When AAHAM goes to Washington DC in a few weeks for Legislative Day, Congress will be in session. This could make for some interesting sightings when our members head to the hill. Keep your eyes open and your cell phones ready for celebrities who often come to Congress to testify on behalf of their causes.
Here is some interesting trivia to ponder during your visit:
There was another Underwood in Congress before House of Cards’ Frank Underwood. The first officially designated Democratic floor leader was Oscar Underwood of Alabama, 56th Congress (1899-1901).
The longest-serving Speaker of the House was Samuel Rayburn of Texas, who served 17 years, two months and two days. His career spanned a period from the eve of American intervention in World War II until the first year of the John F. Kennedy administration. Known affectionately as “Mr. Sam,” Rayburn was a House institution who exerted his influence through skillful persuasion and humor rather than arbitrary rule. The Rayburn Building was named after him.
The first woman to preside over the House of the Representatives was Alice Robertson of Oklahoma in 1922. Robertson was the first woman elected to Congress after the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution guaranteeing women the right to vote. She opposed feminist groups such as the League of Women Voters and the National Women's Party. Robertson voted against bills funding maternity and childcare on the grounds they were an unwarranted governmental intrusion on personal rights. This earned her the support of the Daughters of the American Revolution, of which she was a member
The first woman to serve as Speaker of the House was Nancy Pelosi of California in 2007. Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 52nd Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011. She is the only woman to have served as the House Speaker and to date is the highest-ranking female politician in American history.
Congress has not only met in Washington D.C. The first meeting of Congress was in New York City on March 4, 1789.
Shirley Chisholm of New York was the first African-American woman elected to Congress in 1968.
Despite not meeting the constitutional age requirement of 25 for the House of Representatives, William Charles Cole Claiborne of Tennessee was elected to the 5th Congress (1797-1799) when he was 22 and was the youngest person elected to the House of Representatives.
The oldest standing committee in the United States House of Representatives is the Committee on Ways and Means, which was originally created as a selected committee in the 1st Congress on July 24, 1789. It became a standing committee in the 4th Congress (1795-1797).
During the Civil War, the Capitol building was used as a bakery, hospital, and military barracks.
The annual Easter egg roll that takes place at the White House was originally a Capitol tradition. When the House passed the Turf Protection Law on April 21, 1876 outlawing the use of the Capitol grounds for any activity that could damage the landscaping, the egg roll was moved to the White House.
The record for the most flags flown over the Capitol was set on July 4, 1976. 10,471 flags were flown over the Capitol to celebrate America’s Bicentennial.
Since 1934, the Annual Message or State of the Union Address is delivered every January or February. President Franklin D. Roosevelt gave the first evening Annual Message on January 3, 1936. President Lyndon B. Johnson gave the first televised, evening State of the Union Address on January 4, 1965.
Who is Washington, DC named after? Washington takes its name from our first president, George Washington. The "Columbia" in "District of Columbia" stands for Christopher Columbus.
Is Washington, DC a city or a state? Washington, DC is not a city or state, nor is it part of any other state. It is a unique "federal district," created specifically to be the seat of government.
Not all famous men in Washington DC are politicians. One of the most famous men in history, artist or otherwise, is Leonardo da Vinci. The National Gallery of Art, located in Washington DC, is home to North America’s only Leonardo da Vinci painting.
Do you think you are ready for a round on Jeopardy?