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Research and Resources

This page contains a lesson plan that accompanies the exhibit, general resources about Congress, and exhibit references.

Lesson Plan

The lesson, "Congress, the Great Society in the 1960s, and Today", studies legislation passed in response to President Lyndon Baines Johnson's call for America to become a "Great Society." Students will detail the President's vision, summarize its historic context, and explain the ways in which Congress responded. This lesson plan is designed to assist teachers with using primary source materials to integrate Congress into history, government and civics classes. It is suitable for junior high and high school students.

General Resources About Congress

Congressional Timeline

The Congressional Timeline, developed and maintained by The Dirksen Congressional Center, arrays more than 900 of the nation's laws on a timeline beginning with the first Congress in 1789 and continuing to the present.

Online Biographical Directory of the United States Congress

Searchable database that contains biographical information on every person who served in Congress.

Library of Congress/THOMAS

Searchable database of congressional legislation from 1973 to present (bill text and roll call votes are available from 1989 to present).

GPO Access

Includes links for searchable databases of the Congressional Record (1994 to present) as well as information on how to find the nearest federal depository library.

Resources about the U.S. House of Representatives:

Fact Sheets

Brush up on House history with a series of fact sheets on Speakers, the House Rostrum, Official Records, and other related topics. A starting point for research projects or inquiries about the House, these overviews can be used in the classroom or for quick reference.

House History Timeline

Since its creation in 1789, the U.S. House of Representatives has occupied a central place in American government. The Constitution delegates responsibilities to the House that make it a unique feature in the architecture of the federal government. In addition, the constitutional requirement that all Representatives must be elected every two years makes the House especially responsive to popular will. This timeline features some of the significant institutional and legislative milestones important to both House practice and procedure, as well as U.S. history itself.

Black Americans in Congress

This page features materials designed to help teachers and students use the information presented in the Black Americans in Congress publication in their classrooms. It includes lesson plans on the African-American pioneers who served on Capitol Hill from 1870 to 2007 based on the contextual essays from the Black Americans in Congress book, as well as activities on photographs, objects, and quotations.

Oral History

This page features materials designed to help teachers and students use the information presented in the Office of the Historian's oral histories in their classrooms. The lesson plan and teaching tips offer suggestions on how oral histories conducted with former staff and Members can help students learn about the history of the House of Representatives through the perspectives of the people who lived it.

Women in Congress

This page features materials designed to help teachers and students use the information presented in the Women in Congress publication in their classrooms. It includes lesson plans on the women pioneers who served on Capitol Hill from 1917 to 2006 based on the contextual essays from the Women in Congress book, as well as a series of related photographs, objects, and quotations.

Clerk of the House YouTube Channel

Visit the official House of Representatives YouTube channel dedicated to the Office of the Clerk.

House Trivia: U.S. House of Representatives

Facts and figures pertaining to the establishment, leadership, staff, and history of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Resources about the U.S. Senate:

Senate Historical Office

Includes information on the history and art of the U.S. Senate such as facts & milestones, historical statistics, featured biographies, and a photographic collection.

Facts & Milestones

Includes “firsts” in events and members as well as record holders.

Statistics & Lists

These lists include information on the capitol, committees, elections, legislation and procedures, nominations and treaties, officers and staff, political parties and leadership, senators, sessions of congress, and votes.

Information about the Archives of the United States Senate

Included in this section is information about senators’ papers and archives, institutional archives, the Center for Legislative Archives, as well as senate rules and statutes governing senate records.

Photo Collection of the Senate Historical Office

The United States Senate Historical Office maintains a collection of approximately 35,000 still pictures, slides, and negatives. The collection includes photographs and illustrations of most former senators, news photographs, editorial cartoons, photographs of committees in session, and other images documenting the institutional history of the Senate and the careers of senators. The collection is available for use by the media, congressional offices, academic researchers, and the general public. Most of the photos used on this Web site are part of the Historical Office's collection

Senate Chronology

Since 1787, when the framers of the Constitution created the United States Senate, the institution has played an integral role in the larger narrative of American history. The Senate chronology found here highlights many notable dates in Senate history.

Classic Senate Speeches

This section includes memorable senate speeches from 1830-1964, most of which are available in PDF format.

Featured Biographies

Nearly 2000 individuals have served in the United States Senate since it first convened in 1789. This collection of featured biographies explores the varied experiences and accomplishments of some of those U.S. senators.

Senate Stories

This collection of stories, written by Senate historians, reflects all areas of Senate activity from the well-known and notorious to the unusual and even whimsical. Presented to enlighten, amuse, and inform, the stories provide clear impressions about the forces, events, and personalities that have shaped the modern Senate.

Art and History Exhibits

Included on this web page are interactive exhibits and informative essays that provide additional insight into the history of the U.S. Senate. The exhibits are divided into three categories Art and Architecture, History, and People.

Graphic Art

The Senate maintains a collection of over 1,000 historical prints and engravings. This collection contains a rich array of 19th and early 20th century images portraying the events, people, and settings of the U.S. Senate.

