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This Week in House History
The historical highlights featured in This Week in House History are written by the historians, archivists, and curators who preserve the history of the U.S House of Representatives. New highlights are added weekly. The collection, searchable by date or subject, includes more than 400 historical House events.
A Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Dissolve the United States Senate
April 27, 1911
On this date, freshman Representative Victor Berger introduced a resolution to amend the Constitution to dissolve the United States Senate. The resolution would have transformed Congress into an all-powerful unicameral legislature.
Representative Arthur Mitchell and the Supreme Court
April 28, 1941
On this date, Representative Arthur Mitchell, the only African-American Congressman of the era, successfully argued before the Supreme Court that African Americans were entitled to interstate railroad accommodations equal to white passengers.
The First House-Contested Election
April 29, 1789
On this date, the House Committee on Elections, a panel created on April 13, 1789, to render judgment on disputed elections in the House based on evidence and witness testimony, reported its first contested election case, Ramsay v. Smith from South Carolina.
The First Inauguration at Federal Hall in New York City
April 30, 1789
On this date, George Washington was sworn in as President of the United States before a Joint Meeting of Congress at Federal Hall in New York City. He took the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall, allowing the crowd of spectators to witness the event.