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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.
Clerk of the House Patrick Magruder
May 24, 1813
On this date, on the Opening Day of the 13th Congress (1813–1815), Patrick Magruder of Maryland was elected to a fourth consecutive term as Clerk of the House. But his fortunes changed when British forces sacked the capital city in August 1814.
The House Select Committee on Organized Crime
May 24, 1972
On this date, the House Select Committee on Crime held hearings to investigate the involvement of organized crime in American sports. Chairman Claude Pepper oversaw the investigation which spanned several months during the 92nd Congress (1971–1973).
The First News of House Business Submitted by Telegraph
May 25, 1844
On this date, during the 28th Congress (1843–1845), the first news of House business was submitted by telegraph when Inventor Samuel Morse tapped a message to the Baltimore Patriot newspaper. This first dispatch opened a new era of congressional reporting.
Rhode Island Ratifies the U.S. Constitution
May 29, 1790
On this date, Rhode Island became the 13th state to enter the Union after ratifying the Constitution. The new state’s late arrival came after the new federal government commenced on April 1, 1789, and the First Congress (1789–1791) had already passed 12 proposed amendments to the Constitution.