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This bronze statue of noted abolitionist Frederick Douglass
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The Summerhouse on the Capitol Grounds surrounded by pink azalea flowers.
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Photo of Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol in front of the Capitol Building
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Kennedy Caucus Room

The Russell Building houses the Kennedy Caucus Room, which has been the site of many historic hearings.

  • The 1912 hearings regarding the sinking if the Titanic which resulted in the loss of 1,500 lives including some of America's wealthiest citizens. The hearing drew such an unmanageable crowd that it reconvened in a smaller committee room that could be better policed.
  • The 1954 hearings by the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into the presence of Communists in the U.S. Army. This was the culmination of years of baseless charges by Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy, which ended when army counsel Joseph Welsh asked, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"
  • The 1960s hearings by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on the conduct of the Vietnam War. Chairman William Fulbright of Arkansas grilled Nixon administration officials on defense matters and demonstrated a widening breech between Congress and the president regarding the war.
  • The 1973 Watergate Hearings, in which a special committee established President Nixon's knowledge and participation in the Watergate coverup. This led to the president's resignation in 1974.