With the ratification of the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1933, presidents no longer needed an office in the Capitol to sign end-of-session legislation. The amendment shifted presidential inaugurations from March 3 to January 20 and established January 3 as the opening date for each session of Congress. Since that time, presidents have signed legislation at a number of locations--on special occasions or at sites with symbolic or historical ties to the legislation being signed.
On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson became the first president in over a quarter century to use the President's Room for its intended purpose, signing the 1965 Voting Rights Act into law after a stirring and emotional ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. Johnson had appeared before a Joint Session of Congress on March 15, 1965, to urge passage of the bill guaranteeing equal voting rights for African American citizens. He returned to the Capitol to sign the act, a gesture that, as he explained in his memoirs, was intended to "dramatize the importance we attached to this bill-- and to give full measure to the Congress."
Although his successors have used the room
for other purposes during
their terms in office, Johnson was the last president to sign legislation in the President's