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signs for the House and Senate commemorative postage stamps and
the Congressional Bicentennial Coins.
The Congress: The History and Promise of Representative
(March 13, 1989).
A film produced in cooperation
with the Office for the Bicentennial and the Senate Historical Of
fice by the award winning film maker Ken Burns.
documentary was funded by Ameritech and produced by Ken Burns and
WETA public television.
The gala premier of the film was held at
the National Theater on March 13, 1989.
A week later it was
broadcast over most of the PBS stations across the country.
sequently it has been widely distributed to schools.
to promoting the film and planning for its premier, the Office for
the Bicentennial worked closely with the writers and film crew and
participated in the creation of teachers guides and classroom
material supporting the film.
First Day of Issue Ceremony for the House of Representatives
Bicentennial Postage Stamp. (April 4, 1989).
The Office for the
Bicentennial and the Postmaster of the House coordinated and
helped plan a ceremony conducted by the U.S. Postal Service on the
occasion of the First Day of Issue of the House commemorative
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 cancella
tion 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 Wash
ington. ( New York City, April 30, 1989).
The Office for the
B. entennial was charged with coordinating and planning for con
gressional 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.
congressional delegation joined the President of the United
States, cabinet officers, New York City and State leaders, and na
tional, 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 in
auguration, 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.
First Strike Ceremony for Congressional Bicentennial Coins.
(June 14, 1989).
For the first time in the history of the United
States Mint, coins were struck outside a Mint facility on Flag
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.
bers of Congress participated in the ceremony and actually struck
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 partici
pated in the overall planning of the event and coordinated congressional participation with Mint officials. Earlier, the His
torian was one of those who testified before the House Sub
committee on Consumer Affairs and Coinage on behalf of the bill
calling for the minting of the congressional coins.
acted in an advisory capacity with the Mint and the official
designees in Congress charged with selecting the coin designs.
Gala Fund Raising Dinner for the U.S. Capitol Preservation
(June 20, 1989).
The Office for the Bicentennial
coordinated this event with Senate planners and the private sec
tor, 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 histori
cal reference services for Members, the press, and the public.
The Historian, the Associate Historian,
and the Assistant Histori
an have lectured on the history of the House to groups of con
stituents at the request of Members.
The Office has provided Mem
bers 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 Mem
bers. 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 con
tacts 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