Essays & Study Questions
Enhance your knowledge of Congress by reading these essays and answering the study questions.
- Committees (PDF) – The role that congressional committees play in the legislative process and the reasons why they are important.
- Congress by the Numbers (PDF)
- How Your State Gets Its Seats (PDF)
- Who Elects Our Senators? (PDF)
- The House of Representatives and Senate: What’s the Difference? (PDF)
- What Do The Clocks Say? (PDF) — Discover how to interpret the sounds and lights of the legislative call system clocks on the Capitol campus.
- Capitol Hill Quick Facts — Find out the answers to popular questions like: Which is taller, the Capitol or the Washington Monument? Is anyone buried in the Capitol?
- Capitol Challenge (Interactive Quiz) — Test your knowledge of the Capitol and Congress. Play multiple times! Different questions are rotated in when you start.
- Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol (Video)
- A Visual Timeline 220 Years of Growth on Capitol Hill (Video)
- In Celebration of the U.S. Capitol Dome (Video)
The National Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol is comprised of statues donated by individual states to honor notable persons in their history. The entire collection now consists of 100 statues contributed by 50 states with two statues each.
- About the National Statuary Hall Collection — Learn about the history of the Collection, its statues and the Architect of the Capitol's role.
- Art by State — Select your state, or another, from the drop down menu to see a list of statues, paintings and more.
- State Statue Guide (PDF) — A printable version of all statues in the Collection, organized by state.
National History Day 2020 Resources
National History Day is an annual competition that encourages participating students to engage in original historical research in primary sources and to present their findings in a series of contests.
- "Breaking Barriers in History" with Congress — Hundreds of online primary sources from the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center that are excellent research assets.
- A Most Magnificent Ruin: the Burning of the Capitol During the War of 1812 (Blog Story)
- Haunted Halls of Congress: 5 Creepy Capitol Legends (Blog Story)
- Historic Firsts: Capitol Hill Elevators (Blog Story)
- Dancing by Dawn's Early Light — Statue of Freedom In Motion (Blog Story)
- Six Special Rooms by Brumidi (Blog Story)
- Capitol Illumination and the Lights of the Dome (Blog Story)
- The Liberty Cap in the Art of the U.S. Capitol (Blog Story)
- Evolution of Women in Art at the U.S. Capitol (Blog Story)
- Symbolism Roars to Life on Capitol Hill (Blog Story)
- Sowing the Seeds of Victory: Capitol War Gardens (Blog Story)
- The Doors to Nowhere (Blog Story)
- Fires, Flight, Flag: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner (Blog Story)
- It's About Time: Stone Preservation (Blog Story)