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Happy Independence Day

from the U.S. Capitol Historical Society!


This week, we celebrate the Continental Congress's historic vote for independence and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, which John Adams foresaw as “the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America.” He knew that “the Lives and liberties of Millions, born and unborn” were at stake.


Still, it was a stunning reversal for a people, who until recently, saw themselves as proud British subjects. The British monarchy's unique deference to Parliament meant that only Parliament could tax, representing English citizens—but not the colonists. The Stamp Act of 1765 changed everything, as it imposed a direct tax on the colonists, sparking outrage over the loss of their liberty and property.


In response to the growing dissent, Royal forces arrived in New England, leading to a series of provocations. Over the next decade, America would endure the Boston Massacre, the Tea Act, and the Intolerable Acts. In response, the Congress was established to coordinate a peaceful response.

But leaving nothing to chance, Massachusetts militias soon began stockpiling arms while British troops occupied their home. When their destinies crossed on Lexington Green, a patriot purportedly shouted, “If they mean to have a war, let it begin here. And it did.


The revolution that ensued was as much a revolution in thought as it was on the battlefield. As Thomas Paine urged, “We have every opportunity...to form the noblest purest constitution on the face of the earth. We have it in our power to begin the world over again.”


After Common Sense went viral, the debate over independence moved from the pens of gentlemen to the homes of Americans. Finally, in this week of July 1776, as Adams reflected, Thirteen Clocks were made to Strike together.” They struck with a force that reverberated through history.

American Covenant


(Webinar) Thursday, July 18, at 12 PM ET

Looking ahead, join us on July 18th for a special webinar with renowned author and scholar Dr. Yuval Levin. We'll explore how the Constitution continues to shape our national identity and governance in today's world. Dr. Levin will share insights from his latest book, "American Covenant," offering a timely reflection on how our founding principles can guide us toward a more unified future.

Common ground is hard to find in today's politics. In a society teeming with irreconcilable political perspectives, many people have grown frustrated under a system of government that constantly demands compromise. More and more on both the right and the left have come to blame the Constitution for the resulting discord. But the Constitution is not the problem; it is the solution.


Blending engaging history with lucid analysis, Yuval Levin's "American Covenant" recovers the Constitution's true genius and reveals how it charts a path to repairing America's fault lines. Uncovering the framers' sophisticated grasp of political division, Levin showcases the Constitution's exceptional power to facilitate constructive disagreement, negotiate resolutions to disputes, and forge unity in a fractured society. Clear-eyed about how contemporary politics have malfunctioned, Levin also offers practical solutions for reforming those aspects of the constitutional order that have gone awry.


Hopeful, insightful, and rooted in the best of our political tradition, "American Covenant" celebrates the Constitution's remarkable power to bind together a diverse society, reassuring us that a less divided future is within our grasp.

Register Here!

Dr. Yuval Levin is the director of Social, Cultural, and Constitutional Studies at the American Enterprise Institute, where he also holds the Beth and Ravenel Curry Chair in Public Policy. The founder and editor of National Affairs, he is also a senior editor at The New Atlantis, a contributing editor at National Review, and a contributing opinion writer at The New York Times. He was a member of the White House domestic policy staff under President George W. Bush and a congressional staffer. He holds a PhD from the University of Chicago.

Register Here!

When Women Won the Right to Vote:

A New Look at the Nineteenth Amendment

Watch Here!
Buy the Book!

Watch our recent webinar on the 19th Amendment, part of our ongoing Constitutional Amendment Series, which explores each amendment's historical context and impact on the U.S. Constitution. We were honored to host Dr. Lisa Tetrault, Associate Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University and a leading suffrage scholar. 


In this seminal work, Dr. Tetrault challenges the notion of a linear progression of the women’s rights movement, particularly its supposed inception at the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention. She reveals that this narrative was constructed much later, during the Reconstruction era, by a select few women seeking to influence the movement's direction. By debunking this myth, Dr. Tetrault's research also shows that 1920 was not the end but the middle of a long fight for voting rights—a fight that continues today.

Dr. Lisa Tetrault is an Associate Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University, specializing in gender, race, and American democracy, focusing on social movements and memory. Her acclaimed first book, The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women's Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898, won the Organization of American Historians' Mary Jurich Nickliss women's history book prize.


Dr. Tetrault is currently at work on two book-length projects: A Celebrated But Misunderstood Amendment, examining the Nineteenth Amendment, and Enter Woman Suffrage: A New History of Reconstruction, 1865-1878, exploring debates about women's voting during Reconstruction.


Dr. Tetrault lectures widely on the U.S. suffrage movement and has served as an historical consultant for the Smithsonian, National Constitution Center, and PBS. Her work has received support from prestigious institutions like the National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Historical Association, which awarded her the J. Franklin Jameson Fellowship. In 2018, she received the Elliot Dunlap Smith Teaching Award.

Congressional Briefing: The Federal Government & Academic Freedom in Higher Education


Thursday, July 11, 9:00 a.m. ET

(In-person) Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2075

The American Historical Association (AHA) will host a Congressional Briefing offering historical perspectives on the role of the federal government on issues of academic freedom in higher education. The briefing will take place on Thursday, July 11 at 9:00 a.m. ET in Rayburn House Office Building Room 2075.


Panelists David A. Bell (Princeton Univ.), Natalia Mehlman Petrzela (New School), and David M. Rabban (Univ. of Texas School of Law) will provide historical context on current conversations regarding relationships between public policy, academic freedom, and the First Amendment. James Grossman (American Historical Association) will serve as moderator. A breakfast spread and coffee will be served.

Learn More!

Holiday Cheer: The 2024 US Capitol Ornament


Available Now!

