Mix doesn't support your web browser. For a better experience, we recommend using another browser.
#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
Representative Dalip Saund of California | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesOn this date, Representative Dalip Saund of California died in Hollywood, California. Born in Amritsar, India, Saund became the first Asian-American Representative to serve in the House of Representatives. After immigrating to the United States, Saund earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of California. In 1949, he became a U.S. citizen. Saund worked as a lettuce farmer before winning election as a judge for Imperial County, California. After meeting the seven-year constitutional requirement for citizenship, he ran for and won election to the 85th Congress (1957–1959) in 1956. In 1957, the Congressman returned to his native country of India and its surrounding countries on a two-month goodwill speaking tour. Treated as a celebrity, Saund was invited to address India’s Parliament. During the overseas trip, he spoke multiple times a day on issues such as communism and civil rights. In discussing the Little Rock, Arkansas desegregation problems, the Congressman stated, “The problem of man’s injustice to man is a world problem. Let one who is innocent and pure throw the first stone.” Saund returned to the United States suggesting that the U.S. should clarify its foreign policy aims and conduct more outreach to Asian countries. Saund served a total of three terms in the House. During his campaign for re-election to the 88th Congress (1963–1965), he suffered a stroke on a flight to Washington, D.C. He remained hospitalized at Bethesda Naval Hospital for the remainder of his unsuccessful campaign. Saund eventually returned to his home in California, but never fully recovered from his stroke.
The Psychology of a Pandemic: Lessons From the Spanish FluSupport our channel here! https://www.patreon.com/historydose Merch store: https://www.redbubble.com/people/historydose/shop?ref=artist_title_name The chronic fear and isolation now gripping the world is not unprecedented. There appears to be a certain psychology to a pandemic— mental patterns now reemerging in the face of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Today, in this mini historical documentary, we look at the human side of the 1918 “Spanish influenza” pandemic. It’s in the firsthand accounts that we begin to truly understand the experiences of the doctors, parents, nurses, civilians, and children who endured the 1918 pandemic. In seeing familiar problems and fears, we also get a glimpse at how people of the era found ways to endure physically and mentally. Also, the pedantic part of me would like to acknowledge that I accidentally skipped over a couple of words while reading the N. Roy Grist quotations. Thankfully, it didn't change their meaning :) Sources “1918 Pandemic Influenza Survivors Share Their Stories.” Interviews by Ann Brantley. Alabama Public Health, http://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/pandemicflu/1918-influenza-survivor-stories.html. Chand, Rakashi. “100 Years after the Influenza Pandemic.” The Beehive, Massachusetts Historical Society, 27 Aug. 2018, www.masshist.org/beehiveblog/2018/08/100-years-after-the-influenza-pandemic/. Brandorff, Dana. “What We Can Learn from the Past to Deal with Coronavirus.” University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, 11 Mar. 2020, nursing.cuanschutz.edu/about/news/CU-nursing/colorado-nurse-diary-recounts-spanish-flu. Cohen, David S. “What Coverage of the Spanish Flu Pandemic Can Tell Us About Coronavirus.” Variety, Variety, 1 Apr. 2020, variety.com/2020/biz/features/coronavirus-outbreak-1918-flu-pandemic-1203551560/. “Collection of Personal Narratives, Manuscripts and Ephemera about the 1918-1919 Influenza Pandemic, 1917-1923.” Online Archive of California, oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt2t1nf4s5/entire_text/. United States, Congress, Garrett, Thomas A. “Economic Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic.” Economic Effects of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic, 2007. https://www.stlouisfed.org/~/media/files/pdfs/community development/research reports/pandemic_flu_report.pdf. Grist, N. Roy. “A Letter From Camp Devens.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/influenza-letter/. Knobler, Stacey. “1918 Revisited: Lessons and Suggestions for Further Inquiry.” National Academies Press, Forum on Microbial Threats, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK22148/. Phillips, Howard. “Influenza Pandemic (Africa).” International Encyclopedia of the First World War, 8 Oct. 2014, https://encyclopedia.1914-1918-online.net/article/influenza_pandemic_africa. Roos, Dave. “How U.S. Cities Tried to Halt the Spread of the 1918 Spanish Flu.” History.com, A&E Television Networks, 11 Mar. 2020, www.history.com/news/spanish-flu-pandemic-response-cities. Saul, Toby. “Inside the Swift, Deadly History of the Spanish Flu Pandemic.” National Geographic, 5 Mar. 2020, www.nationalgeographic.com/history/magazine/2018/03-04/history-spanish-flu-pandemic/ Walker, Childs. “The 'Forgotten Pandemic': What Researchers Can Learn from the 1918 Flu.” The Taunton Daily Gazette, 13 Apr. 2020, www.tauntongazette.com/news/20200413/forgotten-pandemic-what-researchers-can-learn-from-1918-flu. Newspaper Sources Audubon County journal. (Exira, Iowa), 17 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87057934/1918-10-17/ed-1/seq-2/ Denison review. [volume] (Denison, Iowa), 09 Oct. