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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Children & Youth, Historical Organizations, History Museums, Youth Development - Citizenship

Mission: USCHS is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3)organization chartered by Congress to educate the public about the Capitol and the Congress. It does this through programs that focus on landmark legislation that has shaped our nation, on the remarkable art in the Capitol that is based on uniquely American images, on the cultural and ethnic diversity of the Congress, and on other topics that help bring our history and government alive.

Programs: This tour and classroom program teaches Washington, D.C. public school 8th grade students and teachers about the Constitution and their city. The tour educates students about the first three articles of the Constitution by visiting the Capitol, the White House, the Supreme Court, the Lincoln Memorial, and finally the National Archives where students view the original documents, the Constitution and Bill of Rights, that they have spent the day discussing. Printed and on-line curriculum-based materials reinforce the tour lessons in the classroom, and a Challenge component involves schools actively in assessing the relevance of the Constitution.  

WTP is endorsed by D.C. Public Schools as one of its major social studies initiatives. DCPS teachers, administrators and students have advised in all aspects of the program. Since 2005, we have reached 7,158 students and teachers from more than 30 public and charter schools. One teacher said: “The tours have literally made D.C. a school without walls for me and my students.”

 USCHS is the coordinating partner in a consortium of organizations that includes the National Archives and Records Administration, the National Park Service, the White House Historical Association, the Federal Courts, the Center for Civic Education, Children’s Concierge and Old Town Trolley Tours.

 

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society is a tremendous organization that I am very happy to recommend. The Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, which I direct, organized a trip to Washington, D.C. for 41 of America's top high school seniors. Many of the students on our trip had already been to Washington, so it was important that this experience be a unique one. We turned to the USCHS for help arranging a tour of the U.S. Capitol and could not have been more pleased. The team at the USCHS jumped right into action to organize a first-rate experience. Steve Livengood served as our tour guide. The energy and deep knowledge he brought was unmatched. The USCHS also arranged for former U.S. Rep. Bob Carr to join the tour. Mr. Carr secured access for the students to enter the floor of the House of Representatives. What's more, Mr. Carr spoke to the students for nearly an hour, explaining the process by which members of Congress cast their votes, the various pressures elected leaders face, and answering all the students' questions. Several of the students reported that sitting in the chairs on the House floor was the moment it really hit them the tremendous responsibility carried by elected leaders. Many of the students told me the Capitol tour was their favorite part of the entire weekend. I can't commend the USCHS enough for the effort its staff put into ensuring this was a great experience for us. Our trip was a weekend date in late August -- certainly not ideal for scheduling purposes. Yet the USCHS staff took it upon themselves to arrange an excellent experience.Thank you again to the USCHS!Kind regards,Matthew DenhartExecutive DirectorCalvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation

Former staff

Rating: 5

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society (USCHS) is a terrific organization that educates children and adults, locally and globally, on the history of the Capitol and the Congress. It does this through its We the People Constitution Tours, a free day-long program for 8th graders from DC public and charter schools; lectures, book talks, and symposia; award-winning publications; Capitol tours; and educational materials on the USCHS website. The staff and volunteers are wholly dedicated, and strive to educate more members of the public each week, each month, each year in fulfillment of the Society’s mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The US Capitol Historical Society is a tremendous organization carrying out important work in our Nation's Capital. When the US Constitution addressed the need for a more perfect union, it put the legislative first as the branch of government closest to the people. USCHS preserves the history of both the Congress and the Capitol buildings and grounds that house it in order that the lessons of American self-government can be carried on to new generations. The staff are wonderfully knowledgeable, friendly, and helpful, and it is a fantastic group with which to volunteer.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with U.S. Capitol Historical Society for over 10 years, first in the office and later doing its portion of We the People tours for 8th graders in Washington. I've always found the entire organization to be professional and the employees to be personable and very interested in promoting the U.S. Capitol and its significance to the nation.

1

Client Served

Rating: 4

We had a wonderful experience on the Tour. My Students at Roots A.L.C. really learned a lot. It put the information and book learning into another perspectives. Learning from the different tour guides who had a fresh outlook o the information provided. The Bus driver and our tour guide were full of information on DC that was new to us all. As a proud Washingtonian I thought I was knowledgeable but even I learned some new information. I would recommend this tour to all schools and will do just that. They enjoyed the Scavenger Hunt and going to the White House. My students asked about going in and the guide was sure to tell them how they could at a later date but they had to be satisfied with a picture and story.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was my first year volunteering with the USCHS in their We The People Constitution Program and I loved it. I think it is a great compliment to the DC Public School Curriculum, and a way to consolidize their studies and comprehension of the Constitution by seeing it at work first hand. The trolley tour is enjoyable so the students have fun while learning and the field trip brings them the message of the importance of the Constitution and how alive it still is today in a direct and impacting way making many things learned in the classroom suddently click and fall in place. The USCHS is also extremely gracious with its volunteers so it is a pleasure to work with them.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer guide for the U.S. Capitol Historical Society for over a decade. I consider it a privilege to explain to people the Capitol and discuss this Temple of Liberty.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The U S Capitol Historical Society plays a vital role in providing education on the history and workings of the US Congress. Through their many trolley tours for local DC public school children to their Capitol tours for individuals and large groups, they help the visitor understand how our unique legislative branch operates from both historical and current perspectives. Their publications and speaker programs often focus on little known, and interesting, historical stories, such as the recent story, Bootleggers in the Capitol. In addition to a educated and dedicated staff, the USCHS has a cadre of volunteers many of whom are licensed guides in DC and belong to the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington DC.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful group of people working to make history relevant to today! Especially thru tours of the U.S. Capitol, but also thru lectures, symposiums and articles. I love the work they do! Jay Pierson

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had a wonderful experience as a short-term fellow at the US Capitol Historical Society. Working in the office of the curator of the Capitol, just a floor beneath the famous rotunda and Brumidi Corridors, was truly thrilling. More importantly, the staff was incredibly helpful in fostering my research, giving me access to all of their archival documents, an unrivaled collection of information on the Capitol Building and its history. I would recommend this fellowship to any interested scholars looking to enhance their research on the Capitol through publications or in the classroom.