Happy Independence Day!

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society would like to wish each of our supporters a happy belated 4th of July celebration! For 50 years, our mission has been to foster an "informed patriotism" so Americans may better understand how the United States achieved its unique and significant place in history. We greatly appreciate your support, without which we cannot continue this important work!

Please enjoy the below message that we shared with our social media followers this 4th of July:

It was one of the great upsets in history that 13 disparate colonies would defeat the most powerful military in the world, and in the process, reset the relationship between citizens and their government. The nation our Founders built has never been perfect. But the creed from which our values derive, is: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

No, the colonists were not an oppressed people. In fact, they may have been the freest in the world. Land was plentiful and cheap and most men could vote for local assemblies that made their laws and raised their taxes. But in recognizing their privilege, the colonists also saw the blatant act of subjugation that was taxation without representation. Thus, to avoid the same fate of millions of Europeans who were impoverished and oppressed, America achieved “a Revolution, the most compleat, unexpected, and remarkable of any in the History of Nations.”

But even John Adams, who expressed that belief in June 1776, had no idea what was about to transpire. In one month's time, Thomas Jefferson would pen 36 words that forever changed the meaning of that revolution—and of freedom itself. Adams, though, did understand, “the Lives and Liberties of Millions, born and unborn” were now at stake. It is for this reason that when the Founders signed the Declaration of Independence, they willingly committed an act of treason, risking their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.

“You will think me transported with Enthusiasm,” Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, “but I am not.—I am well aware of the Toil and Blood and Treasure, that it will cost Us to maintain this Declaration and support and defend these States—

"Yet through all the Gloom I can see the Rays of ravishing Light and Glory. I can see that the End is more than worth all the Means. And that Posterity will tryumph...”
Mary McLeod Bethune Symposium
with Reps. Jim Clyburn & Kathy Castor

(In-Person & Streamed)

Wednesday July 13, from 2-4 pm ET

On Wednesday, July 13, the U.S. Congress will accept and dedicate Florida’s new statue of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol Building. With the statue’s placement, Dr. Bethune will become the first African American and tenth woman to be so honored.

That afternoon, join the U.S. Capitol Historical Society for a scholarly symposium exploring the life and legacy of Dr. Bethune, an educator, activist, and stateswoman whose story matters as much today as ever before. Our featured speakers include: U.S. Rep. James Clyburn; U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor; Dr. Thelma T. Daley, Pres. of the National Council of Negro Women; and Dr. Lawrence Drake, Interim Pres. of Bethune-Cookman University.

The symposium is free and open to the public by registration. Appetizers and refreshments will be provided.

Our partners for this event are Bethune-Cookman University, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library, and the National Council of Negro Women. It is presented in collaboration with the Office of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo.
Photo Credit: Eric Breitenbach, Better World Films, LLC

Mary McLeod Bethune Symposium

Supported by Wells Fargo

When: Wednesday, July 13, from 2:00 - 4:00 pm ET

  • The Honorable James Clyburn, Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives;

  • The Honorable Kathy Castor, U.S. Representative for Florida’s 14th District;

  • Dr. Johnnetta Cole, Anthropologist, past President of the National Council of Negro Women and Spellman College;

  • Dr. Thelma T. Daley, National Chair and President of the National Council of Negro Women;

  • Dr. Allida Black, historian and Trustee of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library;

  • Dr. Lawrence Drake, Interim President of Bethune-Cookman University; and

  • Dr. Camesha Whittaker, Bethune scholar and motivational speaker.

Where: In-Person Address Below. Livestream Registrants to receive link via email.

The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center:
First Street Northeast
Washington, D.C. 20515
(Webinar) Our Right to Bear Arms: A History of America's Most Debated Amendment

Thursday July 21, from 12-1 pm ET

Few deny the importance of the 2nd Amendment, either as a right or its impact on American society. But in the wake of two of the deadliest mass shootings in our nation's history, Americans have been forced to ask themselves: Is the 2nd Amendment absolute? And did the Founding Founders intend it to be?

On July 21, we continue our series on the U.S. Constitution by analyzing the history, politics, and laws affected by America's most debated Amendment. We'll discuss, among many topics, the Revolutionary War and Constitutional Convention, the gun reform law just passed by Congress, and the recent Supreme Court ruling on laws that restrict the public carry of firearms. We'll also discuss the 3rd Amendment that prohibits the forced quartering of troops.
Our featured speakers for this timely conversation are the Co-Directors of the Duke University Center for Firearms Law, Professors Joseph Blocher and Darrell A.H. Miller. The mission of the Center is to support reliable, balanced, and insightful scholarship on firearms law. Blocher and Miller are the co-authors of The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the future of Heller. Their scholarship reveals the common misconceptions about the 2nd Amendment, including what it forbids, what it permits, how it functions as law, and how it distorts the gun debate and America's constitutional culture. 

Like all U.S. Capitol Historical Society webinars, this event is free and open to the public. Registration is required.
(Blog) Our President Shares Her
Memories as a Pre-Title IX Athlete

In June, the United States celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, Congressional legislation that guarantees women the right to equal educational opportunities in schools or programs that receive federal funding. To recognize this important occasion, we interviewed our President and CEO, Jane L. Campbell, who was a multisport athlete before Title IX in high school, and a multisport athlete at the University of Michigan shortly after Title IX’s passage. During this conversation, she reflected on the discrimination that she and her female teammates faced in high school and college and what Title IX means to her as a woman and a mother.
Video Available!

Our Voice as Americans: Freedom of
Speech, Petition, and Assembly

In June, we continued our series on the U.S. Constitution with the history of freedom of speech, petition, and assembly. During our final event about the First Amendment, we examined how the Founders’ vision for our most important liberties translates to the present day. What does free speech mean in a world of social media and political partisanship? What makes America unique in our right to petition the government against grievances and abuse of power? What historical role has our right to protest played in shaping social discourse, government action, and law?
Our featured speaker for this important conversation was constitutional scholar and journalist, Linda R. Monk, J.D., a Harvard Law School graduate and former USCHS Board Member. Her book on the U.S. Constitution, The Bill of Rights: A User’s Guide, was awarded the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award, its highest honor for public education about the law.
Available for Purchase!
Consider One of Our Speaker's Books!
A User's Guide

Your Annotated guide to the Constitution

Three Branches Institute (Virtual)

August 2,3, & 4 from 2-4 p.m. ET each day

Are you an educator of U.S. history or civics and government in need of Professional Development hours? 

In collaboration with the White House Historical Association, the Supreme Court Historical Society, and the National Archives and Records Administration, the United States Capitol Historical Society is pleased to invite you to participate in the Three Branches Institute. 

At the Institute, you'll learn from each organization above about their respective branch of government. Discover new ideas for teaching about the three branches in your classroom, explore new resources, and network with fellow educators.  

The Institute will be held virtually, August 2-4, 2022, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. EDT each day. 

Registration is FREE & open to all educators through July 17

** A certification of completion will be provided to each participant. 
Member Support
Makes it Possible!
Enjoying our webinars? How about our We the People video series? The Capitol Stories web feature? Our extensive (and growing) collection of online educational resources is made possible thanks to contributions from people who choose to make a gift of financial support. If your circumstances allow, please consider making a membership contribution to the USCHS today.

Thank you!
U.S. Capitol Historical Society | USCHS.org