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038095/1918-10-09/ed-1/seq-2/ Pullman herald. [volume] (Pullman, W.T. [Wash.]), 15 Nov. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085488/1918-11-15/ed-1/seq-1/ Seattle star. (Seattle, Wash.), 19 Sept. 1918. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093407/1918-09-19/ed-1/seq-1/ Shoshone journal. [volume] (Shoshone, Idaho), 28 Feb. 1919. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress. https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86063039/1919-02-28/ed-1/seq-3/ MUSIC: Scott Buckley https://www.youtube.com/user/musicbys… Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ Audionautix Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) Artist: http://audionautix.com/ Dramatic Solo Cello by Ambient Puppy Purchase of Envato Market Standard Music License for opening song
The Unlucky Seventh | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesIf you studied Latin in school you may recall the phrase, “Omne trium perfectum” (every set of three is complete). From history to pop culture, trios make for interesting stories. Ancient Rome had Julius Caesar, Cleopatra, and Mark Antony. The antebellum Senate boasted its Great Triumvirate—Webster, Calhoun, and Clay. The Bee Gees laid down the beat for 1970s disco goers. Harry Potter and his friends, Ron and Hermione, spellbound a later generation.The Illinois Seventh Congressional District of the 1840s spawned its own memorable political trio: John J. Hardin, Edward D. Baker, and Abraham Lincoln.Illinois’ population had trebled in the 1830s, increasing its representation in Congress from three to seven seats after the 1840 Census. Reapportionment carved out the new Seventh District from 11 central-Illinois counties, taking in Springfield, the state capital. The Seventh was the only district in the Democrat-dominated state that tilted to the opposing Whig Party.For up-and-coming Whig politicians looking to make their mark and advance past the state legislature, the Seventh had a funneling effect: multiple aspirants scrambled for the one viable seat in Congress. In 1843, the competitors—Hardin, Baker, and Lincoln—shared similar traits. They were thirty-somethings, with legislative experience in Springfield, tireless campaigners, solid stump speakers, and rising stars in the party.When the Whig nominating convention gathered that spring in Pekin, Illinois, Hardin had the votes to win. But immediately after that count had been tallied, Lincoln—who had been pledged to back Baker—did something amazing for its guile and political prowess. He moved that the convention approve Baker as a suitable candidate in 1844, thus setting in place a system of rotation in office. Each would serve a single term and yield to the next in line. This was common in many states, but Lincoln’s ability to apply it in the new district was masterful.Hardin served in the 28th Congress (1843–1845) dutifully but with little fanfare, holding seats on the Military Affairs and the Post Office and Post Roads committees. From Hardin, however, we have one of the great descriptions of the House Chamber in that period. Of “all the places to speak or to try & do any business,” he wrote, “the Hall of the House is the worst I ever saw. I would prefer speaking in a pig pen with 500 hogs squealing . . . or talk to a mob when a fight is going on . . . no one but JQ Adams is even listened to by the House, unless there is a quarrel going on or the prospect of a row is brewing. Last week the scenes in the House would have disgraced the meanest western grocery. Bullying & Billingsgate are the only order of the day.”Baker distinguished himself in 1844 with flamboyant, soaring oratory that drew crowds. Among his more outlandish campaign props, writes Carl Sandburg, was a pet eagle trained to turn its head downward pensively and droop its shoulders when Baker referenced Democrats’ failures. When Baker shifted to discuss Whig principles, the raptor spread its wings wide and screeched. Baker, too, had a seat on the Military Affairs Committee and, it was perhaps no coincidence, that shortly after Congress declared war on Mexico in 1846, the martial spirit moved him to resign his seat and join the fight.Though Hardin toyed with the idea of running against Lincoln for the nomination in 1846, Lincoln outmaneuvered him by quietly rounding up support from local Whig leaders. Safely elected to the 30th Congress (1847–1849) by a wide margin, Lincoln held seats on the Post Office and Post Roads and the Expenditures in the Military Department committees. His term was more energetic—if tumultuous—than those of his predecessors. He introduced the “Spot Resolutions” questioning (like many other Whigs) President James K. Polk’s justifications for initiating the war with Mexico, promoted Zachary Taylor as his party’s successful presidential candidate, and authored a still-born proposal to end slavery in the District of Columbia.But the tragic career trajectories of this political trio also bear out that old superstition that bad luck often comes in threes.Shortly after the outbreak of the war with Mexico, Hardin raised and led a volunteer regiment