Delve deeper into the stories behind the people, art, history and grounds.

Subscribe to receive Blog updates via email.

This 1873 photograph shows how the USBG's first Conservatory had grown from a single Victorian greenhouse to this large, five-part Conservatory with 14 support greenhouses.

History & Discoveries

U.S. Botanic Garden at 200: Deeply Rooted, Branching Outward

For 200 years, the U.S. Botanic Garden has been showcasing plants to visitors from around the globe. Originally proposed by George Washington to establish a place for Americans to learn about useful
History & Discoveries

The Lincoln Catafalque in the U.S. Capitol

By aoc curator | April 15, 2015

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death, AOC Curator Barbara Wolanin details the days he lay in state at the U.S. Capitol.

History & Discoveries

A Most Magnificent Ruin: The Burning of the Capitol during the War of 1812

By aoc curator | August 22, 2012

In retaliation for the Americans' recent burning of the Canadian capital at York (Toronto), British troops descended on Washington, D.C., to set fire to much of the city. Follow the August 1814 path the British took to burn the U.S. Capitol and learn more about damage done to this historic building.

History & Discoveries

Haunted Halls of Congress: 5 Creepy Capitol Legends

By erin courtney | October 21, 2016

Given that the United States Capitol was once expected to be the final resting place for George Washington, replete with a crypt, should we be surprised that multiple Capitol-related ghost stories exist? Discover the myths, mysteries and folklore of this historic American building.

History & Discoveries

The Liberty Cap in the Art of the U.S. Capitol

By aoc curator | January 29, 2013

The liberty cap was the symbol of freedom and liberty commonly used in the 19th century and is seen in many places in the United States Capitol.

History & Discoveries

How The Crypt Got Its Name

By aoc curator | March 4, 2013

Is anyone buried in the U.S. Capitol? The term "crypt" has long referred to a space beneath the main floor of a church or a chamber in a mausoleum. For many of us it suggests somber, stony silence and perhaps dusty coffins. The Capitol Crypt, however, is a different thing altogether.

History & Discoveries

Capitol Illumination

By franklin bradley | March 12, 2013

The Architect of the Capitol works to make the United States Capitol dome, an enduring symbol of democracy recognized throughout the world, visible to all throughout the night. Learn more about this history of the lighting of this iconic building and the area called "tholos."

History & Discoveries

U.S. Botanic Garden at 200: Deeply Rooted, Branching Outward

By devin dotson | July 23, 2020

For 200 years, the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) has been showcasing plants to visitors from around the globe. The USBG was originally proposed by George Washington to establish a place for Americans to learn about useful and engaging plants.

History & Discoveries

Six Special Rooms by Brumidi

By sarah davis | July 2, 2019

Brumidi worked on an impressive number of projects in the U.S. Capitol, including: the House Committee on Agriculture room, Lyndon B. Johnson Room, Senate Reception Room, the President's Room, the Committee on Naval Affairs room and the Senate Committee on Military Affairs room.

History & Discoveries

Evolution of Women in Art at the U.S. Capitol

By michele cohen | July 17, 2018

An in-depth look at the evolution of women in art at the U.S. Capitol. First appearing primarily as allegorical figures representing ideals, not individuals. Later, as women took on more prominent positions in society and won basic rights, greater opportunities and visibility have led to more.

History & Discoveries

Bells, Buzzers, Clicks and Clocks

By sharon gang | October 2, 2014

In a world where everyone carries a cell phone and some carry more than one, people still check the historic clocks on the Capitol campus for the time of day.

Programs & Events

Supporting the Final Goodbyes of a Grateful Nation

By erin courtney | February 26, 2018

The U.S. Capitol Rotunda has long been considered the most suitable place for the nation to pay final tribute to its most eminent citizens. Lying in Honor calls for coordination across the campus, and the solemnity of the event requires a commitment to excellence to ensure no detail is overlooked.

History & Discoveries

The Candy Desk

By sharon gang | June 30, 2015

Few traditions associated with Senate furniture are as intriguing as the "candy desk" on the floor of the Senate.