COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update

The Capitol Visitor Center remains closed. We are not taking tour reservations at this time. Please check out our video tours and other online resources.


Online Gift Shop Now Open

Check out our new Online Gift Shop, All products are Made-in-the-USA, and many are created exclusively for our store. We look forward to welcoming you to the CVC Online Gift Shop.

Breaking Barriers to Education

Breaking Barriers to Education

...schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.

Northwest Ordinance, 1787

Knowing that democracy flourishes best in an open environment with an educated citizenry, Congress has promoted public education, supported the arts and sciences, and made access to learning a priority in challenging times. During the Civil War, Congress supported public education through the creation of land-grant colleges. These institutions opened up opportunities to people previously excluded from higher education. During Reconstruction, Congress created the Freedmen’s Bureau, which found buildings suitable for classrooms and worked with other aid organizations to recruit teachers. As America faced international competition in the 20th century, Congress responded with support for schools and colleges to train Americans in science, technology, languages and other essential skills.