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How to Fix the Broken Senate and Save America

(Webinar) Thursday, June 6, from 12 pm to 1 pm ET

For centuries, the Senate was a deliberative body where tough issues were debated. Senators could speak at length and propose amendments, and then the Senate would vote. However, the filibuster, once a rare act of defiance, has become a tool for routine gridlock.

Join us for our upcoming webinar on author Mike Zamore’s new book, "Filibustered!: How to Fix the Broken Senate and Save America," in which Senator Jeff Merkley and Zamore share the insider's story of the Senate's historic functionality and its decline into gridlock due to the filibuster.

Filibustered! combines a marvelous romp through key moments in filibuster history—from the first filibuster in 1841 through Southern Dixiecrat filibusters of civil rights legislation, up through the modern transformation of the filibuster into a routine tool of perennial gridlock—with firsthand accounts of recent high-profile legislative fights, and a compelling argument that the key to the Senate’s future may be found in its past.

Register Here!

Mike Zamore is the National Director of Policy & Government Affairs at the ACLU and adjunct faculty member at American University’s Washington College of Law. 

Mike is a 22-year veteran of Capitol Hill, and spent over 14 years as the Chief of Staff to Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley. As Merkley’s top aide, Mike managed a 50+ person staff and $4 million budget, counseled the Senator on legislative and political strategy, represented the Senator to various constituencies, and led two successful re-elections. Mike helped stand up the Senate office in 2009 and built a team that supported Senator Merkley in becoming one of the nation’s leading progressive lawmakers, developing groundbreaking legislation in climate policy, election integrity and campaign finance reform, LGBTQ equality, Wall Street accountability, and more. In guiding Senator Merkley’s efforts to reform the Senate’s archaic filibuster rules, Mike also became a leading expert in Senate procedure.

Mike graduated from Brown University and Harvard Law School, and lives in Washington, DC with his wife and two sons.

John Quincy Adams: A Militant Spirit 

(Webinar) Thursday, June 13, from 12 pm to 1 pm ET

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.

Join us for an exciting 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.

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James Traub is an historian, journalist, and scholar. Over a career of almost fifty years, he has written extensively about international affairs, national politics, urban issues, and education. Traub is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and a regular contributor to Foreign Policy magazine. Currently, he teaches American foreign policy and intellectual history at NYU Abu Dhabi.

He worked as a staff writer for The New Yorker from 1993 to 1998 and as a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine from 1998 to 2011. His tenth and most recent book, True Believer: Hubert Humphrey’s Quest For A More Just America, was published in February. His other books include What Was Liberalism? The Past, Present, and Promise of Noble Idea as well as biographies of John Quincy Adams and the Jewish Confederate leader Judah Benjamin. He is currently writing a book about the role that schools should play–and now largely fail to play–in preparing young people for democratic citizenship.

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 Wells Fargo, our Presenting Partner, the Chickasaw Nation, our Platinum Partner, and McGuireWoods Consulting, our Bronze Partner, who sponsored this event.

Congressional Women's Softball Game with Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos

(Webinar) Thursday, June 20, from 12 pm to 1 pm ET

Join us for a webinar on the Congressional Women’s Softball Game, featuring former players and 2024 game announcers, USCHS Trustee and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos. This bi-partisan competition between Members of Congress and the Washington, D.C. press corps raises vital funds for young women battling breast cancer.

The inaugural game in 2009 was initiated by Congresswomen who invited female staff members from each party’s campaign headquarters to play. Since 2010, the game has pitted women Members of Congress against the press corps, creating a lasting rivalry. The game has raised over $3.7M for the Young Survival Coalition (YSC) and has become a Capitol Hill summer tradition. Together, we will recount the games’ history on Capitol Hill, the players who’ve taken part, and their experiences on the field.

Register Here!

Former U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) served nearly three decades representing South Florida in Congress. She was Chairwoman emeritus of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and led the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on democracy, combating extremism, and supporting free trade agreements.

Ros-Lehtinen also chaired several subcommittees, including those on the Middle East and Central Asia, International Operations and Human Rights, International Economic Policy and Trade, and Africa. Additionally, she served on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

An advocate for education, Ros-Lehtinen holds an Ed.D. from the University of Miami and master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Florida International University. She began her career as a certified teacher and later founded and served as the principal of a private bilingual elementary school. She currently serves on the USCHS Board of Trustees.

