The Capitol Dome--regular editions

Summer 2014

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T his spring, U.S. Capitol Historical Society members took an in-depth look at Capitol Hill, the neighborhood that USCHS calls home, through our Spring Member Tour Series. On the Landscape Tour of Capitol Square, Superin- tendent of the Capitol Grounds Ted Bechtol walked members through Frederick Law Olmsted's landscape design plan and discussed efforts to maintain and pre- serve the grounds so that they adhere to his plan. Bechtol also discussed the Dome Renovation Project recently begun by the Architect of the Capitol as well as several other ongoing renovation projects on the Capitol grounds. On a sunny afternoon, members uncovered the hidden history of Capitol Hill on the Spies of Capitol Hill Tour led by our resident "spymaster" Carol Bessette. Bessette spoke about the nature of intelligence work in Washington as well as about several well-known spies and their connection to Capitol Hill. Members were treated to a behind the scenes look at how everyday neighborhoods and objects on Capitol Hill became the backgrounds and instruments of the spy world. Members also learned about the history of the suffrage movement on a tour of the Sewall-Belmont House and Museum. Home to the National Women's Party since 1929, the museum contains hundreds of artifacts related to the fight to win voting rights and equality for women under the law. On the tour, members learned how the strategies and tactics of suffragists became the blueprint for civil-rights movements throughout the 20th century. On the final tour in our series, longtime Library of Congress Docent Chris Keunen led members on a tour of the art and architecture of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Members also learned about the collection at the library, which includes two of the library's greatest treasures: the handwritten Giant Bible of Mainz and the printed Gutenberg Bible. All tours were open to all USCHS members and the series is just one of the many benefits of USCHS membership. A special thanks to all our tour guides as well as to the members who were able to attend! USCHS members on the Landscape Tour of the Capitol Grounds with Ted Bechtol, Superintendent of the Capitol Grounds (center) Carol Bessette (second from left) shares a spy story with the group on Capitol Hill. USCHS Members Explore Capitol Hill 4

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