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Congressional Timeline 2.0

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  • Cindy Koeppel
    Take a look at The Dirksen Center s Congressional Timeline 2.0! http://www.congressionaltimeline.org In October 2010, we announced the first version of The
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 5, 2012
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      Take a look at The Dirksen Center's Congressional Timeline 2.0!
      http://www.congressionaltimeline.org

      In October 2010, we announced the first version of The Dirksen Center's new
      Congressional Timeline. At that time we introduced more than 200 examples of
      major laws passed by Congress from 1933 to the present. As with any new
      website, our first version had some bugs to work out. So considering our users'
      feedback and taking a hard look at our first version, we have done our best to
      improve the timeline by creating the Congressional Timeline 2.0.

      Today the Congressional Timeline arrays more than 550 of the nation's laws on a
      double-banded timeline beginning in 1933 to the present. In addition to the
      major laws passed by Congress, now at your fingertips are the partisan
      composition of each Congress, along with the presidential administration and
      the congressional leaders; the session dates of each Congress; measures of
      legislative productivity, such as the number of bills introduced and passed;
      information about women and African-Americans serving in Congress; and examples
      of documents, photos, audio clips, transcripts, videos, and lesson plans all
      related to legislation.

      The following Everett Dirksen quote was taken from "A Congressman Looks at
      Congress" in the Appendix to the Congressional Record, July 8, 1943.

      "In recent days, this Congress has also been assailed. I suppose it's part of
      the American tradition and becomes a favorite indoor sport. In recent days it
      has been described as hectic and hysterical. It has been charged with spite and
      partisanship. It has been charged with intent to destroy unity and spite with
      the President. It has been charged with madness and hate. That's all very
      interesting but it happens to be a parcel of nonsense and balderdash. To be
      exact, it is a lot of piddling twaddle and scarcely deserves an answer."

      The Congressional Timeline has been developed to help people better understand
      Congress, and to provide a "snapshot" of important dates and resources in an
      easy-to-use, chronological format.

      We are also creating lesson plans based on the timeline. Below is the complete
      listing of lesson plans currently posted:

      * Economy Act of 1933 [The Dirksen Center] - This lesson will introduce
      students to the process by which a Congress member evaluates a bill; it will
      provide an historical example of how a Congress member decides to vote on a
      bill; and it will illustrate by way of historical example how a Congress member
      justifies a vote.

      * The Social Security Act of 1935 [Edsitement] - Upon completion of this
      lesson, students should be able to describe the reasoning of the Roosevelt
      Administration in creating this act, assess the arguments that were made to
      support or oppose the act, understand and analyze the ways in which the Social
      Security Act changed the role of the federal government in relation to the
      nation's workforce, and examine the way the Social Security Act reflected
      divisions in American society.

      * The Neutrality Acts of 1935-1939 [Edsitement] - Students will be able to
      explain the "Merchants of Death" thesis and how it shaped the U.S. approach to
      neutrality, list the main terms of the neutrality laws passed during the 1930s,
      discuss how these laws were implemented and revised in response to developments
      in Europe, identify on a blank map the locations of the major events in Europe
      from 1935 to 1939, and assess the overall effectiveness of U.S. neutrality
      policy during this period.

      * Minority Representation in Congress, 1937-1938 [The Dirksen Center] - This
      lesson will introduce students to selected demographic features of one of the
      early New Deal Congresses. It will ask them to identify the characteristics of
      women members of the House and Senate-what qualities and experiences they
      shared, how they differed. Students may also compare and contrast the female
      membership in 1937-38 with female membership today.

      * The Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 [The Dirksen Center] - This
      lesson will introduce students to efforts by Congress to establish military
      conscription, otherwise known as the "draft," in preparation for possible war.
      The source documents raise questions about citizenship, military personnel
      needs, and events leading up to the United States' entry into World War II.

      * The Lend-Lease Act of 1941 [Edsitement] - After completing this lesson,
      students should be able to explain what the Lend-Lease program did, analyze the
      way President Roosevelt presented the program to the public, discuss the scope
      of the program in terms of countries served and materials provided, and
      evaluate the domestic and international implications of America's new role as
      "the arsenal of democracy."

      * The Japanese Americans Reparations Act of 1988 [The Dirksen Center] - This
      lesson will introduce students to efforts by Congress to redress injustices to
      Japanese Americans and Aleut civilian residents committed during World War II.
      Students will learn about the circumstances surrounding the relocation of
      Japanese Americans in 1942. Students will compare the reasons for relocation
      with the justification for reparations in 1988.

      We have also posted Roll Call's "Casualty List" which keeps track of
      Representatives and Senators who leave office. The list encompasses the 93rd
      (1973-74) through the current Congress. The list is organized into several
      sections, as the following categories indicate:

      * Appointed to the Senate (for House members only)

      * Running for Senate (for House members only)

      * Running for Other Office * Retiring

      * Defeated in Primary

      * Defeated in General Election

      * Defeated for Other Office

      * Resigned

      * Died

      As an example, find this list at - January 6, 1987: 100th Congress, First
      Session, convenes - click on Members Who Left Congress.

      Using the "Events" banner on the timeline, you will also be able to view
      information about 15 key Supreme Court cases. Two examples: July 24, 1974,
      United States v. Richard Nixon and December 12, 2000, Bush v. Gore.

      Take a look at the Congressional Timeline 2.0 and let us know what you think!
      -- http://www.congressionaltimeline.org

      Cindy Koeppel, The Dirksen Congressional Center
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