The Byrd Center, along with about 40 other institutions which comprise the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress, is sponsoring Congress Week the first week of April each year to help promote a better public understanding of the rich history of Congress. This year is the 225th anniversary of the federal government, but nobody seems to be celebrating.
Twenty-five years ago it was my job to be the lead national planner for the U. S. House of Representatives in commemoration of the bicentennials of the U. S. Constitution and the U.S. Congress. I won’t be around for the tricentennial of Congress in 2089 but I sure hope Congress is still functioning then as our legislative branch of government. With the support of the American people that Congress deserves, it will be. But government is far more fragile than it seems. It’s survival is not guaranteed. The history of the world is the story of the coming and going of governments and nations. Our government and our nation are worth preserving. We are only 225 years old! We are still experimenting with representative government. We will always be experimenting.
So for my opening statement for Congress Week, I confess that I love Congress. You might not hear this anywhere else these days. Here is an item I wrote for the History News Network, which appears today. Do you love Congress? Do you want to see that Capitol dome a hundred years from now as the enduring symbol of the American system of government under the Constitution? Will you be among those who help guarantee its survival and help make it all it can be?