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The exhibit was placed in the rotunda of the Can
non House Office Building and was on display during the month of
The Tides of Party Politics: Two Centuries of Congressional
This major exhibition, prepared by the Li
brary of Congress, opened on February 8, 1989, and ran through Au
gust 1989 in the foyer of the Madison Building.
detailed maps of the United States showing every congressional
district and the outcome of each congressional election in Amer
It was based on the work of West Virginia Univer
sity scholar Kenneth Martis.
The Office for the Bicentennial en
couraged Dr. Martis to present his unique research in a major ex
The Office also held meetings with the Library of Congress
to add this exhibition to their bicentennial agenda.
for the Bicentennial also was fortunate to receive the benefit of
Dr. Martis's scholarship on congressional elections for use in the
Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791.
The Smithsonian In
stitution's National Portrait Gallery mounted a major exhibition
which was on display from March 2, 1989, to July 23, 1989.
Office for the Bicentennial encouraged the production of this ex
hibit and worked with Smithsonian officials and staff and staff of
the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution to
1989, in the Madison Building. It will be on view until February
18, 1990. Components of the exhibit will travel to thirty Amer
ican cities over the next two years.
A handsomely illustrated
catalog, written by Jim Hutson of the Library staff, accompanies
the exhibit, which is based on the extensive collections of the
Library of Congress.
The Office for the Bicentennial met with Li
brary officials and staff in 1987 to help launch the exhibit, provide support and encouragement, and develop themes for the exhibi
Harpers Ferry Conference on Congressional Papers.
August 2, 1985.
Sponsored by the National Historical Publications
and Records Commission and the Dirksen Congressional Center, the
three-day conference brought together nineteen historians, ar
chivists, and records administrators to discuss problems related
to the preservation and dissemination of information in the vast
and widely scattered papers of former Members of Congress.
House Historian participated in the conference, which resulted in
bicentennial commissions, the Library of Congress, The Lyndon B.
Johnson Library, and the Everett Dirksen Congressional Center,
this two-day conference held at the Library of Congress and in the
Cannon and Russell Caucus Rooms, brought together more than 350
historians, political scientists, journalists, current and former
Members of Congress, and the public to discuss a variety of ways
to enhance public understanding of Congress and to explore some of
the challenges and opportunities of congressional research.
House historian presented a paper on some of the problems associa
ted with the voluminous records of Congress. The proceedings of the conference are being edited for publication by the Library of
Related Events and Ceremonies
The above mentioned publications and exhibits were occasions
of ceremonial presentations and openings involving Members of Con
gress, scholars, journalists, and the public.
In addition, the
Office for the Bicentennial planned and conducted other special
ceremonies and events.
Congressional Ceremony in Commemoration of the "Great Com
promise" in the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
For the 200th anniversary of the "Great Compromise" in the
Constitutional Convention that established the bicameral legisla
ture, more than 200 Members of the House and Senate journeyed to
Philadelphia to take part in ceremonies at Independence National Historical Park at the site of the Federal Convention and the home
of Congress from 1790 to 1800.
The Office for the Bicentennial
was charged with a major role in planning this event and preparing
the historical materials used in the ceremonies.
worked closely with the officers of the House and Senate, the U.S.
Park Service, and officials of the City of Philadelphia, the U.S.
Army Bicentennial Office and others to coordinate the day long ac
Special Joint Meeting of Congress in Commemoration of the
Bicentennial of the United States Congress. (March 2, 1989).
Office for the Bicentennial was charged with developing the pro
gram for the House and coordinating the event with the Senate His
torical Office. In addition to the remarks of the House and Senate leaders, the session included a poem written specially for
the occasion by the Poet Laureate of the United States, Howard
Nemerov, and an address by the distinguished historian David
The House Chamber was specially decorated for the oc
casion, and musical accompaniment was provided by the United
States Army Band and the Third United States Infantry Fife and
A feature of the ceremony was the unveiling of de