The United States Capitol Historical Society is thrilled to announce that the “2024 US Capitol Jeweled Snowflake Ornament” is now in stock and ready for purchase! We invite you to embrace the holiday spirit early and with a touch of patriotic pride. The ornament features three-dimensional sparkling snowflakes surrounding a design of the US Capitol, reflecting the winter wonder of Washington, D.C. It is the perfect gift for both ornament collectors and those looking to add a touch of American flair to their holiday collection.


Take advantage of the early availability of the ornament and plan your holiday decorations well in advance. You may purchase our annual limited-edition ornament through the U.S. Capitol Historical Society’s website and our online gift shop.

Shop Here!

Congressional Women's Softball Game with Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen & Cheri Bustos

Watch Our Recent Webinar!


Catch up on our recent webinar featuring former players and 2024 game announcers, USCHS Trustee and Former Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Former Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. Together, we explored the history of the game on Capitol Hill, the experiences of the players, and the impact of this incredible event.

Watch Here!

Support the Cause


You can support the cause by donating to the Young Survival Coalition. Every contribution helps make a difference in the lives of young women battling breast cancer. Learn more!

Donate to YSC!

USCHS in the News!


Roll Call: Key players return to Congressional Softball Game, this time at the microphone

Former Reps. Cheri Bustos and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen will join the announcers’ booth


Now in its 16th year, the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game has taken on historic importance — at least according to Jane Campbell.


“It’s a moment of bipartisan collaboration,” the CEO of the U.S. Capitol Historical Society said during a webinar Thursday about the upcoming game. “It is a time when the women of Congress come together.”


Campbell was joined by former players Cheri Bustos and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who hyped up Wednesday’s coming contest between lawmakers and Washington journalists.

Read the Full Article Here!

John Quincy Adams:

A Militant Spirit 

Few figures in American history have held as many roles in public life as John Quincy Adams. The son of John Adams, he was a brilliant ambassador and secretary of state, a frustrated president, and a dedicated congressman who staunchly opposed slavery.


Watch our recent webinar featuring author and journalist James Traub as we discuss his new book, "John Quincy Adams: Militant Spirit." Traub draws on Adams’ diaries, letters, and writings to evoke his numerous achievements and failures in office. A man of unwavering moral convictions, Adams is the father of foreign policy “realism” and one of the first proponents of the “activist government.” But John Quincy Adams is, first and foremost, the story of a brilliant, flinty, and unyielding man whose life exemplified admirable political courage.

Watch Here!
Buy the Book!

On May 23, 2024, the U.S. Capitol Historical Society (USCHS) hosted its Native American Suffrage Symposium to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Indian Citizenship Act. The event brought together the world's leading scholars, authors, and advocates of Native American history, culture, and politics for a day of insightful discussions and reflections on the complex issues surrounding Native American citizenship, both past and present.


Watch the full video recording of the event by clicking below:

Watch Here!

Looking ahead, USCHS will continue to explore Native American issues and produce more lesson plans and educational resources about Native American history. These resources will be available on our We the People Civic Learning Hub for teachers and students, furthering our commitment to fostering understanding and appreciation of Native American heritage and contributions to American society.


We are incredibly grateful to , our Presenting Partner, the Chickasaw Nation, our Platinum Partner, and McGuireWoods Consulting, our Bronze Partner, and the American Historical Association who sponsored this event.


We are incredibly grateful to our event partners: Wells Fargo, our Presenting Sponsor; the Chickasaw Nation, our Platinum Sponsor; McGuireWoods Consulting, our Bronze Sponsor; and the American Historical Association. Thank you for making this event possible.

Explore USCHS' Constitutional Amendment Video Series!

Discover the captivating stories of intense struggle, debate, and moments of unity that helped shape our democracy. Learn how the U.S. Constitution functions as a living, breathing document capable of safeguarding our rights and freedoms through centuries of change.

Dive in!

Get Involved: Engage with USCHS Programs

Featured Resources for Every Classroom


Explore our "We the People" Hub for free lesson plans, classroom activities, primary source analysis, and more! These foundational resources are crucial for understanding the U.S. Constitution and the three branches of government, making them essential for any civics curriculum.

Check out the Hub!

U.S. Capitol History Tours

The Society offers historian-led tours as a benefit of our membership program. Led by our knowledgeable guides, our tours provide a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse into the history and significance of the iconic Capitol building.

Book a Tour Guide!

Revisit Our Recent History Webinars

Missed one of our webinars? No worries! Simply head over to our YouTube channel, where we have recordings of each webinar readily available for your enjoyment.


Join our live webinars for the opportunity to participate in dynamic Q&A sessions with our speakers.

Catch Up on Webinars!

How You Can Help


Your support is vital in promoting informed citizenship and preserving our history. Whether you join the Society as an annual Member or make a tax-deductible donation, your contribution makes a lasting impact. Discover ways to maximize your support for the Society now!

Explore Ways to Give

The James Agrippa Morrill Memorial Fund

The Morrill family established the James Agrippa Morrill Memorial Fund in memory of Jim Morrill, a devoted USCHS volunteer. The fund will support the Society's civic education efforts, including our We the People Constitution Program, providing middle school students in D.C. with an immersive learning experience centered around the Constitution.

Leave a Legacy!

Share our mission with your network


Help us reach more people who believe in empowering our youth. The more people know about our work, the more significant our impact can be. Follow us on social media, forward this newsletter, and encourage teachers to incorporate our resources into their curriculum.

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Discover the heart of American history with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society! Founded in 1962, our mission is to inspire informed patriotism by educating you about the Capitol and the people who work there.

Visit: www.CapitolHistory.org

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