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stamp, which featured the "Car of History" statue in Statuary Hall, the old House Chamber. The ceremony was held in Statuary Hall, beneath the "Car of History." A First Day of Issue cancellation station provided Members, staff, and the public with an opportunity to mark this event with a permanent souvenir of the
Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Inauguration of George Washincton. ( New York City, April 30, 1989). The Office for the B: 2ntennial was charged with, coordinating and planning for congressional participation in the New York City events on the steps of Federal Hall, the site of the home of the First Congress and the place where George Washington's inauguration was held. The congressional delegation joined the President of the United States, cabinet officers, New York City and State leaders, and national, state, and city bicentennial officials for the day-long events, including a church service in historic St. Paul’s Chapel, where George Washington attended services on the day of his inauguration, an address by President Bush, remarks by Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, representing the House of Representatives and Senator Daniel Moynihan, representing the Senate, and a bicentennial pro
cession up Broadway.
(June 14, 1989). For the first time in the history of the United States Mint, coins were struck outside a Mint facility on Flag Day, 1989. The ceremony was held in a specially constructed tent on the East Front of the Capitol. Coin presses from the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia were brought to the Capitol for the event. Members of Congress participated in the ceremony and actually struck coins. A number of Members participated in a Mint program to have their specially struck coins donated to appropriate institutions in their states or districts. Proceeds from the Mint surcharges of the three-coin sets ($5 gold, Silver Dollar, and Half Dollar) will go to the U.S. Capitol Preservation Commission, established by Congress to help restore and enhance the historical features of the Capitol Building. The Office for the Bicentennial participated in the overall planning of the event and coordinated congressional participation with Mint officials. Earlier, the Historian was one of those who testified before the House Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs and Coinage on behalf of the bill calling for the minting of the congressional coins. The Office acted in an advisory capacity with the Mint and the official
designees in Congress charged with selecting the coin designs.
Commission. (June 20, 1989). The Office for the Bicentennial coordinated this event with Senate planners and the private sector, and worked closely with the writers and musicians who created a special musical tribute to Congress, that was both historically accurate and entertaining, called "Phantoms of the Capitol," which interpreted the history of Congress in song and dance in the style
of a Broadway musical.
Additional Activities of the
During the six years the Office has been in operation, the Historian and his staff have on many occasions performed historical reference services for Members, the press, and the public. The Historian, the Associate Historian, and the Assistant Historian have lectured on the history of the House to groups of constituents at the request of Members. The Office has provided Members with historical materials for speeches related to the bicentennial of the House. They have also spoken to school groups, the Page School, and conducted seminars in House history
for the Guide Service. The Office has served as a clearing house
for historical information for the public and the press, advised scholars working on the history of the House, and conducted tours of the Capitol for foreign dignitaries at the request of the House leadership and the Commission on the U.S. House of Representatives
The Office has been particularly active in promoting better standards for preservation of and access to the records of the House, both its official records and the personal records of Members. The Historian has testified before the Subcommittee on Rules of the House regarding access to committee records of the House. The Assistant Historian, an archival expert, has developed contacts nationally with archivists who specialize in the management of congressional collections. The Historian has given numerous speeches before historical societies, archival groups, and scholars on the need to preserve the documentary heritage of this
The Office has pioneered the development of electronic in
formation on the history of the House. The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress will soon be available to all Mem
bers' offices and to researchers with access to the Library of
Congress on-line informational services. While the Biographical Directory is printed as a book once every decade, the new electronic file can be updated on a regular and frequent basis to keep the information current. Ongoing activity of the Office includes the creation of a comprehensive bibliography of books and articles by or about former Members of the House. This work-in-progress
currently runs to 1600 pages of printed text.
The Office was instrumental in bringing together historians and political scientists for several informal meetings which resulted in the creation of a project to produce a definitive Encyclopedia of Congress. The project was recently funded by the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. Three distinguished editors, one from each of the fields of journalism, history, and political science, are now at work on the en
cyclopedia. The project should be completed in 1993.
The Office has acted in an advisory capacity on historical projects related to Congress and the federal government with Members, Committees, and executive branch agencies such as the National Archives. The Historian was an editorial adviser for the
Committee on Ways and Means bicentennial history and film. The