Skip Navigation
"The right of petition is one of the most sacred enjoyed by man. When that is lost, there is little left in civil government which is valuable." (Introduction)
Debate Comparison

Getting Congress to Pay Attention

After 9/11, the first responders sought compensation from Congress for health problems linked to toxic conditions at Ground Zero. From the "gag rule" to gyrocopters, lawmakers and citizens have battled to steer national debates.

This Debate Comparison is a part of the EDCollection:

Get even more great free content!

This content contains copyrighted material that requires a free NewseumED account.

Registration is fast, easy, and comes with 100% free access to our vast collection of videos, artifacts, interactive content, and more.

Sign Up
?

NewseumED is provided as a free educational resource and contains copyrighted material. Registration is required for full access. Signing up is simple and free.

or log in to your account

With a free NewseumED account, you can:

  • Watch timely and informative videos
  • Access expertly crafted lesson plans
  • Download an array of classroom resources
  • and much more!
Duration
60-90 minutes
Topic(s)
  • Civil War
  • National Security
  • Politics
  • Protests
Grade(s)
  • 7-12
  • College/University

You're Exploring Freedom of Action

Does Congress have to listen?

HISTORICAL ORIGINS
Gag Rule teaser
&

1836: Anti-Slavery Talk 'Gagged' in Congress

In the name of preserving peace, Congress passes a rule to prevent abolitionists from presenting anti-slavery petitions.

&
CONTEMPORARY CONSIDERATIONS

2015: Flying a Petition to Congress

A man breaks the law and risks his life to land a gyrocopter on the Capitol lawn, hoping to bring attention to the need for campaign finance reform.

More from our EDCollections

Explore more content within this EDCollection, or browse through all of our Lesson Plans, Critical Debates, Themes, Exhibits, Digital Artifacts, Historical Events, Videos, and Interactives using our EDTool search.
Quick View

Related EDClasses & Training

  • Making a Change for Students

    Students watch and discuss a Newseum-produced documentary about the role of the First Amendment freedoms in the civil rights movement and in protests today.

  • The Civil War: From the Front Lines to the Front Pages

    Students see how technology affected news coverage and public perception of the Civil War, then create their own front pages with breaking news, maps and telegrams.

  • You Can’t Say That in School?!

    Students debate court cases to learn how far First Amendment protections extend in public schools, and why limits may be necessary.

Keep in the loop.

Sign up for NewseumED updates and newsletter today.