of Illinoisans. At the Battle of Buena Vista in February 1847, a fatal bullet to the chest felled Colonel Hardin.Baker, who won re-election to the House from another Illinois district in 1848, followed his political aspirations westward to California and eventually Oregon. In the fall of 1860 he was appointed as a Republican to Oregon’s vacant U.S. Senate seat. On October 21, 1861, at the Civil War battle of Balls’ Bluff in Loudon County, Virginia, commanding a group of volunteers, Baker was shot and killed—the only sitting U.S. Senator to die in battle. His death stung Lincoln, a close friend who had named his second son for Baker.Lincoln, as we well know, fit this tragic pattern, too. In 1848, he had declined to seek re-nomination to a second term in the House and returned home to Springfield. Later, after two failed Senate bids, he was elected President in 1860 as the country plunged into a fratricidal war. His skill as a wartime President drew upon cajoling, compromise, and patient determination—traits which he also displayed during his House service. This week, 150 years ago, an assassin’s bullet cut his life short just days after Confederate forces surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia.All things being equal, some sets of three seem more complete—and consequential—than others.Sources: Michael Burlingame, Abraham Lincoln: A Life Vol. 1 (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008): 213–308; David Herbert Donald, Lincoln (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995): 111–141; Donald W. Riddle, Lincoln Runs for Congress (New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1948) and Congressman Abraham Lincoln (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1957); Carl Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln, the Prairie Years and the War Years (New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1966); Paul Findley, A. Lincoln: The Crucible of Congress (New York: Crown Publishers, 1979); Albert J. Beveridge, Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1858 (Boston: Houghton-Mifflin, 1928).Follow @USHouseHistory
South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks’s Attack on Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesOn this date, Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina, accompanied by Representative Laurence Keitt of South Carolina, severely beat Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts with a cane in the Senate Chamber. Brooks’s violent act was in response to a speech in which Sumner attacked the institution of slavery and pro-slavery Senators such as Andrew Butler of South Carolina (Brooks’s relative). Sumner’s injuries were so serious that he had to take leave of his Senate duties for three years in order to recuperate. In the aftermath of the violent confrontation, Brooks was fined for assault by a Baltimore district court. Moreover, Senators called for an investigation of the incident and angry House Members demanded the expulsion of Brooks and Keitt. The House failed to garner the necessary two-thirds vote to expel Brooks, but it successfully censured Keitt. Both Congressmen resigned to protest their treatment by the House. In his resignation speech, Brooks said, “I should have forfeited my own self-respect, and perhaps the good opinion of my countrymen, if I had failed to resent such an injury by calling the offender in question to a personal account.” South Carolina voters held Brooks and Keitt up as heroes, returning both men to Congress by special election to fill their own vacancies, while anti-slavery propagandists portrayed Sumner as a martyr for the cause of abolition. The event inflamed sectional tensions between northern and southern Members of Congress.
South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks’s Attack on Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesOn this date, Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina, accompanied by Representative Laurence Keitt of South Carolina, severely beat Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts with a cane in the Senate Chamber. Brooks’s violent act was in response to a speech in which Sumner attacked the institution of slavery and pro-slavery Senators such as Andrew Butler of South Carolina (Brooks’s relative). Sumner’s injuries were so serious that he had to take leave of his Senate duties for three years in order to recuperate. In the aftermath of the violent confrontation, Brooks was fined for assault by a Baltimore district court. Moreover, Senators called for an investigation of the incident and angry House Members demanded the expulsion of Brooks and Keitt. The House failed to garner the necessary two-thirds vote to expel Brooks, but it successfully censured Keitt. Both Congressmen resigned to protest their treatment by the House. In his resignation speech, Brooks said, “I should have forfeited my own self-respect, and perhaps the good opinion of my countrymen, if I had failed to resent such an injury by calling the offender in question to a personal account.” South Carolina voters held Brooks and Keitt up as heroes, returning both men to Congress by special election to fill their own vacancies, while anti-slavery propagandists portrayed Sumner as a martyr for the cause of abolition. The event inflamed sectional tensions between northern and southern Members of Congress.
