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13th Amendment – Pic of the Week

Posted by: Andrew Weber

On this day 150 years ago, December 18, 1865, then Secretary of State William H. Seward issued the following statement verifying the ratification of the 13th Amendment. These two digitized images come from A Century of Lawmaking.  The image below comes from the Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress and shows that the …

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On the Shelf: Congressional Hearings

Posted by: Betty Lupinacci

Surprise! Another baseball-related post from Betty. This one is not entirely my fault. A would-be anonymous colleague brought the pictured item to me, having received it from the general collection. Why would the general (non-law) collection have congressional hearings, you may ask? Well, up until the 1960s when the Class K schedule was completed, congressional …

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The Indiana State House – Pic of the Week

Posted by: Andrew Weber

On a trip back home to Indiana, I stopped in at the Indiana State House. I always enjoy visiting buildings with a dome (the U.S. Capitol, the Library of Congress Jefferson Building, and the Hoosier Dome), so it is no surprise that I think the Indiana State House is a beautiful building. The Indiana Supreme …

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An Interview with Robert Patrick, Director of the Veterans History Project

Posted by: Kelly Buchanan

Once again, for Veterans Day, we decided to highlight the Veterans History Project (VHP) of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. The VHP was established following the passage of the Veterans’ Oral History Project Act in October 2000, with the primary purpose of collecting “video and audio recordings of personal histories and testimonials of American …

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How to Locate a United States Congressional Committee Report: A Beginner’s Guide

Posted by: Robert Brammer

This post is coauthored by Barbara Bavis and Robert Brammer, senior legal reference specialists. To continue our Beginner’s Guide series on legislative history documents, we next turn to congressional committee reports. The reports created by the committees of the United States House of Representatives and United States Senate are important sources for determining legislative intent, …

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Drop! Cover! Hold On! The Great ShakeOut

Posted by: Jennifer Davis

Prior to the 5.8 magnitude earthquake in the DC area in August 2011, it would have been a safe bet to say that most local long time residents didn’t think about earthquakes often. Although that earthquake was considered “fairly run-of-the mill”, according to USGS, it certainly got everyone’s attention in the District, Maryland and Virginia. …

Ornate red and ivory wall decoration, with plaque and symbols

Joint Sessions and Meetings of Congress

Posted by: Margaret Wood

On September 24, 2015, Pope Francis delivered a speech before a joint meeting of Congress.  I thought it would be interesting to provide some information about joint sessions and meetings of Congress–what they are, how they occur and where one can find historical information about joint sessions. The Senate website defines a joint session as …