Former Congresswoman Cheri Bustos (D-IL) represented Illinois' 17th Congressional District from 2013 to 2023. She held leadership roles as Co-Chair of the Steering and Policy Committee and the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee. Bustos served on the House Committee on Agriculture throughout her tenure, spent six years on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and four years on the House Appropriations Committee, where she served on the Defense; Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; Energy and Water; and Military Construction and Veterans Administration subcommittees.

On this day in history, June 4th, 1919:

Congress passed the 19th Amendment, ensuring the right to vote regardless of sex. Initially introduced in 1878, activists persistently lobbied for it, gaining key allies. The push for a federal amendment gained momentum in the 1910s, with significant events like the 1913 suffrage parade in DC and Jeanette Rankin’s 1916 introduction of the amendment in Congress. Despite initial Senate failures, the post-WWI climate led to its approval, commencing a 15-month ratification fight.

Join our 19th Amendment webinar with Dr. Lisa Tetrault on June 27th at noon EDT to learn more about this historic milestone.

When Women Won the Right to Vote:

A New Look at the Nineteenth Amendment

(Webinar) Thursday, June 27, from 12 pm to 1 pm ET

When women secured the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920, it did not grant them the right to vote, despite common belief. Surprisingly, the US Constitution does not explicitly guarantee the right to vote. So, what exactly did this amendment achieve?

Join us for an enlightening webinar on the 19th Amendment, part of our ongoing Constitutional Amendment Series, which explores the historical context and impact of each amendment to the U.S. Constitution. We are honored to host Dr. Lisa Tetrault, Associate Professor of History at Carnegie Mellon University and a leading suffrage scholar. Dr. Tetrault, author of the award-winning book "The Myth of Seneca Falls: Memory and the Women’s Suffrage Movement, 1848-1898," will provide insights into the politics behind the manufacture of an origins myth for feminism, and the broader implications for the women's suffrage movement.

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.

Register Here!

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:

History of Social Media Regulation

(In person) Thursday, June 6 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2075

The American Historical Association invites you to attend a Congressional Briefing offering historical perspectives on federal regulation of media, especially pertaining to social media. The briefing will take place on Thursday, June 6 at 9:00 a.m. ET in Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2075.


Panelists Kathryn Brownell (Purdue Univ.), Jeannette Estruth (Bard Coll.), and Richard John (Columbia Univ.) will provide historical context on the federal government's approaches to regulating social media platforms—such as TikTok—and the internet. Alexandra Levy (American Historical Association) will serve as moderator.

The event is open to the public; a breakfast spread and coffee will be served.

Learn More!

Former Architect of the Capitol, Alan M. Hantman, Discusses His New Book "Under the Dome"

Date: Wednesday, June 5

Time: 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm ET

Ticket Cost: $10.00

Hill Center DC

921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE

Washington, DC 20003

Join us for this special evening with Alan M. Hantman, former Architect of the Capitol, as we dive into his latest book "Under the Dome: Politics, Crisis, and Architecture at the United States Capitol." Don't miss this opportunity to gain unique insights into the inner workings of the Capitol and its architectural legacy. The event will include a discussion with Hantman, followed by a book signing.

We encourage you to pre-order your copy through East City Bookshop to ensure availability. All pre-ordered books will be available for pick up at the event.

Register Here!
Buy the Book!

Alan M. Hantman was appointed the 10th Architect of the Capitol for a ten-year term in 1997. Prior to serving as Architect of the Capitol, Hantman was Vice President of Planning, Architecture, Historic Preservation and Construction at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

USCHS Webinar:

Under the Dome with the 10th Architect of the Capitol, Alan Hantman

Watch our webinar featuring Alan Hantman, the 10th Architect of the Capitol from 1997 to 2007, to discuss his upcoming book, "Under the Dome: Politics, Crisis, and Architecture at the United States Capitol." Together, we explored how the Capitol building underwent numerous renovations and expansions under Hantman's guidance as the official entrusted with preserving and enhancing this historic landmark and the surrounding grounds of Capitol Hill.

Watch Here!

Recent USCHS Webinars

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Bootleggers and Gangsters:

The Rise and Fall of Prohibition

Watch the latest installment in our Amendment Series with author and historian Garrett Peck, where we discussed the 18th and 21st Amendments. Known for his role in making the Rickey Washington, DC's official cocktail in 2011, Peck will draw insights from his book, "Prohibition in Washington, DC: How Dry We Weren't," which features compelling stories about the hidden world of speakeasies and bootleggers, including the intriguing tale of George Cassiday, the congressional bootlegger who inspired Green Hat Gin, and the vibrant jazz-infused nightlife of U Street.

Watch Here!

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.

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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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