A Historian's Tour of the US Capitol Building

Registration Full


Saturday, April 20
In-Person Tour
10:00 AM -12:00 PM
The Capitol Visitor Center
Required | Tickets $40 per person | No Refunds

OLLI is offering a special private tour of the US Capitol beyond the public’s standard tour. This unique experience will be guided by Steve Livengood, Chief Guide and Public Historian of the United States Capitol Historical Society.

Our Tour: The government of the United States was conceived in the spirit of the Enlightenment. The idea of Government by Consent of the Governed was newly popular, and our Founding Fathers set out to implement that idea based on their experience. No other nation on Earth has been founded on and intended to implement such ideals. The history of the United States has been – and is being – acted out in the Capitol Building. 

As we tour the Capitol, Steve will explain what has happened there – and is happening there – from the viewpoint of the history of human civilization, not just current politics. How was the importance of George Washington’s resignation as General in 1783 acted out in Cambodia within the last few years? What invention that transformed human life in every nation was first demonstrated in the Capitol to the Congress – but implemented by all other major governments except that of the United States (and why was that a good thing)? What action in the Capitol building transformed the meaning of the Statue of Freedom on top of the dome while it was being cast? This is only a sample of what we will hear.

The tour involves walking more than a mile within the building and is fully accessible. It will last about two hours – depending on how many questions we ask.

Registration is limited to the first 14 people that sign up. Ticket price is $40/person for this event. This event will occur regardless of rainy weather. Tickets are non-refundable. 

Meeting Point:  Located at First St SE, Washington, DC, beneath the East Front Plaza at First Street and East Capitol Street, we will meet at 9:45 AM at the US Capitol Visitor Center at the north entrance from which one can see the Supreme Court building. Steve Livengood will escort our group through security.  Please review the US Capitol’s prohibited items list before your visit. 

Directions to The US Capitol Visitor Center and Meeting Location:

The US Capitol Visitor Center entrance is located down a long set of steps starting where East Capitol Street ends at First Street. This is between the Supreme Court on the north side and the Library of Congress on the south side. You can view a map of the entrance here

Getting to the Capitol: Information regarding parking, public transportation to the Capitol and more can be found here.


After the tour you can peruse the gift shops or get a bite to eat at the Capitol Café.

Registration Full