Thomas Edison’s Congressional Gold Medal | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesOn this date, the House of Representatives voted to approve H.J. Res. 243, awarding inventor Thomas A. Edison a Congressional Gold Medal. In early April, Randolph Perkins of New Jersey, chairman of the Committee on Coinage, Weights, and Measures, reported the bill favorably to the House. The committee report contained a letter from Secretary of the Treasury Andrew W. Mellon. Mellon noted the lack of domestic recognition for Edison given the outpouring of international acclaim for his work in the field of electricity and its applications. “Wearing in the lapel of his coat the ribbon of the Legion of Honor of France, symbolized and honored by eight other foreign nations, the recipient of degrees from 22 colleges,” Mellon said, “Mr. Edison has yet to receive a medal at the hands of the United States.” The bill came to the House Floor with little controversy. The reading clerk read the title of the bill and the Speaker asked if there were any objections. Representative Fiorello La Guardia of New York proposed to remove the standardized section two of the Congressional Gold Medal legislation authorizing the Treasury Department to mint replica coins for general sales to the public to defray the cost of Edison’s medal. The House agreed to the proposal and passed the resolution. President Calvin Coolidge signed the legislation on May 29, 1928. Secretary Mellon awarded Edison the medal on October 20, 1928, in his laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey. President Coolidge spoke via a radio link from the White House. Nearly 50 radio stations broadcasted the ceremony. Modern Congressional Gold Medal ceremonies are typically held in the Capitol Rotunda where the President often personally bestows the medal on behalf of the Congress.
AP source: Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen to be released from prisonWASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump's longtime personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen will be released from federal prison Thursday and is expected to serve the remainder of his sentence at home, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press. Cohen has been serving a federal prison sentence at FCI Otisville in New York after pleading guilty to numerous charges, including campaign finance fraud and lying to Congress. He will be released on furlough with the expectation that he will transition to home confinement to serve the remainder of his sentence at home, the person said. Cohen, 53, began serving his sentence last May and was scheduled to be released from prison in November 2021. The person could not discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. Prison advocates and congressional leaders have been pressing the Justice Department for weeks to release at-risk inmates ahead of a potential outbreak, arguing that the public health guidance to stay 6 feet (1.8 meters) away from other people is nearly impossible behind bars. Attorney General William Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons in March and April to increase the use of home confinement and expedite the release of eligible high-risk inmates, beginning at three prisons identified as coronavirus hot spots. Otisville is not one of those facilities. Cohen was told last month he would be released to serve the rest of his three-year sentence at home in response to concerns about coronavirus. He had told associates he was expecting to be released earlier this month. The Bureau of Prisons has placed him on furlough as it continues to process a move to home confinement, the person familiar with the matter said. The agency has the authority to release inmates...
