In the House of Representatives, an opportunity is given to members to raise matters before the House, and indeed the whole nation (The remarks are recorded in the "Congressional Record" and broadcast on C-SPAN). CQ's "American Congressional Dictionary" describes One Minute Speeches as "Addresses by House members on any subject but limited to one minute each, usually permitted at the beginning of a daily session after the chaplain's prayer and approval of the Journal. They are a customary practice, not a right granted by rule. Consequently, recognition for one-minute speeches requires unanimous consent and is entirely within the Speaker's discretion."
They can be used to raise any issue. Sometimes this part of the day can be rather tedious - as members of each party use it to make a point on an issue of current partisan dispute. Speakers are lined up by the parties' leaderships - and more heat than light is produced. At other times (and frequently enough to have hooked me on the sessions!) there are some real nuggets. I hope to share some in the future.
This speech was made a few days ago - and illustrates show the speeches work, and how little nuggets of information can be shared in order to make an important point.