How to . . .

Many congressional and government documents are available on the Web. Your local library is also an excellent place to find information. The following guides explain how to find materials related to the legislative process and the Senate. You may also wish to contact your Senator's office if you have additional questions.

Exhibit References

The 89th Congress

Rules and Procedures

Bolling, Richard. Power in the House: A History of the Leadership of the House of Representatives. New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, 1968.

Zelizer, Julian. The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society. New York: Penguin Press, 2015.

The Democratic Majority

1. Cohen, Wilbur. “Discussion” in The Presidency and the Congress. Edited by William S. Livingston, Lawrence Dodd, and Richard Schott. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1979. 300-301.

2. Dallek, Robert. Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1961-1973. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998. 192.

The Republican Opposition

1. Dirksen, Everett McKinley. "A Record of Press Conference Statements Made by Senator Everett McKinley Dirksen and Representative Gerald R. Ford for the Republican Leadership of the Congress." Everett McKinley Dirksen Congressional Leadership Research Center. http://acsc.lib.udel.edu/exhibits/show/89th-congress/item/19.

Senate Leadership

Mike Mansfield

1. U.S. Senate Historical Office. “Senate Leadership.” Accessed March 30, 2015. https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/Feature_Homepage_SenateLeadership.htm

2. Charles D. Ferris: Staff Director, Senate Democratic Policy Committee (1963-1977),” Oral History Interviews, April 5, 2004, through September 23, 2009, Senate Historical Office, Washington, D.C.

Valeo, Francis R. Mike Mansfield, Majority Leader: A Different Kind of Senate, 1961-1976. New York: M. E. Sharpe, Inc., 1999.

Everett Dirksen

Hulsey, Byron. Everett Dirksen and His Presidents: How a Senate Giant Shaped American Politics. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2000.

MacNeil, Neil. Dirksen: Portrait of a Public Man. New York: The World Publishing Company, 1970.

Schapsmeier, Edward L. and Frederick H. Schapsmeier. Dirksen of Illinois: Senatorial Statesman. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985.

Russell Long

1. Martin, Michael S. Russell Long: A Life in Politics. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2014, 146-147.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. “Long, Russell Biliu, (1918-2003).” Accessed February 26, 2015. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=L000428

Thomas H. Kuchel

1. Holmes, Todd. “Demise and Ascent.” Boom: A Journal of California 1, no. 4 (2011). Accessed 2/15/15. http://www.boomcalifornia.com/2012/01/demise-and-ascent/.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. “Kuchel, Thomas Henry (1910-1994).” Accessed 3/17/15. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=k000335.

Binder, David. “Thomas H. Kuchel Dies at 84; Ex-Republican Whip in Senate.” New York Times, November 24, 1994.

MacNeil, Neil & Richard Baker. The American Senate: An Insider’s History. New York: Oxford University Press, 2013.

House Leadership

John W. McCormack:

1. Lyndon B. Johnson: "Remarks on the Accomplishments of the 89th Congress." October 15, 1966. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=27931.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. “McCormack, John William, (1881-1980).” Accessed February 26, 2015. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000364

Nelson, Garrison. “Irish Identity Politics: The Reinvention of Speaker John W. McCormack of Boston.” New England Journal of Public Policy 15 (Fall/Winter 1999/2000): 7-34.

Bolling, Richard. Power in the House: A History of the Leadership of the House of Representatives. New York: Capricorn Books, 1974.

Carl Albert:

1. Albert, Carl. Little Giant. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990. 290-291.

Hale Boggs:

1. Maney, Patrick J. “Hale Boggs: The Southerner as National Democrat.” In Masters of the House: Congressional Leadership Over Two Centuries, edited by Davidson, Roger H., Susan Webb Hammond, and Raymond Smock, 223-258. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 1998.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. “Boggs, Thomas Hale, Sr., (1914-1972).” Accessed February 16, 2015. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=b000594

Gerald R. Ford:

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. “Ford, Gerald Rudolph, Jr., (1913-2006). Accessed February 24,2015. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=F000260

Brinkley, Douglas. Gerald R. Ford. New York: Times Books, 2007.

Cannon, James M. “Gerald R. Ford, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, 1965-1973.” in Masters of the House: Congressional Leadership Over Two Centuries, edited by Davidson, Roger H., Susan Webb Hammond, and Raymond Smock. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press, 1998. 259-288.

Les Arends:

1. Schapsmeier, Edward L. & Frederick H. Schapsmeier. “Serving Under Seven Presidents: Les Arends and His Forty Years in Congress. Illinois Historical Journal, 85 no. 2 (1992): 105-118.

Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. “Arends, Leslie Cornelius, (1895-1995).” Accessed 2/18/15. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=A000216.

The Legislation

Appalachian Regional Development Act:

“Appalachian Regional Commission.” e-WV: The West Virginia Encyclopedia. Accessed January 4, 2015. http://www.wvencyclopedia.org/articles/249.