GRIFFITHS, Martha Wright | US House of Representatives: History, Art & ArchivesKnown as the “Mother of the ERA,” Martha W. Griffiths, a peppery and quick–witted Detroit Representative, was a key figure in bringing women’s rights legislation to successful passage in Congress. During her 20 years in the U.S. House, Representative Griffiths compiled a distinguished record on tax reform and civil rights. She was the first woman to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.Martha Edna Wright was born on January 29, 1912, in Pierce City, Missouri. She was one of two children reared by Charles Elbridge Wright, a mailman, and Nell Sullinger Wright. Martha Wright graduated from Pierce City High School in 1930. Realizing that without an education her daughter would eventually be dependent on her future husband, Nell Wright took on extra jobs to pay for Martha’s college tuition.1 Her mother’s foresight and her paternal grandmother’s struggle to raise three children after the death of her husband inspired Martha Wright to pursue equal rights for women. She attended the University of Missouri at Columbia, earning an A.B. in political science in 1934. In college she met and married Hicks G. Griffiths, a future Michigan Democratic Party chairman and her husband of 62 years until his death in 1996. The couple studied law at the University of Michigan, where Martha Griffiths worked on the staff of the Michigan Law Review. She graduated with an LL.B. in 1940 and was admitted to the bar the next year. Her first job was working in the legal department of the American Automobile Insurance Association in Detroit. During World War II she worked as a contract negotiator in the Detroit district for Army Ordnance. In 1946, Griffiths opened her own law practice; Hicks joined a few months afterward. A year later, G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams, heir of the Mennen toiletries fortune and a former college classmate, became a partner in the firm. Martha Griffiths entered politics at her husband’s suggestion by making an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the Michigan house of representatives in 1946. She later won election to the state legislature in 1948 and 1950. During her first term she and her husband organized the Michigan Democratic Club, which engineered the election of G. Mennen Williams as governor. In the fall of 1952, Griffiths captured the Democratic nomination for a seat in the U.S. Congress from a Michigan district encompassing northwest Detroit and some outlying suburbs but lost the general election by a margin of 10,500 votes (or about six percent of the total) to Republican Charles G. Oakman. In April 1953, Governor Williams appointed her a recorder and judge of recorders court in Detroit. The following November she was elected as judge and served until 1954. At the time, she observed, “It is at least an unusual experience to assist for four years in making the laws of this state, and then sit as a judge of people charged with breaking those laws.”2 During her brief tenure she conducted more than 430 criminal examinations, including a highly publicized teamsters’ conspiracy case. The name recognition Griffiths garnered as a 1952 candidate and as a judge helped her mount another bid for the Detroit seat in the U.S. House in 1954. She revived from her initial campaign a district–wide tour by house–trailer—meeting tens of thousands of voters in their neighborhoods and serving them refreshments. Facing Oakman in the general election, Griffiths unseated the incumbent with about a 7,000–vote margin, 52 to 48 percent. Griffiths’s victory came without the support of organized labor and the state’s Democratic Party, as both backed other candidates.3 Despite this opposition, Griffiths never was seriously challenged again, winning nine more terms and gradually increasing her margins of victory: 53 percent in 1956, 69 percent in 1966, and 80 percent in 1970.4The second woman from Michigan elected to the U.S. House, Griffiths was appointed to the Banking and Currency and Government Operations committees. During the 91st Congress (1969–1971) she served on the Select Committee on Crime, and she also had a seat on the Joint Study Budget Control Committee during the 92nd (1971–1973) and 93rd (1973–1975) Congresses. In the 90th (1967–1969) through 93rd Congresses, Griffiths chaired the Select Committee on the House Beauty Shop, a largely ceremonial assignment which oversaw the institution’s operations.In a move that astonished many observers, Griffiths ran for her former position as judge of the Detroit recorders court but was defeated in the April 1959 election. She later explained that she was motivated by a desire to return to Detroit and by her frustration with the protocols and pace of the committees, particularly the Banking and Currency Committee.5 Griffiths retained her House seat, however, and a year later she was re–elected to Congress with 58 percent of the vote.Congresswomen had lobbied Speaker Sam Rayburn of Texas in 1961 to assign a woman to the prominent Ways and Means Committee, extracting a pledge from him that an appointment would be made at the next vacancy. Rayburn died in November 1961, but his promise was fulfilled in 1962 when Griffiths became the first woman Representative to win appointment to Ways and Means. Eventually, she became the fourth–ranking Member on that powerful panel. She also was assigned to the Joint Economic Committee, where she served through the 93rd Congress and eventually chaired the Subcommittee on Fiscal Policy. From both of these prominent positions, Congresswoman Griffiths pursued tax reform and proposed legislation to repeal the excise tax on automobiles, to provide tax relief for single parents, to amend tax laws to aid married couples and widows, and to reduce social security taxes paid by low–income families. Her skills as a former judge, solid preparation, and ability to