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COMMUNICATOR UPDATE: September 2009

 

Welcome to The Dirksen Congressional Center's Communicator–a web-based e-newsletter providing educators with news and ideas to improve the understanding of Congress: http://www.webcommunicator.org

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  1. People Who Served in Congress
  2. Congress Defined
  3. *New* Lesson Plan: The Public’s View of Congress: A Study in Contrasts Through Film
  4. *New* Editorial Cartoons
  5. *New* LaHood: Reflections on a Career in Congress
  6. *New* The Ten Most Important Things to Know About the U.S. Senate
  7. *New* Web-Based Resource About Congress
  8. Introduction To The Constitution, Celebrate the Constitution & Trivia
  9. Postscript Information

 

  1. PEOPLE WHO SERVED IN CONGRESS
    Sketches of famous and not-so-famous Senators and Representatives
     

Lodge, Henry Cabot (1850-1924), great-grandson of George Cabot, grandfather of Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and John Davis Lodge), a Representative and a Senator from Massachusetts; born in Boston, Mass., May 12, 1850; attended a private school and graduated from Harvard University in 1871; editor of the North American Review 1873-1876; graduated from the Harvard Law School in 1874 and admitted to the bar in 1875; earned one of the first Ph.D. degrees in history and government granted by Harvard University in 1876; lecturer on American history at Harvard University 1876-1879; member, State house of representatives 1880-1881; author of many historical, biographical, and political works; unsuccessful Republican candidate in 1882 for election to the Forty-eighth Congress and in 1884 to the Forty-ninth Congress; elected as a Republican to the Fiftieth, Fifty-first, and Fifty-second Congresses and served from March 4, 1887, until March 3, 1893, when he resigned; had been reelected to the Fifty-third Congress, but was later elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1893; reelected to the Senate in 1899, 1905, 1911, 1916, and 1922 and served from March 4, 1893, until his death; Republican Conference chairman (1918-24); president pro tempore (1911-13); chairman, Committee on Immigration (Fifty-fourth through Sixty-second Congresses), Committee on Printing (Fifty-fifth Congress), Committee on the Philippines (Fifty-sixth through Sixty-first Congresses), Committee on Private Land Claims (Sixty-third through Sixty-fifth Congresses), Committee on Foreign Relations (Sixty-sixth through Sixty-eighth Congresses), Republican Conference (1918-24); appointed by President Theodore Roosevelt a member of the Alaskan Boundary Tribunal in 1903; member of the United States Immigration Commission 1907-1910; overseer of Harvard University from 1911 until his death; represented the United States as a member of the Conference on Limitation of Armament in 1921; died in Cambridge, Mass., on November 9, 1924; interment in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

Sources:

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congresshttp://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=L000393

African-Americans in Congress: 


Image courtesy of Library of Congress

Ransier, Alonzo Jacob (1834-1882), a Representative from South Carolina; born in Charleston, S.C., January 3, 1834; received a limited schooling; employed as shipping clerk in 1850; member of a convention of the Friends of Equal Rights at Charleston in 1865 and was deputed to present the memorial there framed to Congress; member, State house of representatives, 1868-1869; member of the State constitutional convention in 1868 and 1869; Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina in 1870; president of the Southern States Convention at Columbia in 1871; delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1872; elected as a Republican to the Forty-third Congress (March 4, 1873-March 3, 1875); United States internal-revenue collector for the second district of South Carolina in 1875 and 1876; died in Charleston, S.C., on August 17, 1882; interment in Unity Friendship Cemetery. 

Sources:

Black Americans in Congress:   http://baic.house.gov/member-profiles/profile.html?intID=12   

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congresshttp://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=R000060

Women in Congress:

Pratt, Ruth Sears Baker (1877-1965), a Representative from New York; born in Ware, Mass., August 24, 1877; attended private schools and Wellesley (Mass.) College; moved to Greenwich, Conn., in 1894 and to New York City in 1904; member of the board of aldermen of New York City in 1925, being the first woman to serve; reelected in 1927 and served until March 1, 1929; member of the Republican National Committee 1929-1943; delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1924, 1932, 1936, 1940; delegate to the Republican State conventions in 1922, 1924, 1926, 1928, 1930, 1936, and 1938; served as president of the Woman’s National Republican Club 1943-1946; elected as a Republican to the Seventy-first and Seventy-second Congresses (March 4, 1929-March 3, 1933); unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1932 to the Seventy-third Congress; was a resident of New York City; died at her home, The Manor House, Glen Cove, N.Y., August 23, 1965; interment in Pratt Mausoleum.

