Discharge Petition #14 Filed by Oscar De Priest Regarding H. Res. 236, a Resolution to Prevent Discrimination, 01/24/1934 - 03/05/1934
Item from Records of the U.S. House of Representatives. (04/01/1789 -)
This resolution and discharge petition from Representative Oscar De Priest, a Republican from Illinois, attempted to end racial discrimination in the House of Representatives’ Restaurant. De Priest introduced H. Res. 236 to the House, which called for the creation of a special committee to investigate the House Restaurant’s refusal to serve two African Americans, one of whom was a member of his staff. When the resolution stalled in the Rules Committee, De Priest successfully used a discharge petition to move the bill out and onto the House floor.
Don’t forget to check out the National Archives’ future exhibition “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures,” opening to the public on March 21, 2014!
225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.
As recorded in the first House Journal, only eleven representatives were present on March 4, 1789, the first day of the First Congress under the Constitution. Neither the House nor the Senate had enough members present to attain a quorum, so they adjourned from day to day until they could proceed with official business.
Today kicks off our commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the First Congress. Over the next two years (and in addition to our regular content), we’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution.
The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate met for the first time in New York City on March 4, 1789 in Federal Hall. As representatives and senators arrived at the start of the First Congress under the Constitution, members presented their credentials, also known as certificates of election, to their respective chamber to show they were the person duly elected to represent their home state. Above are the credentials of Senator William Few of Georgia, one of eight senators to arrive at the start of the First Congress.
Credentials of Senator William Few from Georgia, 2/5/1789, Records of the U.S. Senate (NAID 7727164)
Following the Bobsleigh and Luge events at Sochi? In 1980 the US Team needed congressional intervention:
Congress in the Archives will feature staff posts on our blog. Today’s post comes from Sharon Fitzpatrick.
In preparation for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, Congress passed H.R. 5146, a bill to provide duty-free entry of competition bobsleds and luges. The House Committee on Ways and Means reported, “The President’s Commission on Olympic Sports agrees that a major impediment to participation in these sports is the high cost of equipment. There are no American bobsled or luge manufacturers and this legislation would not adversely affect any United States industry.”
As shown in the document above, the bill was approved by conference report and signed into law on November 9, 1978.
Bill File for H.R. 5146, 11/9/1978, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives
Congratulations to our friends at congressarchives!
It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating 1,000 followers, and now here we are with over 100,000 followers after two short years! We are blown away! We love being able to share our documents and their stories with you—thanks for making that possible. We have the best followers ever!
Happy President’s Day!
Half a dozen Commander-in-Chiefs, via Media Matters » Images of the Week (02/14/2014)
Can you name all 6 in just once glance?
Deng Xiaoping in America
Jimmy Carter, Deng Xiaoping, Rosalynn Carter and Madame Zhuo Lin stop for a formal pose on their way to the state dinner for the Vice Premier of China., 01/29/1979
In 1949, the Communist Party seized power in China, and in response, the United States severed diplomatic relations. Thirty years later, the United States resumed diplomatic relations with China, and this 1979 photograph shows President Jimmy Carter in a formal, public ceremony greeting Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping. It was the first time a Communist Chinese leader had visited the United States.
This morning, the world learned of the passing of legendary folk singer Pete Seeger. Take a look at this letter from Seeger to President Kennedy in March of 1961. Seeger was facing trial for contempt of Congress after refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. As a fellow Harvard classmate, Seeger was appealing to the President for help.
(From the White House Central Name File, Box 2513, JFK Library)
Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution requires that the President “… shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
President Reagan’s 1986 State of the Union was originally scheduled for the day of the Challenger explosion, January 28, 1986, but it was postponed by a week in response to the accident. Reagan began his message by paying tribute to “the brave seven” Challenger crew members and later reiterated the nation’s commitment to the space program. The version shown above is the official copy Reagan handed to the President of the Senate before the address. The text differs slightly from the final speech made by the President.
First and Last Pages of President Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union Message to Congress, 2/4/1986, Records of the U.S. Senate
On January 28, 1942, Representative Edith Nourse Rogers (R-MA) introduced H.R. 6293, a bill to establish the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps for noncombat service with the U.S. Army. H.R. 6293 was signed into law on May 14, 1942. A year later the unit was renamed the Women’s Army Corps, and the servicewomen were granted official military status.
H.R. 6293, HR 77A-B5, 1/28/1942, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives (ARC 4397811)
As a good a reason as any to include our groovy dancing WAC from 1970:
Robert Weaver becomes the first African American Cabinet Member
Today in history, January 13, 1966, Robert C. Weaver was nominated as Secretary of Housing and Development by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Weaver became the first African American Cabinet member when he was sworn in as head of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on January 18 of that year.
Photo: Informal gathering after the Swearing-In of Dr. Robert Weaver and Dr. Robert Wood as Secretary and Under Secretary respectively of Dept. of Housing and Urban Affairs. Photo ID #A1765-20A.
-from the LBJ Library
Resolution from the House of Representatives to President of the United States, 01/10/1866
From the series: Papers Relating to Jefferson Davis, 1838 - 1869. From the General Records of the Department of Justice.
In this letter, the House asks the President to communicate the reason for why Jefferson Davis has not been tried for treason against the government.
The War on Poverty
Fifty years ago today, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a war on poverty. In his Annual Message to Congress on the State of the Union, LBJ outlined his plan to alleviate poverty in America.
LBJ believed that the most effective way to “win the war on poverty” was to introduce legislation, programs, and tax cuts that would result in a Great Society, giving all Americans — not just the poor and underprivileged — a better quality of life.
On January 7, 1999, the impeachment trial of President William Clinton began in the Senate. This is the oath that Senators took before participating in the trial. The President was acquitted by the Senate on February 12.
Oaths of Senators for the Impeachment Trial of William Jefferson Clinton (1157606), 1/7/1999, Records of the U.S. Senate