Meet the Better Half: Congressional Partners, Spouses, and Families
Press Release · Thursday, January 25, 2018

Washington, DC

February 1 program explores role of elected officials’ spouses and families

Come hear from Congress’ secret weapons — the spouses and families of our elected officials — at the National Archives on Thursday, February 1, at 7 p.m.  This event is free and open to the public.  It will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum and stream live on YouTube. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.  The building is Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.  Reservations are recommended and can be made online.  

Successful Members of Congress don’t just rely on their top-notch staff, healthy donor support, or an on-the-ball communications team. The partners, siblings, and children of our Representatives in Washington, DC all make impactful decisions to help and support their congressional families and take on the mantle of public service. Alongside their roles as breadwinners, educators, and homemakers, they often find themselves taking on outsized roles in the campaigns of their politically-engaged family members. Moderated by Dr. Lara Brown, Director of the Graduate School of Political Management, George Washington University, panelists include Former Members of Congress Don Manzullo (R-IL) and his wife Freda Manzullo; and Russ Carnahan (D-MO) and his wife Debra Carnahan. Presented in partnership with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress.

The National Archives Center for Legislative Archives holds the historically valuable records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, including the official Committee records, all of which remain the legal property of the House and Senate.  The Center for Legislative Archives preserves and makes these records available to researchers.  Through its public outreach programs, the Center uses these historical records to promote a better understanding of Congress and the history of American representative government.

Related online resources:

National Archives Center for Legislative Archives

Running for Office online exhibit:  Candidates, Campaigns, and the Cartoons of Clifford Berryman

Congress Creates the Bill of Rights educational resources, app and ebook  

Teaching with the Records of Congress video short




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For media inquiries, please contact: National Archives Public and Media Communications at (202) 357-5300 or via email at

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This page was last reviewed on October 9, 2019.
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