Sources:

Women in Congress:   http://womenincongress.house.gov/

Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congresshttp://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=P000505

 

  1. CONGRESS DEFINED
    Words and phrases that describe congressional processes

Expulsion. The removal of a Member from office by a two-thirds vote of his or her chamber. Expulsion is the most severe and most rarely used sanction a chamber can invoke against a Member. Although the Constitution provides no explicit grounds for expulsion, the courts have ruled that it may be applied only for misconduct during a Member’s term of office, not for conduct before his or her election.

Source:  Congressional Quarterly’s American Congressional Dictionary, 3rd edition (2001):97.

 

  1. * NEW LESSON PLAN * THE PUBLIC’S VIEW OF CONGRESS: A STUDY IN CONTRASTS THROUGH FILM

During our annual Congress in the Classroom® workshop –– http://www.dirksencenter.org/print_programs_CongressClassroom.htm –– participants are asked to introduce the lesson plans, resources, and techniques that have proven successful in teaching about Congress in their classrooms. A 2009 participant, René M. Lafayette, Northbridge High School, Whitinsville, MA, presented a lesson entitled, The Public’s View of Congress: a Study in Contrasts through Film.

After completing this lesson, students will (1) gain an understanding of the public’s perception of Congress over time as represented in film, and (2) see how film-makers depict Congress.

Find The Public’s View Of Congress: A Study In Contrasts Through Film at: http://www.congresslink.org/print_lp_publicviewofcongress.htm

 

  1. * NEW * EDITORIAL CARTOONS

The Dirksen Congressional Center recently announced additions to the Editorial Cartoon Collection project: http://www.congresslink.org/cartoons/index.htm.

The editorial cartoons and related lesson plans will teach students to identify issues, analyze symbols, acknowledge the need for background knowledge, recognize stereotypes and caricatures, think critically, and appreciate the role of irony and humor.

This month we have posted five new cartoons:

We now have a total of 93 cartoons posted!

 

  1.   * NEW * LAHOOD: REFLECTIONS ON A CAREER IN CONGRESS

On June 25, 2005, then-Congressman Ray LaHood and his predecessor and mentor Bob Michel appeared at the Bertha Frank Performing Arts Center in Morton, Illinois, for an evening of “personal reflections” about their combined 50 years of service representing the 18th congressional district.

Find the reproduced 24:04 minute clip at: http://www.dirksencenter.org/recordings/lahood_personalreflection.htm

 

  1. * NEW *  THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE U.S. SENATE

Among the myriad topics related to understanding the U.S. Senate, Betty K. Koed, Associate Historian, United States Senate Historical Office, offers her version of the ten most important facts or observations about the "upper house." Serving as the Senate's institutional memory, the Historical Office collects and provides information on important events, precedents, dates, statistics, and historical comparisons of current and past Senate activities.  

Find THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT THE U.S. SENATE at: http://www.congresslink.org/print_expert_tenthingssenate.htm

 

  1. * NEW *  WEB-BASED RESOURCE ABOUT CONGRESS

The Dirksen Congressional Center has joined with FedNet to develop an innovative Web-based resource about Congress for use by teachers and students. The project is still in the early stages of development, but our FedNet partners created a sample for Constitution Day. 

Link to this Web-based resource at: http://www.fednet.net/tc/constitutionday.htm

 

  1. INTRODUCTION TO THE CONSTITUTION & TRIVIA

This section of Congress for Kids covers the history of the Constitution of the United States. It includes information about the writing the Constitution, the Great Compromise, the Constitution’s signers, the Bill of Rights, the Amendments to the Constitution and what they mean to Americans, and much more. Let's get started...click on Learn About The Constitution at: http://www.congressforkids.net/Constitution_index.htm

*NEW* * Celebrate the Constitution *

Do you know your rights? After starting the game, drag each statement that appears on your screen to the document where it belongs.  Place one correct statement in each of the four documents.  Get all four right and you’re a Constitution Whiz Kid!  If you don’t want to play, click on any of the links on the page to learn more about the Constitution.

Find Celebrate the Constitution at: http://www.congressforkids.net/games/signingconstitution/2_signingconstitution.htm

* Trivia *

Thanks to a legal "fiction" developed by courts in response to the breadth of the state sovereign immunity doctrine, many suits which might otherwise be barred by the Eleventh Amendment are allowed in federal court. Generally, what feature do these cases share that allows them to avoid the immunity problem?

  1. They are based entirely on state law
  2. They only ask for injunctive relief
  3. They seek more than $75,000 in damages
  4. They are filed by corporations

*Find the answer in next month's issue.

Answer to August 2009’s Fun, Facts, and Trivia: http://www.webcommunicator.org/classroomresources/funfactstrivia_ans0809.htm

 

  1. POSTSCRIPT INFORMATION

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