Corbin, David A. The Last Great Senator: Robert C. Byrd’s Encounters with Eleven U.S. Presidents. Washington D.C.: Potomac Books, 2012.

25th Constitutional Amendment:

Bayh, Birch. 1968. One heartbeat away; Presidential disability and succession. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill.

Social Security Act Amendments:

1. "192. Special Message to the Congress Recommending a Comprehensive Health Program," Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, accessed July 30, 2015, http://www.trumanlibrary.org/publicpapers/index.php?pid=483&st=&st1=

Voting Rights Act:

1. Zelizer, Julian. The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society. New York: Penguin Press, 2015.

May, Gary. Bending Toward Justice: The Voting Rights Act and the Transformation of American Democracy. Duke University Press Books. 2014.

Freedom of Information Act:

1. National Republican Congressional Committee. "One of Most Critical Bills Before Us in Past 20 Years column." Arch A. Moore Jr. papers, West Virginia and Regional History Center, West Virginia University Libraries. Accessed 06 July 2016. http://acsc.lib.udel.edu/exhibits/show/legislation/item/381.

Archibald, Sam. "The Early Years of the Freedom of Information Act. 1955 to 1974." PS: Political Science and Politics 26, no. 4 (1993): 726-31.

Cong. Rec. 13 Oct. 1965: 26820 Proquest Congressional Publications. Web. 30 June 2016.

Cong. Rec. 20 Jun. 1966: 13640 Proquest Congressional Publications. Web. 30 June 2016.

"Freedom of Information at 40." Freedom of Information at 40. Ed. Thomas Blanton. National Security Archive, 4 July 2006. Web. 30 June 2016.

Office of the White House Press Secretary. Statement by the President upon Signing S. 1160. http://nsarchive.gwu.edu/NSAEBB/NSAEBB194/Document%2031.pdf: National Security Archive. July 4, 1966. Web.

United States. Cong. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Clarifying and Protecting the Right of the Public to Information, and for other Purposes. 89th Cong. 1st sess. S. Rept. 813. Washington: GPO, 1965. Proquest Congressional Publications. 30 June 2016.

--. --. House. Committee on Government Operations. Clarifying and Protecting the Right of the Public to Information. 89th Cong. 2nd sess. H. Rept. 1497. Washington: GPO, 1966. Proquest Congressional Publications. 30 June 2016.

Demonstration Cities and Metropolitan Development Act

1. Johnson, Lyndon B. "574 - Remarks Upon Signing the Demonstration Cities Bill and the Clean Water Restoration Bill." The American Presidency Project. November 3, 1966. Accessed November 25, 2016. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=27987&st=clean+water&st1=

2. Semple, Robert B. Jr. "Demonstration Cities Bill Passed by House, 178-141." New York Times (1923-Current file): 1. Oct 15 1966. ProQuest. Accessed November 25, 2016 .

Staff Reporter. "Demonstration Cities' Bill Likely to Pass in House Today After Bitter Floor Fight." Wall Street Journal (1923 - Current file): 6. Oct 14 1966. ProQuest. Web. Accessed November 25, 2016 .

United States. 1966. Demonstration cities and metropolitan development act of 1966, Public law 89-754: together with a brief summary, section-by-section analysis, legislative history, and conference report. Washington: U.S. Govt. Print. Off.

The Political Environment

Patterson, James T. The Eve of Destruction: How 1965 Transformed America. New York: Basic Books, 2012.

Civil Rights

Risen, Clay. The Bill of the Century: The Epic Battle for the Civil Rights Act. New York: Bloomsbury Press, 2014.

Zelizer, Julian. The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society. New York: Penguin Press, 2015.

Sitkoff, Harvard. The Struggle for Black Equality. 25th Anniversary Edition. New York: Hill and Wang, 2008.

Food for Peace and Foreign Policy

1. Poage, W. R. (William Robert), 1899-1987, “Joint letter to Secretary of Agriculture Orville Freeman from the Congressional Delegation to India,” The Association of Centers for the Study of Congress, accessed March 31, 2015, http://acsc.lib.udel.edu/admin/items/show/113.

Ahlberg, Kristin L. 2008. Transplanting the Great Society: Lyndon Johnson and Food for Peace. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.


1. Congressional Record. August 7, 1964. pp 18470.

2. BBC News. January 15, 1973. Accessed December 4, 2015. http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/january/15/newsid_2530000/2530549.stm.

Anderson, David L. The War That Never Ends: New Perspectives on the Vietnam War. Lexington, Ky.: University Press of Kentucky, 2007.

Gibbons, William Conrad. The U.S. Government and the Vietnam War: Executive and Legislative Roles and Relationships. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986.

Herring, George C. 1986. America’s longest war: the United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975. New York: Knopf.

Zelizer, Julian. "How Congress Helped End the Vietnam War." The American Prospect. February 7, 2007. http://prospect.org/article/how-congress-helped-end-vietnam-war.