Over the past four years, the National Coalition for History (NCH) has worked with the offices of Congressmen John Larson (D-CT), Tom Cole (R-OK), and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) to create a Congressional History Caucus.
The three co-chairs have circulated a “Dear Colleague” letter to their fellow representatives urging them to join the caucus. Please click on this link to see the letter which explains the purpose of the caucus and how Members of Congress can join.
Please ask your representative to become a member of the History Caucus following the directions below. Their name will be added to the list of caucus members here on the website upon joining.
What is the Congressional History Caucus?
The caucus aims to provide a forum for members of Congress to share their interest in history and to promote an awareness of the subject on Capitol Hill. It is important for our community to be seen as a resource by Congress and we hope to build lasting relationships between Members of Congress and historians, archivists, teachers, students, genealogists, researchers, and other stakeholders in their respective districts. The History Caucus will increase NCH’s visibility and provide a network of supporters in Congress that we can reach out to when issues arise.
Some of the initial activities the History Caucus leadership has planned include:
- Lectures by prominent historians and policy makers to provide historical context and perspective on current and past issues.
- Promotion on the Hill of events and exhibits at the Library of Congress, National Archives, the Smithsonian and other historical institutions in Washington
- Establishing relationships between Members of Congress and historians, the Architect of the Capitol, former Members of Congress, and historical institutions and history departments at academic institutions in their district.
- Programs designed to increase awareness of history both here on Capitol Hill and among their constituents, especially students.
- The creation of an annual award to be presented by the Congressional History Caucus members to an outstanding advocate for preservation of the past.
As the driving force behind the creation of the Caucus, it is vital that NCH delivers by getting as many Members of Congress to join so the group has the critical mass necessary to function. We have promised the co-chairs that NCH will use our vast network of stakeholders to generate bi-partisan support for the History Caucus. Since we are not asking for federal funding or a policy change, you will likely get a positive response if you take the time to make the request.
The simple truth is Members of Congress are unlikely to join unless they are asked to do so by their constituents! Please help us in this effort by reaching out to your representatives to seek their support in creating a strong and vibrant History Caucus.
ASK YOUR REPRESENTATIVE TO JOIN
THE CONGRESSIONAL HISTORY CAUCUS TODAY
How to Contact Your Congressperson
Please write or call your House member’s office and urge them to contact Congressman John Larson’s office at (202) 225-2265 to join the caucus.
To contact your representative, you can use one of these two options. No matter which means of communication you choose, please personalize your message as to your background or interest in history. If you are employed in the field, mention the institution where you work in your congressional district. You can also use the Dear Colleague letter as talking points.
- Write a message. You can find your representative by going to the House website at http://www.house.gov/. The system allows you to search for them using your zip code which will take you directly to a link to their website and contact information. Congressional offices allow you to send them an email through their homepage if you are from their district. Be sure to add a link to the Congressional History Caucus Dear Colleague letter in your email.
- Make a phone call. All Members of Congress can be reached through the U.S. Capitol switchboard at (202)224-3121. If you feel comfortable doing so, a personal phone call is preferable to an email. If you speak to a staff member, be sure to get their name and email address so you can forward them a copy of the Congressional History Caucus Dear Colleague letter.
Rep. John Larson D-CT (Co-chair)
Rep. Tom Cole R-OK (Co-chair)
Rep. Bill Pascrell D-NJ (Co-chair)
NCH and the Congressional History Caucus plan to host a reception in celebration of fostering a relationship between lawmakers and our important constituency. Please stay tuned for further details.