The Frieze of American History in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol
The Frieze of American History in the Rotunda of the United States Capitol...



Photo of Capitol Hill steps.
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Statue of John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr.
Visitors to the Capitol are often drawn to the "big ticket" items,...


A list of some of the quotations and inscriptions found in the buildings on Capitol Hill.

Cox Corridors

"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased, and not impaired, in value."

— Theodore Roosevelt

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day."

— Thomas Jefferson

"He that invents a machine augments the power of a man and the well being of mankind."

— Henry Ward Beecher

"Labor is discovered to be the grand conqueror enriching and building up nations more surely than the proudest battles."

— William Ellery Channing

"We defend and we build a way of life, not for America alone, but for all mankind."

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"Whenever a free man is in chains we are threatened also. Whoever is fighting for liberty is defending America."

— William Allen White

"Freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience direct their course to this happy country."

— Samuel Adams

"We must remember that any oppression, any injustice, any hatred, is a wedge designed to attack our civilization."

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

— Louis D. Brandeis

"Let us build broad and wide these foundations. Let them abut only on the everlasting seas."

— Ignatius Donnelly

"Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech."

— Benjamin Franklin

"When tillage begins other arts follow. The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization."

— Daniel Webster

"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided; and that is the lamp of experience."

— Patrick Henry

"Our government conceived in freedom and purchased with blood can be preserved only by constant vigilance."

— William Jennings Bryan

"Whenever a people or an institution forget its hard beginnings, it is beginning to decay."

— Carl Sandburg

"Man is not made for the State but the State for man and it derives its just powers only from the consent of the governed."

— Thomas Jefferson

"This government, the offspring of our own choice, uninfluenced and unawed, has a just claim to your confidence and support."

— George Washington

"We have built no temple but the Capitol. We consult no common oracle but the Constitution."

— Rufus Choate

"Here, sir, the people govern."

— Alexander Hamilton

"You are the rulers and the ruled."

— Adlai E. Stevenson

"Liberty and union, one and inseparable."

— Daniel Webster

"One country, one Constitution, one destiny."

— Daniel Webster

"America! God shed his grace on Thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!"

— Katharine Lee Bates

"A rising nation, spread over a wide and fruitful Land, traversing all the seas with the rich production of their Industry."

— Thomas Jefferson

"Americans are westward pilgrims, who are carrying along with them that great mass of arts, science, vigour and industry."

— Hector St. John de Crevecoeur

"Go west, young man, and grow up with the country."

— Horace Greeley

"To venture into the wilderness, one must see it, not as it is, but as it will be."

— Carl Becker

House Chamber

"We the people of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

— Preamble of the Constitution of the United States

"In God we trust."

"Let us develope the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institutions, promote all its great interests and see whether we also in our day and generation may not perform something worthy to be remembered."

— Daniel Webster

Front of first tier: "Union, Justice, Tolerance, Liberty, Peace."

On Rostrum

Above flag behind speaker (on gallery): "E PLURIBUS UNUM" (One out of many)

Over Rostrum

Prayer Room

"Annuit coeptis" (God has favored our undertakings)

"Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust."

— Psalm 16:1

Senate Chamber

Over east doorway:
"Annuit coeptis" (God has favored our undertakings)

Over south entrance:
"In God we trust"

Over west doorway:
"Novus ordo seclorum" (A new order of the ages [is born])

Panel behind vice president's chair:
"E pluribus unum" (One out of many)

Dirksen Senate Office Building

On entablature beneath the pediment on the First Street facade of building: