In order to allow for the installation of scaffolding and floor, statuary, and artwork protection in conjunction with the Dome Restoration Project, the Rotunda of the Capitol will be closed from Monday, July 27 through Monday, September 7. While the Rotunda is unavailable for tours, an alternate tour route will be provided. The Capitol Visitor Center is open during the closure of the Rotunda and will offer special activities which do not require advance reservations. You can also download our new U.S. Capitol Rotunda app.

The Power of Investigation: The Titanic Disaster 1912

How could it happen? That’s what people asked after the Titanic went down with many prominent Americans among the approximately 1,500 who died. The Senate asked too. Although the ship was British, there were lessons to be learned by all seafaring nations. In 1912, a special Senate subcommittee convened to investigate the Titanic disaster.

Surviving passengers and crew, and company officials, testified to the subcommittee with vivid and dramatic accounts that drew eager attention from the press and public. The hearings were the first to be held in the Senate’s ornate new Caucus Room. Though the Titanic investigation did not lead to criminal prosecutions, the subcommittee did recommend laws to improve ship safety.

History of Congress and the Capitol

The Senate 1877-1913

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The R.M.S. Titanic sets out from...
Image Caption

The R.M.S. Titanic sets out from the White Star Line dock at Southampton, England on April 10, 1912.

The R.M.S. Titanic sets out from the White Star Line dock at Southampton, England on April 10, 1912.

© Ralph White/CORBIS

The R.M.S. Titanic sets out from the White Star Line dock at Southampton, England on April 10, 1912.

The R.M.S. Titanic sets out from the White Star Line dock at Southampton, England on April 10, 1912.

© Ralph White/CORBIS

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