The Congressional Research Service celebrates its centennial this year. To mark the occasion, a commemorative tree was planted on the grounds of the Thomas Jefferson Building. The 10-foot Japanese maple serves as a living memorial to the men and women who have served in the legislative branch agency within the Library of Congress.
A plaque at the base of the tree notes the species, date and occasion: “Sponsored by James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, in honor of Congressional Research Service’s Centennial.”
The service officially was born July 18, 1914, when then-Librarian of Congress Herbert Putnam, following a congressional directive, issued an administrative order establishing a legislative-reference unit at the Library. In 1970, the Legislative Reorganization Act gave the agency an expanded mission and a new name – the Congressional Research Service.