#ThenAndNow: Photographs from the House Collection | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesMay is National Photo Month. We celebrated by spotlighting four photographs from the House Collection, creating and tweeting #ThenAndNow images around the Capitol. Looking at historic photographs in new ways calls attention to changes in the landscape and built environment.1. Then In 1941, Capitol Hill picked Bonnie Patton to be its queen during the Miss Capitol Hill contest. Sitting on a ledge outside the Capitol with their legs daintily crossed, 12 young women participated in the pageant. The queen was chosen by the Little Congress (a congressional staff club). Bonnie Patton was the daughter of Representative Nat Patton of Texas. She competed for the title with other daughters and secretaries of Members of Congress. The Washington Post wrote that the winner was “the toast of the Little Congress conclave in New York.”Capitol Hill picks a queen in this #HouseCollection#ThenAndNow photo for #NationalPhotoMonth. http://t.co/qXnAA6WkCLpic.twitter.com/foVmxRawpd — U.S. House History (@USHouseHistory) May 1, 2015Now To create #ThenAndNow images, we made reproductions so that the original photographs remained safe in archival storage. Copies in hand, we set out to the Capitol, and found the same ledge the Capitol Hill Queen contestants used. Instead of the Little Congress and the Miss Capitol Hill contest, we found the quiet marble staircase of the West Front. In the new image, a few contemporary visitors appeared to be pointing at the queen.2. Then One of the most striking House Collection photographs shows the world’s then-fastest tank parked outside the Capitol in 1931. Representatives John G. Cooper, Randolph Perkins, and Edith Nourse Rogers posed on the Army vehicle by the Capitol’s East Front. Modern and metallic, the tank could reach 90 mph on flat terrain and 45 mph uphill. After a demonstration of the tank’s technology, the Members went for a ride.Celebrate #NationalPhotoMonth with a Rep Edith Rogers #HouseCollection#ThenAndNow photo. http://t.co/woPGQUjJ0zpic.twitter.com/Fq4DPrXXW7 — U.S. House History (@USHouseHistory) May 8, 2015Now While snapping our #ThenAndNow version, we encountered Representatives, visitors, and Capitol Police—but no tanks. The East Front was extended 33 feet in 1962, which created perspective challenges for the new image. Despite the differences, the curved line of the curb remained the same.3. Then A Congressional Horseshoe Tournament took place on May 30, 1930, at Washington’s Griffith Stadium. In the sunny spring days before the game, Members practiced their horseshoe tossing on the lawn. Representatives Robert Green, Edward Browne, and Melville Clyde Kelly tried to perfect their throw in front of the Capitol, as seen in one House Collection photo. Practice did not make perfect—all three Congressmen were bested by Fred G. Johnson. Representative Johnson took home “a set of silver-plated horseshoes in a leather case,” along with the glory of being called “Champion Horseshoe Pitcher of Congress.”May is time for congressional horseshoe & National #Photo Month. #HouseCollection#ThenAndNowhttp://t.co/v1KrP2LjHepic.twitter.com/PP8NePJrCg — U.S. House History (@USHouseHistory) May 15, 2015Now The most dramatic difference between the original photo and the new image is the Capitol dome. Currently undergoing a substantial restoration project, the dome looks very different than it did in 1930. Scaffolding and a protective sheet enclose and protect the structure during its renewal. Visible atop the dome is the Statue of Freedom, completed in 1863.4. Then During a spring afternoon in 1938, House Members Sam Rayburn, Bertrand Snell, and Speaker William Bankhead hit the lawn for a pick-up game of baseball. “Members of the House of Representatives adjourned to the Capitol lawn on April 21st, after Congress closed up for the weekend, to catch up on their spring baseball training,” the photo caption jokes. House Speaker Bankhead was at bat, Majority Leader Rayburn was catcher, and Minority Leader Snell called the game as umpire.It’s a home run! #HouseCollection#ThenAndNow photo at the Capitol for #NationalPhotoMonth. http://t.co/35b5CMVXcxpic.twitter.com/BQtNYsq6a7 — U.S. House History (@USHouseHistory) May 22, 2015Now An important difference between the two images is below the surface. The 580,000 square foot Capitol Visitor Center, which opened in 2008, is entirely underground. Only the new paving stones hint at the changes underfoot. In addition to the subterranean transformations, the columns have also been replaced. Because the dainty columns appeared too small to support the weight of the large iron dome, they were removed and replaced in 1958 during the East Front extension. The original columns now stand at the United States National Arboretum.Sources: Washington Post, March 27, 1941.Follow @USHouseHistory
Lawyer for Biden accuser Tara Reade drops her as a clientWASHINGTON (AP) - The attorney working with Tara Reade, the former Joe Biden Senate staffer who alleged he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s, said Friday he is no longer representing her, just two weeks after he first began working with her. Douglas Wigdor said in a statement the decision to drop Reade came on Wednesday of this week, and that it wasn't a reflection on the veracity of her claims. But he offered no specifics on why he and his firm are dropping her. Wigdor said he and others at his firm still believe Reade's allegation against Biden, that he digitally penetrated her and groped her in the basement of a Capitol Hill office building when she worked as a low-level staffer in his Senate office in the Spring of 1993. Biden has vehemently denied her claims, and multiple current and former Biden staffers have said they have no recollection of such an incident. In his statement, Wigdor said his firm believed that Reade has been "subjected to a double standard" in the media and that much of the coverage surrounding her biography had little to do with her claims against Biden. The news was first reported by The New York Times. Wigdor fielded numerous media questions in recent weeks surrounding inconsistencies in Reade's biography and the legal challenges she's faced. This week, The Associated Press and other media outlets published extensive biographies of Reade, revealing she appears to have exaggerated her educational achievements, was mired in endless financial difficulties and faced frequent lawsuits with individuals who said she defrauded them or failed to pay bills. Defense lawyers in Monterey County this week began investigating whether Reade committed perjury when she testified under oath that she had a college degree from Antioch, as first reported Friday by The New York Times. Antioch...