Capitol Lens: Will Recite for Work

Posted September 12, 2011 at 5:15pm

This photo from the Library of Congress archives shows the extremes that Americans will endure to secure a job in hard times. The nation was deep into the Great Depression when Harry Wilhelm of York, Pa., traveled to Washington, D.C., to win work in the mail room of the U.S. Constitution Sesquicentennial Commission. The commission’s chairman, Rep. Sol Bloom (left), had promised Wilhelm a job if he could repeat the Constitution and its amendments from memory. On Sept. 13, 1937, the unemployed World War I veteran recited the document and won the job.