pick apart arguments, along with her sometimes blunt style, made her a fearsome opponent. She was especially attentive to frequent requests from women on how to circumvent discrimination in the workplace. On one occasion, when it came to light that a major airline fired a flight attendant on the grounds that she was going to be married soon, Griffiths grilled the airline’s personnel manager: “You point out that you are asking a bona fide occupational exception that a stewardess be young, attractive, and single. What are you running, an airline or a whorehouse?”6In 1964, Griffiths made one of her two greatest contributions to the women’s rights movement. As the House Judiciary Committee began to deliberate a landmark civil rights bill pertaining to racial discrimination, Griffiths argued that sexual discrimination must be added to it. She did much to frame the sex discrimination amendment to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and later prompted the new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enforce the act more vigorously. She relied on a deft legislative move to secure her amendment. The chairman of the powerful Rules Committee, Democrat Howard Smith of Virginia, was preparing to make his own sexual discrimination amendment to the bill, in hopes of making the bill so controversial as to derail the entire Civil Rights Act. Griffiths, realizing that Smith would easily bring 100 southern votes if he introduced the amendment on the floor, held back on introducing the amendment herself. When Smith made the argument in the well of the House, Members erupted in laughter and jeers.7 Griffiths immediately took to the floor to make her case. “I presume that if there had been any necessity to point out that women were a second–class sex, the laughter would have proved it,” she scolded colleagues. The chamber fell silent.8 With a southern bloc voting for the amendment and Griffiths’s own efforts to line up votes, the measure was passed and added to the act. Though many of the southern lawmakers who passed the amendment voted against the whole Civil Rights Act of 1964, the House and Senate eventually passed the bill, and President Lyndon Johnson signed it into law that year.Griffiths also was pivotal in bringing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to a vote, eventually steering it to successful passage in the House. Though she originally thought that the way to secure women’s rights was to bring case after case before the Supreme Court, Griffiths eventually came to believe that a constitutional amendment was the only way to overcome the high bench’s history of decisions which, in her view, denied that women were “‘persons’ within the meaning of the Constitution.”9 Every year since she entered the House in 1955, she had introduced ERA legislation, only to watch while the bill died in the Judiciary Committee. In 1970, Congresswoman Griffiths relied on the discharge petition, a little–used parliamentary procedure which required that she get a majority (218 of the House’s 435 Members) to support her effort to bring the bill out of committee and onto the floor for general debate and a vote. For nearly 40 days, Griffiths stalked reluctant Congressmen, cornering them on the House Floor after roll call votes, visiting their offices, and calling in favors in order to add names to the petition. At one point, she approached the Democratic Whip, Hale Boggs of Louisiana, for his signature. Boggs at first demurred. “But he promised to sign as Number 200, convinced that I would never make it,” Griffiths recalled. “You may be sure that when I had Number 199 signed up, I rushed to his office, and Hale Boggs became Number 200.”10 Griffiths got the 218 signatures in the required time, and on August 10, 1970, took to the House Floor to open debate. “Mr. Speaker, this is not a battle between the sexes–nor a battle between this body and women,” Griffiths said. “This is a battle with the Supreme Court of the United States.”11 With 62 Members not voting, the House passed the ERA by a vote of 352 to 15.12 Later that fall the Senate voted to amend the ERA with a clause exempting women from the draft. The House and Senate failed to work out their differences in conference committee before Congress adjourned for the year. Griffiths began the process again, and this time the amendment cleared the House in 1971 and was approved by the Senate in March 1972 without revision. The ERA, however, was ratified by only 35 of the requisite 38 states and never became part of the Constitution. Despite the amendment’s ultimate failure, Griffiths’s recognition soared after her work on ERA. In 1970, she was rumored to be in consideration for Majority Whip and, therefore, the first woman to hold a major leadership post; however, she never was selected for that position.13Griffiths declined to run for an 11th term in 1974, citing age and a wish to spend time with her family as her reasons for leaving. She did not disappear from politics, however, returning in 1976 as the chair of the Rules Committee for the Democratic National Convention, and in 1982, becoming Michigan’s first elected lieutenant governor on a ticket with Michigan Representative James J. Blanchard. In 1986, the pair was re–elected, but Blanchard decided to drop the 78–year–old Griffiths from the ticket for a third term because of her age. “Ridiculous!” she retorted. She then told a crowd of reporters: “The biggest problem in politics is that you help some s.o.b. get what he wants and then he throws you out of the train.”14 Blanchard lost in the general election to Republican John Engler, an outcome many observers attributed to disaffected women and senior votes that Griffiths had helped swing to Blanchard in the previous two elections. After her terms as lieutenant governor, Griffiths resumed practicing law. Martha Griffiths died of pneumonia at her home in Armada, Michigan, on April 22, 2003.