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U.S. Capitol Historical Society

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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

51 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

Client Served

Rating: 5

I began volunteering with the USCHS several years ago with my wife and son, and have loved every experience I've had with the organization ever since! Their educational programs and tours are so impressive, and the passion they bring to bear astounds me to this day. I continue to volunteer, and have joined as a member to avail myself to all that the Society has to offer!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the good fortune to have worked at the Society for many years as Director of Corporate Giving. What a talented, creative staff who create and develop fabulous educational outreach programs educating all ages about so many facets of Congressional history.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a former member of staff, I can speak to the enduring commitment of the staff and volunteers to the U.S. Capitol Historical Society's mission. They work hard to fulfill this mission by educating the public about the U.S. Capitol and the Congress through educational and historical tours, programs, and events. If you have any interest in U.S. history or the legislative branch, I highly recommend supporting and getting involved with this terrific organization.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The staff and volunteers at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society (USCHS) are experts in the history of the U.S. Capitol building and the Congress, and seek to educate the public, of all ages, through educational programs, tours, and historical events. After attending such programs arranged by the USCHS, attendees often find a new appreciation for the history and current workings of the legislative branch. As a former member of staff, I can also speak to the values and dedication of the USCHS staff to the mission of the organization. I whole-heartedly recommend anyone looking to learn more about the Capitol and the Congress to use the many vital resources provided by the USCHS and attend one of their terrific events. You will not be disappointed.

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Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I love talking about the U.S. Capitol Historical Society! They are really quite an incredible group of people doing some incredible things! I'm involved with them around their education programs for local, middle school students. It's my responsibility to care how well these programs serve students and their teacher and to be part of "fixing" what doesn't work as well as it should. I'm very proud to say that the whole Society gets involved in doing the hard work of curating education programs that offer the best possible experiences they can offer. This amount of involvement and dedication are rare! It's wonderful to be part of planning when educators and historians and fiscal planners all have a caring voice - when all ideas are considered and debated - when all sides of an issue are given consideration. Everyone grows! And good, new, cutting edge programs always blossom! I cannot highlight enough the value of the work done by the great team at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society!

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3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It has been my privilege to work with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society for about 11 years. My work has been via a grant that allows the Society to offer a free day-long tour about the U.S. Constitution to all DC Public and Public Charter School 8th grade students. I love this tour and the opportunities it provides students to learn about the importance of civic engagement and how the Constitution is alive and at work in their own hometown. The tour experience allows students to visit with historians at sites in DC that participate in the carrying out of the Constitution --- the U.S. Capitol, Lafayette Park and the White House area, the White House Visitor's Center, the Lincoln Memorial, the US Department of Agriculture, the Supreme Court and the National Archives. It's a wonderful day!

But this is just one small example of the commitment and the passion the U.S. Capitol Historical Society has for teaching about the Constitution and how our government works. I particularly want to emphasize their passion for this! While other organizations may offer programs about civic engagement, I am totally sure none of them presents the same passion for this task that the Society does. It is this passion that is "so catching," so appealing and one of the main reasons the Society's programs and materials are so sought after. Add to this the scholarship the Society offers and you have a combination that is hard to surpass!

I am amazed at the wonderful work the Society does! They just know how to get the word out so everyone can hear it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the US Capitol Historical Society for a few years and each time I volunteer is more fun than the last. The events they hold are educational and informative, as well as fun and entertaining. The staff is an amazing group of people who are always welcoming and appreciative of all their volunteers. I find that I learn something new every time.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the US Capitol Historical Society for a few years and each time I volunteer is more fun than the last. The staff is an amazing group of people who are always welcoming and appreciative of all their volunteers. The programming and events that they put together are always educational and engaging. I find that I learn something new at every event I attend.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society has been providing a great service to the country for many decades. I first encountered them when I was an government employee at the Capitol giving tours to the public. I learned a lot from their great team and they helped me be a better guide. Now, nearly twenty years later, I am working with them as a volunteer. It's a great place to work and to meet people from all over the world who come to see this magnificent building. Additionally, USCHS is engaged in important work to understand and preserve the 200+ year history of the Capitol. It's a privilege to work with them. Hope to see you one day in Washington and give you a tour of your Capitol!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have always had a love of history and thought I knew the history of our great Capitol, until my son became an intern at USCHS. His enthusiasm was contagious and after taking a wonderful and educational tour, I became a volunteer. They have events and tours geared towards a wide variety of audiences but one of those dearest to my heart is their “We The People” educational program for middle school students. They do a wonderful job of instilling civic pride in the next generation. Thank you USCHS!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society provides "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunities to visit our nation's Capitol. Tours are tailored depending on each group's interest and cover nearly every facet of the Capitol's history, the people involved and events that have taken place. As a former member of Congress from Maine with a degree in history (I left Congress in 1997), it's been my pleasure to work with closely with Steve Livengood, the Society's Director of Public Programs and Chief Guide, and another dozen former members, all as part of a team. Steve is a nationally-recognized expert on the Capitol's history. Between Steve's leadership, the former members, and a range of talented volunteers, the Society's able to provide rare, first-person insights into the Capitol and the congressional process.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The US Capitol Historical Society is dedicated to promoting the story of the United States Capitol both in a historical and current context. Through a variety of ongoing educational experiences and small group tours they are able to give a premium, unclose and highly customized experience to visitors to the Capitol. I am one of several former members of Congress who regularly help the Society in accomplishing these goals. While some of us, thanks to the Society, have gained some historical expertise, our value is primarily assisting the Society in briefing visitors on how the building supports the current operation of their government. The Society’s guides are indeed the experts in storytelling. The wealth of knowledge they are able to display and recall to visitors who excitedly ask many questions is remarkable. I never get tired of listening and learning from them.

