its mandate is to promote, present, and interpret the history of the House.

It is my hope that this website will be a ready resource for all who are interested in the history of this most fascinating institution, the “People’s House.”

Robert V. Remini
Historian of the House

The Constitution of the United States and U.S. Capitol Building
Office of the Historian
U.S. House of Representatives
B-56 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-226-5525
Facsimile: 202-226-2931
Email: historian@mail.house.gov
House Fellows
Established in 2006, the House Fellows Program brings together secondary education teachers of American history and government for a week-long intensive institute on the history and practice of the House of Representatives. Each component of the House Fellows Program is designed to help educators improve their knowledge and understanding of the “People’s House.”

Nineteen teachers from around the country participated in the 2008 program’s two sessions.
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Question of the Day
Madeline asks, “Dear Historians. I know that former President John F. Kennedy was a Senator, but was he also a Member of the US House of Representatives? If so what years did he serve and where was his office located?”

Click here for Historian’s Response.

Archived Question of the Week responses

History in the Capitol
This photograph was taken in 1961 shortly after John F. Kennedy was sworn in as President of the United States and before the passing of Sam Rayburn that November. Here then Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn, President Kennedy and Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson hold hands in a gesture of teamwork... Read More>>