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The January 6th Report- History as it Happens

By Thomas C. Giangreco, ILL/Government Documents Clerk

Two years ago the American people watched with apprehension and dismay as a protest at the nation’s capital turned into a chaotic maelstrom which interrupted the formal counting of electoral votes for the president and vice-president of the United States. The peaceful transition of power, which Americans have historically prided themselves on, gave way to scenes of anarchy. How did this happen and why? A select committee of the House of Representatives was convened to answer these very questions. Was this a peaceful protest gone awry, or an attempted insurrection against the government of the United States?

This week, the Government Publishing Office (GPO) is releasing the Final Report of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol in both print and electronic formats, and Fordham, as a proud participant in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) since 1937, will have this important document available to our patrons.

Trump supporters from around the country gather at the Washington Monument on the morning of January 6th, 2021. Photograph by Brent Stirton/Getty Images.
Guns are drawn on the House of Chamber on January 6th as rioters attempt to break in. Photograph by Drew Angerer / Getty Images.
Former Vice President Mike Pence reopens the joint session of Congress and resumes counting electoral votes. Photograph by Will McNamee / Getty Images.

While we all saw the news reports of the event and heard the analysis in the media, this document, over  800 pages long and backed by copious supporting materials, allows us to be a “fly on the wall” at the committee’s proceedings and to know all that the committee members know. Readers can then see the unfiltered raw materials and testimony that members of the House of Representatives reviewed and evaluate for themselves. Read the testimony, view the video, and draw your conclusions. You do not have to be a professional historian, only an informed citizen.

This is history as it happens. A primary source document out of which later historical evaluations will be built, and as part of the GPO’s mission to “keep America informed” it is available to everyone, free of charge through the FDLP program. This is the raw material that historians use to reconstruct past events and Walsh Library is fortunate enough to have a vast collection of government documents, some of which date back to the very first congress of the United States. The reader is thus able to see events as they occurred and how they were viewed at the time they happened. Remember, the difference between “current events” and “history” is merely time.

Curious about other government documents available through the Fordham Libraries? Visit our Government Documents research guide to learn more.

Fordham has been a proud member of the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) since 1937. The FDLP is devoted to the mission of “keeping America informed” by the free-of-charge dissemination of non-classified government information and publications to participating libraries. You can find the Federal Register and Congressional Record, transcripts of congressional hearings, the Congressional Serial Set going back to 1789, United States Supreme Court Reports, and a multitude of federal department publications from every branch of the federal government. From the earliest acts of congress to the Mueller Report, our Government Documents collection is a primary source history of the United States government in one location.

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