Our Constitution is a piece of paper that requires our government to breathe life into it every day. Our Capitol is a building that is at once a monument to the past but also suggests the aspirations for our future. The US Capitol Historical Society is the only non-government, non-profit group whose mission is to tell and amplify that story. The men and women of the Society work tirelessly to promote the United States Capitol as more than a mere building or tourist attraction. They breathe life into its story.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society for almost three years now. Every time I help with an event, I know that I am helping an organization that does great work in preserving the history of the Capitol and those who have influenced it. I don't know of any other organizations that knows more about their subject matter than the UCHS.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was introduced to the USCHS through my son's volunteer work. I had no idea what a hidden gem the society is. The programs are interesting and informative and the staff is friendly and knowledgeable. Their Capitol tours and grounds tours are not to be missed.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The USCHS is a top notch organization that plays an invaluable role in the history of our nation’s Capitol. As a volunteer, I was treated like an important part of the team and worked on substantive projects that helped me appreciate the depth of the USCHS’s offerings to the public. USCHS’s programs are more important now than ever before, and I was proud and excited to work with a group of passionate individuals who make those programs, and the history behind them, come to life. Ethan F.

Abby J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society couldn't have been better. Even though I was an intern, the staff was incredibly welcoming and made me feel like I was an important part of their team. It was a great internship to have as it helped me understand D.C. on a deeper level. This organization is extremely dedicated to providing a factual, in-depth education of United States history, and they do so in ways that are both fun and interactive. Whether you live in D.C. or are visiting and want to learn more about the history of the U.S. Capitol, I highly recommend booking a tour with USCHS or attending one of their lunchtime lectures!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience interning with the Society this summer was wonderful! The staff is so enthusiastic and filled with passion towards educating people on the history of the Capitol. The entire Society was very supportive of the research the other interns and I were doing, and we really felt like part of the team. I cannot recommend USCHS and their work enough! They are an excellent example of an organization that is striving to make our nation's history accessible and interesting to all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience interning at the USCHS was nothing but positive. The strong educational value and professional development opportunities that the Society provides are what made my time there so special. Everyone there cares deeply about preserving and sharing the wonderful history of the Capitol. I would recommend others to apply for internships and volunteer here!

JohnCFromMD

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a fantastic organisation. In addition to symposia and publications with respected historians, they also provide private tours of the US Capitol that provide unique insights into the building and its artwork, and American history.

They also play an important role in community service through a program with Washington, DC public schools for kids from under privileged backgrounds where they explain basic concepts of the US Constitution.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

The USCHS runs an extraordinary tour program, a series of symposia with leading academics and historians (followed up by publication of the proceedings) as well as a series of luncheon lectures. Of particular note are on-location lectures specially designed for Washington, DC 8 th grade students about the legislative branch of government.

All in all, the society fulfills an important academic role in historical research, a vital role in community educational service, and provision of an excellent educational/ tour service of our national Capitol building and history.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was a research intern at the U.S. Capitol Historical Society during my junior year of college. First and foremost, the staff at the society was nothing but welcoming. From the first day, they treated myself and the other interns with respect, and took the time to show us how the society operated. As a history student, I was thrilled to learn about the research process and the abundant resources the society used in their projects. There was a clear dedication to educating the public on the history of our nation's capitol. After speaking with the other interns, they had the same feelings. Because of the welcoming and friendly atmosphere we experienced, the other interns and I love returning to USCHS events to visit our former co-workers. Occasionally, we even return as volunteers, such as at the annual Freedom Award event. At events such as this, the USCHS provides wonderful opportunities to continue your education, and I so look forward to attending these events in the future!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with the U.S. Capitol Historical Society for a little over two years. The expertise that they posses on the Capitol is second to none and the tours they provide are one of a kind. Also, their exquisite events really help bring history alive.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered multiple times for USCHS events and every time it has been a wonderful experience. I keep getting dragged back and every time I learn something new or experience something you can't get anywhere else. The staff is the best. They are knowledgeable and can put together amazing events seamlessly.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been engaged as both an employee of and as a volunteer for the Society for several years now, and I can confidently say that you cannot find a better place to learn about the history of our nation, its institutions, and the neighborhoods and communities which support them anywhere. Truly, the story of America can be told in the story of the U.S. Capitol. The efforts of the society to preserve and share the history of the Article I Branch are critically important, and it has been my privilege to help with research and tours throughout my engagement. I plan to remain involved with USCHS as long and as much as I am able.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am constantly amazed by the rich history of the Capitol Building and the Congress, which the USCHS brings alive to everyone they reach. Wonderful programming, captivating tours, and an ever-expanding breadth of historical knowledge are the hallmarks of this fantastic organization. It is one of my greatest pleasures to be a volunteer with USCHS.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with the US Capitol Historical Society several times and each time it is so fun and enjoyable that I always want to volunteer again. The events they hold are informative, fun and a joy to be a part of. The staff is a wonderful group that are organized and professional and have a deep passion for education and teaching people about the Capitol and Congress. I always learn something new at each event and have an amazing time.